For years, software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) was considered a niche market for a group of startups. This will no longer be the case. Now, the SD-WAN market uses network virtualization to utilize, manage and secure Internet broadband to build stronger networks for enterprise applications, SD-WAN is booming and is expected to reach billions of dollars in enterprise network services, including cloud safety and other auxiliary products.
Feedback from enterprise and service provider end-user groups indicates that SD-WAN technology is in strong demand and that SD-WAN can reduce the capital expenditure (capex) and operating expenditure (opex) of deploying and managing enterprise networks.
According to market research firm Omdia, the global SD-WAN market revenue will reach US$3.6 billion in 2021. Edge computing use cases, increased use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and the growth of the Internet of Things have increased the demand for SD-WAN services. Meanwhile, the adoption of 5G is another driver of SD-WAN demand.
After collecting and analyzing industry data, Futuriom predicts that the market will grow faster than last year. When surveying end users and vendors, SD-WAN growth is accelerating. There are several reasons for this sudden increase in revenue, including:
MPLS and Bandwidth Fatigue: Enterprises are struggling to keep up with bandwidth demands while keeping costs low.
Cloud Acceleration: Migrating to the cloud forces enterprises to look for new WAN architectures and move directly to enterprise cloud applications.
Technology maturity: Many startups in the market have spent years tweaking and perfecting their technology to meet the needs of their customers.
While the shift in enterprise bandwidth requirements to the cloud is one of the key enablers for new SD-WAN architectures, a number of IT trends are also reinforcing this. These trends include:
Bandwidth requirements and cost upgrades: Data shows that more and more enterprises have increasing demands for broadband and network connection circuits, which are no longer satisfied with 100 Mbit/s. Gigabit Ethernet has become a new goal for enterprises. Cloud and Internet communication applications are fueling this demand. Enterprises find MPLS and dedicated circuits expensive, so they're looking at sd wan managed services that can take advantage of secure internet connections to lower management bandwidth costs.
Cloud-centric enterprise: Many enterprise end users access the cloud, often directly over the Internet, to access their applications. However, traditional WAN architectures are often designed to backhaul traffic to the enterprise data center, which creates unnecessary overhead. New SD-WAN software and hardware architectures can use the Internet to create a fast path to cloud applications, including security, interoperability with open cloud standards and platforms, and application visibility and quality of service.
Network mobility and globalization: CIOs and IT managers are looking for more flexibility, connecting branches with a software-driven model that can get branches and offices up and running quickly, which requires complex network configurations. The SD-WAN approach provides the ability to drive provisioning from the cloud, speeding up the orchestration of branch office equipment and connecting branch offices faster and at a lower cost.
The need for IT speed and agility: The new demands of the enterprise (changing application and network requirements) place new demands on flexible networks that can adapt to business needs. The SD-WAN approach provides the ability to manage and plan network requirements through software-based design and configuration, where changes and management can be made centrally.
With such broad IT and networking trends pushing applications to the cloud, it's no surprise that networking professionals are looking to their cloud solutions to build, manage and optimize enterprise networks.