12 March 2018
48% of enterprise respondents at the last WAN Summit event in London said they had plans to implement an SD-WAN service, but were either in the process of selecting a partner or yet to begin the selection
The figures, taken as a part of a live polling session at
the Capacity-ran event, highlight the growing opportunity that
software-defined wide area networks offers to the global
A key driver behind pursuing an SD-WAN strategy was the
reduction in costs, attendees said. 37% of attendees identified
cost saving as the primary reason for their own, or their
customers’, SD-WAN deployments, with a boost to
performance identified as the next most popular reason (26%).
The reduction in provisioning times was also highlighted as a
key factor at the event, which had around 300 attendees.
Figures released by IDC last year predicted a boom in the
market that would see sales of SD-WANs grow at a compound
annual rate of 69% over the next five years. IDC estimated the
market would top $1.19 billion by the end of 2017 – a
massive growth from the $225 million in sales recorded in 2015.
This will grow even further, hitting $8.05 billion in 2021.
"SD-WAN offers compelling value for its ability to defray
MPLS costs, simplify and automate WAN operations, improve
application traffic management, and dynamically deliver on the
cost and efficiency benefits associated with intelligent path
selection," IDC analysts Rohit Mehra and Brad Casemore wrote in
IDC’s Worldwide SD-WAN Forecast,
2017–2021. When looking at vendors, 52% of enterprises
identified a network operator as their preferred provider of
the service, opting for a managed SD-WAN. This compares with
27%, who said they’d prefer to opt for a direct
purchase from and SD-WAN vendor or supplier, and 9% who said
they’d prefer to op for an outsourced network
So what are the key considerations when picking an SD-WAN
vendor? Pricing again was the most common option –
almost half of attendees picked that as the most important
SD-WAN feature by vendor,. The deployment model (ie. hardware
vs. virtual appliance) was also a vital component, with 28% of
respondents identifying it. 8% said the monitoring features
were most important, while almost 7% went for security.
Curiously, MPLS remains dominant for enterprises connecting
to their cloud providers, with 46% of respondents identifying
it as their most common network product for that purpose.
Dedicated internet access (DIA) was the primary connectivity
solution for 30% of respondents, whilst 11% said they use
broadband most. This is perhaps no surprise given 63% of
respondents said they still anticipate having MPLS services at
most sites in their WAN in the next year – almost
twice the amount who said no.
WAN security was found to be primarily edge-based, according
to a whopping 89% of respondents. Just 11% said they used
cloud-based security services on their WAN. The live polling
was conducted at this year’s WAN Summit London,
part of the WAN Summit series which also includes events in New
York, Frankfurt and Singapore, as well as the WANalysis
quarterly newsletter, which is produced by Capacity Media.