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SD-WAN market set for takeoff

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Software-defined networking is taking the next evolutionary step as SD-WAN – uniquely optimized to cost-effectively meet the growing requirements of cloud computing – becomes an increasingly viable option within the enterprise.
A special study from International Data Corporation (IDC) highlights results from an extensive worldwide SD-WAN survey and finds that “consistent security”, “price”, and “reduced complexity” were the top three motivators identified by respondents considering SD-WAN adoption (36%, 35% and 31%, respectively).
IDC believes this increased confidence in and acceptance of SD-WAN will help to drive revenues to $6-billion in 2020.
The new study examines current and future enterprise plans for SD-WAN infrastructure and services, including their relationship to enterprise applications, cloud applications and services, WAN management, operational requirements, and the potential impact these will have on overall organisational efficiency and on the business value of enterprises across a number of geographic and vertical markets. ”
Given the significant, ongoing transition to cloud-based applications and services, the enterprise WAN is under acute pressure to cost-effectively adapt and deliver new capabilities and services,” says Rohit Mehra, vice-president: network infrastructure at IDC.
“Understanding and adapting to the needs of enterprise IT is critical to achieving success in this evolving market, both for service providers as well as for technology solution providers.”
Additional findings from the special study include the following:
* Faster deployment and optimisation of WAN bandwidth also scored high as motivational factors for enterprises considering SD-WAN deployments.
* There will be a significant shift to Hybrid WAN, often a precursor of SD-WAN, in the next 12 to 18 months.
* Key SD-WAN components include security, WAN optimisation, policy control and automation.
* Top SD-WAN use cases include multiple WAN providers, increased reliability, and direct SaaS provider access.
The emergence of SD-WAN is a relatively recent market development, preceded by the existence of hybrid WAN architectures. SD-WANs leverage hybrid WANs, but incorporate a centralized, application-based policy controller, analytics for application and network visibility, a software overlay that abstracts underlying networks, and an optional SD-WAN forwarder (routing capability) that together provides intelligent path selection across WAN links.