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Why Artificial Intelligence can’t replace SD-WAN
Thu, 17th Aug 2023

There’s no doubt SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) has been a game-changer for flexible and cost-effective networking, especially when compared to legacy solutions like Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). But connectivity needs are changing.

Increased bandwidth demand in the UK is being driven by the growing number of devices and businesses relying on the internet. In fact, the number of connected devices has risen from three to 11 per household.

This surging demand serves to highlight the need for new, faster, and more secure Internet services, especially for businesses. Given the speed with which technology evolves to keep us all securely connected, as well as the frequent changes in traffic patterns, it’s essential that SD-WAN keeps pace.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are increasingly being integrated into IT operations, significantly changing the way humans interact with technology and providing a more proactive and automated approach. I have no doubt Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play an important role in the future of connectivity, but ultimately I don’t believe it can realistically ever replace SD-WAN, or the role of a human-manned support desk. Rather, they will work in tandem as complementary technologies.

Integrating AI without losing the human touch

SD-WANs have been in wide-scale use for a while now, and their adoption has accelerated in recent years. It’s a vital technology for companies that need to connect their branch offices, data centres, and cloud resources. As more organisations adopt cloud-based applications and services, the demand for SD-WAN will continue to grow.

Enhancing SD-WAN technology with AI capabilities has the potential to sharpen analytics, enhance security, and boost performance, while massive data from SD-WAN and AI algorithms can drive insights and ultimately deliver a better user experience. This makes AI and SD-WAN solutions a perfect combination that will amplify network security, simplify network troubleshooting, and optimise network routing.

But ML is a truly exciting emerging technology in networking, thanks to its ability to save time for deploying changes, manage networking issues more efficiently, and help to constantly and automatically adjust to new situations.

The future of connectivity

Next-generation SD-WAN solutions enhanced with ML-based capabilities have the potential to simplify network operations and improve performance by providing key benefits, such as accurate visibility into the network and deeper understanding of network and application performance, and smart analytics, including intelligent alerts and recommendations for network changes after analysing how different events affect the network, application performance and security. These solutions also facilitate automated statistical analysis to simplify capacity planning.

As SD-WAN continues to be widely adopted, we will see more use of ML and a shift in focus from branch connectivity to automated operations. The result will be exceptional performance, highly available and flexible bandwidth, rich data and analytics, and reduced operational costs.

The future of connectivity is moving fast, and we can expect continued growth and innovation. New tools are constantly being developed and deployed that can automatically detect and analyse anomalous network behaviour before it affects the end user.

Our EvolveWAN uses SD-WAN technology and outstanding service to enhance network performance, reduce costs, and simplify management. As Mako’s platinum partner, Evolve provides customised solutions with PCI Level 1 certification for payment security. With 24/7 support and staged installation, we offer fast site rollouts for reliable network performance. EvolveWAN is a smart choice for enterprises seeking to boost network performance and stay ahead in today's fast-paced environment.

At Evolve, we’ve been at the forefront of connectivity innovation for almost 20 years. We know better than anyone the speed of change and have the expertise in place to keep pace.