Schirman说，“SD-WAN旨在将各种不同技术类型的连接点进行集合，并给用户提供最简单的使用方法”。并且 Gartner公司对SD-WAN的市场抱有很大希望，目前估计SD-WAN技术消费者或终端用户的市场价值在 60亿美元到100亿美元之间。 Gartner公司称，SD-WAN技术可以解决公司在构建和管理混合型广域网方面所面临的一些紧急问题，同时，该技术在未来还会遇到更多的问题，如连接广域网的成本较高，分担跨广域网连接流量负载的难度较大等。
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), an emerging technology, can enhance the ability of companies in a number of industries, including oil and gas, to store and access information.
According to a July 2015 report by technology analyst firm Gartner, SD-WAN offers a new and transformational way for companies to architect, deploy and operate corporate WANs by providing a dramatically simplified way of deploying and managing remote branch office connectivity in a cost-effective way.
SD-WAN gives companies with assets that communicate back to a central hub – such as offshore drilling rigs or marine vessels – the ability to manage the transmission of information just like traffic on a highway. In essence, it allows them to pick the lane that will allow delivery of information in the most expeditious and efficient manner.
San Jose, Calif.-based Talari, which was founded nine years ago, came into being in the context of companies looking at ways to enhance the connectivity of communication technologies. Enhancing connectivity means ensuring communication reliability at all times, even when issues such as inclement weather or a field worker accidentally cutting a wire, degrading or bringing down communication paths.
The company has been active in verticals such as manufacturing and finance, but sees strong potential for SD-WAN technology in the offshore oil and gas and marine market, said Randy Schirman, vice president of worldwide sales, in an interview with Rigzone at the OilComm 2015 Conference Nov. 4 in Houston. Currently, oil and gas companies and companies in other industries use a number of different types of communication technologies to secure access to information. In the oil and gas industry, companies such as RigNet would go to the telephone company and procure bandwidth for its oil and gas clients. These include a number of circuits, such as VSAT, microwave, and cellular circuits, which allow for information to be disseminated back and forth between locations, such as an offshore drilling rig or vessel and their onshore base, said Schirman.
In the past few years, the emphasis in the communications realm has been on WAN optimization and acceleration. However, the emergence of public cloud computing has rendered traditional enterprise WAN architectures to be suboptimal, both in terms of price and performance, according to Gartner.
MARKET POTENTIAL FOR SD-WAN
SD-WAN works by abstracting the underlying network transport/connectivity to present a business-centric or application centric-approach, Gartner said. In an SD-WAN implementation, traditional device-based command line interface configurations can be replaced by centralized, network-wide control and orchestration.
“This enables enterprises to centrally configure and manage WAN traffic via graphical user interfaces, based on business-related policies, while providing increased visibility.”
According to Gartner, SD-WAN solutions use centrally managed WAN edge devices in branch offices to establish logical connections with other branch edge devices across the physical WAN. These connections create secure paths across multiple WAN connections and carriers, such as hybrid Internet and multiprotocol label switching architectures.
Talari’s SD-WAN technology works by rerouting data being sent if a problem with the path the data is travelling on is detected, Schirman said. Talari’s Thinking WAN manages the capacity, reliability and performance of data communication on a packet by packet basis, working to keep critical applications running and addressing issues proactively. The tool measures loss, latency and jitter, which are used to detect and respond quickly to congestion, allowing real-time traffic engineering decision to be made.
SD-WAN represents an evolution in how and where information is stored and accessed, said Schirman. What SD-WAN does is give companies the ability to use any or all of the communication circuitry or conductivity available to maximize their capability to have 100 percent availability and uptime, and that information is always available when needed, said Schirman.
“SD-WAN seeks to take a complex combination of different connection types of technologies and make it simplistic for users.”
Gartner is still defining the market, but has estimated the market value of end-users or consumers of SD-WAN solutions at between $6 billion and $10 billion, said Schirman. SD-WANs can resolve some of the most pressing WAN issues that companies face in building and managing hybrid WANs, and will face with growing frequency in the future, including high cost of WAN connectivity, exacerbated by difficulty in load-sharing traffic across a mix of WAN connections, Gartner said. Other issues include complex, static and manual network configurations that are not easy to adapt or scale to changing needs, or map to business-centric requirements, and inability to provide security and visibility for WAN traffic.
By the end of 2017, Gartner expects at least five global carriers to have incorporated SD-WAN as a key component of their managed network service designs, up from zero at present. By year-end 2018, Gartner also estimates that 10 percent of enterprises will have replaced their WAN routing with SD-WAN based path forwarding, up from less than 1 percent today. According to Gartner, SD-WAN is seen as particularly useful as companies adjust their networks to match prevailing user and application needs, due to the increased use of public cloud services, which is forecast to grow at more than 20 percent CAGR [compound annual growth rate] through 2018.
Talari’s technology is agnostic in terms of the type of network connectivity, whether it be a terrestrial land line, microwave, satellites or cellular, and is applicable for use in terms of offshore rigs, pipeline infrastructure and other areas of oil and gas. Schirman said that people see value in the company’s technology in that it automatically reroutes data when the quality of a communication path selected is degrading, so that people don’t actually realize a problem had occurred.
Oil and gas companies, like companies in other industries, are looking at the next generation of services and capabilities to gain faster, unlimited access to a greater volume and more types of data, such as voice and video. The oil and gas industry measures downtime in terms of loss of revenue, and inability to communicate can increase downtime and the losses associated with it, Schirman said.
“We’re trying to ensure that the network isn’t the reason for these losses and to make sure that the network performance is maximized.”
The current oil price downturn also is prompting oil and gas companies to look at new ways to enhance economic performance and productivity at less cost, Schirman noted.
Schirman said that their technology allows companies such as RigNet, a provider of connectivity solutions to the oil and gas industry, to communicate better. RigNet, which recently acquired Mexico-based TECNOR, is seeing more companies looking to communication solutions to get more value out of the significant volumes of data coming from equipment such as offshore drilling rigs, company officials told Rigzone at the OilComm Conference.
In addition to RigNet, Talari also has supplied its solution to Dubai-based Petroleum Pipeline Company (PPC), a provider of steel casing, tubing and accessories. The company has found that having a physical presence in the countries it services is critical, but the locations of the offices in remote areas with limited IT infrastructure and technical resources pose cost and reliability challenges.
Hosting applications centrally can reduce cost as well as on-site IT equipment and resources needed, but this requires highly reliable connectivity to the remote office. Any loss of connectivity can bring local operations to an immediate halt, according to a Talari case study. Leased lines also have become more difficult to get and, where available, are very expensive and offer minimal bandwidth, as places like Libya and Iraq shift from leased line to broadband. Broadband does offer wider availability, lower cost and higher bandwidth than leased lines, it lacks the reliability needed by PPC’s operation. PPC, which has deployed seven Talari appliances so far, has found the technology enables faster, less expensive, easier, and more reliable connectivity to offices in developing regions.