4 Major Impacts to SD-WAN in 2017


In 2016, the market began to show signs that many IT leaders were looking at SD-WAN as an alternative to MPLS for their enterprise network. According to Gartner, the SD-WAN market has over 2000 paying customers and this number is continuing to rise. As this technology promises to deliver less complexity, more agility, and greater cost savings to businesses, it will be at the forefront of data and application delivery in the years to come.

IDC estimates that SD-WAN revenues will exceed $6 billion in 2020. This demand will bring major changes to enterprise networking and business operations. Here are some of the major impacts we predict for enterprise networks and SD-WAN in 2017:

1. SD-WANs Will Enable IT to Focus More on Strategic Business Initiatives and Less on Network Design
The role of IT today has evolved from an enterprise network function to a team aligned with the business vision and objectives.

SD-WANs delivered as a servce—with the network component integrated—will enable efficient application delivery and end-user experience. CIOs and IT teams can focus more on the how to improve business productivity and execution, rather than on boxes, links, paths, etc.

2. SD-WAN Technologies Will Encompass All Network Connection End-Points
Today, public and private cloud instances are as important as the corporate data center for business applications. More employees will work remotely via mobile devices.

In 2017, SD-WAN solutions will improve coverage across all connectivity end-points. This will enable CIOs to optimize the location of their applications for more efficient business operations.

3. IoT Will Fuel the Adoption of SD-WAN
The Internet of Things(IoT) will create billions of new data end-points through devices or systems, constantly relaying a growing volume of data across enterprise networks. The fundamental requirement for any IoT project to be successful is the availability and access of real-time data for all stakeholders.

The promise of simplified network deployment, centralized control, and real-time application delivery is going to be critical for CIOs to choose SD-WAN over legacy network technologies for their IoT-based applications.

For example, Augmedix, a leading healthcare technology provider, opted for a global SD-WAN to eliminate latency issues with their technology. This helps physicians become more productive by enabling them to use Google Glass to communicate with human scribes across the globe to document the health records of patients in real-time. Without this service in place, the Augmedix service could not update health records in real-time and would hinder a physician’s ability to see more patients and be attentive to their needs.

4. Telcos Will Integrate SD-WAN Capabilities to Provide Comprehensive End-To-End Network Solutions
Some telecos have already moved from solely providing bandwidth to partnering with edge-based SD-WAN vendors with intelligent routing and central network management. This approach still inherits the problems of today’s networks: the inflexibility of MPLS, the unreliability of public internet, poor application performance, and the cost and complexity of having to manage multiple vendors and contracts.

As mainstream adoption of SD-WAN increases, enterprises will look at integrated and managed solutions for painless end-to-end connectivity that provides the application performance expected by a globally distributed workforce.

The Future is Now…but Study the Solutions Carefully
The benefits of SD-WAN are real and the interest is increasing. If your business is looking for a network refresh in 2017, it’s imperative to bring SD-WAN into the conversation.

However global enterprises must be sure their SD-WAN solves application performance across continents and oceans. Otherwise, they will be forced to add more boxes and therefore more complexity to their network, thereby negating the ROI promised by the technology in the first place.

If you would like to learn more about what SD-WAN features may be right for your business, download our latest white paper, “Top 5 SD-WAN Myths Busted”.

About the author

Ashwath Nagaraj
Ashwath is the Chief Technology Officer and one of the founders of Aryaka. He is responsible for building Aryaka’s vision and technology since its inception, and holds 17 patents in storage, security, architecture, and networking.
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