Our aim is to democratize WAN: Aryaka Networks CTO

The effects of globalization are far reaching—technology has ensured that. But Ashwath Nagaraj, CTO of Aryaka Networks, a leader in SD-WAN technology wants to democratize the network in the ever-changing enterprise environment.

Globalization is evident in all aspects of our lives, right from the way we dress and eat to the way we learn and speak. But when we talk about technology, the entire world has become the playing field of enterprises, all thanks to the network that connects us.

Ever since the 1980s, network topologies have been changing. Currently, we have entered the era of software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN. Ashwath Nagaraj, co-founder and chief technology officer of US-based Aryaka Networks, one of the few major players, says that even though the technology is not mainstream, the adoption and willingness to deploy this solution is catching pace.

This software-defined technology, which is applied to WAN connections, is used to connect enterprise networks over large geographic distances.

Lack of awareness may be holding CIOs in deploying these technologies, but sometimes bureaucracy may get in the way. Nagaraj says that sometimes CIOs refrain from taking that leap of faith because most organizations are bound by the existing MPLS contracts that are yet to expire.

“There is some resistance among the CIO community because of this. The transition may be difficult, but we are ready for it,” he says.

However, even with these challenges, the technology seems promising. According to IDC, the SD-WAN market will be worth $6 billion by 2020. The technology, which was at a mere $225 million last year, will grow at a more than 90 percent compound annual growth rate for the next five years.

The predictions seem strong for SD-WAN, and one of the things that may make these predictions stronger is the Internet of Things. With plentiful data available because of devices over the network, SD-WAN can disrupt the functioning of IoT devices, or the other way around.

This intersection of IoT and SD-WAN is exemplified with Augmedix, a US-based company that enables doctors to use wearable technology such as Google Glass to communicate in real time with scribes in remote locations to document health records of patients. The data to these scribes was delivered using Aryaka’s underlying SD-WAN technology.

If everything is done over the network, the network is bound to be congested. Nagaraj says that Aryaka’s global SD-WAN is built on a global private network, which can bypass the congested public Internet.

“Democratizing the WAN—that’s the aim,” he adds.