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SD-WAN Technology Trends in 2018

The distance from inexplicit novelty to conventional innovation is traveled by software-defined WAN remarkably fast.

According to IDC, an analytical company specialized in IT, the SD-WAN market is expected to grow from $225 million gained in 2015 to about $1.2 billion in 2018. That is fantastic, taking into account the fact that this year, SD-WAN was used in not so many projects. However, the dynamics of SD-WAN’s growing popularity leaves no place for doubt that we are observing the rise of new information technology star.

Being an indispensable tool for the companies with the broad structure domestically and overseas, SD-WAN is going to be a subject for serious transformations.

In a nutshell, these days, the technology is in the middle of the transfer process from SD-WAN of the first version to SD-WAN of the second version. Basically, the previous version was more like a mix of MPLS, and the internet aimed to cut expenditures and to improve efficiency. On the contrary, a new phase of SD-WAN is a multi-stance system that allows solid management and safety optimization. In total, SD-WAN 2.0 replaces the traditional concept of WAN with a complete software-defined branch.

Meaning of SD-WAN

What we need to know about SD-WAN technology in the first place is that being the product of virtualization, SD-WAN minimizes the necessity to use the ramified network hardware in the company’s affiliates as the key components such as firewalls, IP, VPN and others are integrated into software form.

Basically, software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is a special application, created based on software-defined networking (SDN) technology, that is used for processing WAN connections, applied in binding company’s networks all over the world, including the branch-offices and data storage units.

In the past, WAN was used to connect the company’s regional branches to the central network of the main office or when we wanted to unite the data storage facilities that have been placed remotely. Technically, these tasks have been resolved by applying specific network hardware. Instead, these days, SD-WAN is solving similar issues but using a software-based approach.

Now, SD-WAN allows enterprises to control the number of connections and apps which is persistently growing, especially when a cloud is utilized. The data is transmitted through the suitable WAN channel, chosen depending on the status of the network, safety, and quality requirements as well as circuit cost.

The experts say, one of the most probable attributes of the WAN market in 2018 is a tight interconnection between SD-WAN and data protection digital facilities. In 2017 we were able to notice the effective cooperation of world-famous SD-WAN providers, including VeloCloud, Talari, and others with the security software companies such as ZScaler and Websense.

SD-WAN technology is mainly applied to the corporate entities which have a multibranch network. Normally these companies are financial organizations such as banks and insurance companies, also, retail chains, service companies, and so on. Indeed, those firms adopt SD-WAN tech in different ways depending on the business specifics but most of them are following the same goal: as their systems show the intense dependence on the permanent and quality internet connection, they need the network to be working and protected all the time to ensure secure data exchange among the branches.

The developers applied SD-WAN tech, and the results were quite successful as the data transfer processes were reinforced with powerful Wi-Fi signal that made the business operations more swift and safer. Being impressed with SD-WAN solid potential, some enterprises do not stop there and already plan to supplement their SD-WAN networks with more data protection instruments facing the latest hacking threats possibilities.

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So, what is going to happen in SD-WAN’s land in 2018?

Cloud development

As long as the companies transfer their data storage and exchange processes to the cloud, it inevitably stimulates the use of SD-WAN. The cloud and SD-WAN, both being the technologies based on virtualization, are predicted to be utilized in more projects simultaneously.

Business branching expansion

In fact, the rise of SD-WAN is caused by the wish of multi-branch business entities to reinforce the digital connection between the remotely located offices and to cut the network maintenance costs at the same time. As a matter of fact, in 2018, this paradigm is predicted to be reversed as an expansion of SD-WAN enables the companies to establish more affiliates, so even small firms will afford to have their branches.

Data security reinforcement

As the cyber-attacks are more frequent and refined these days, the vulnerability of networks is increasing too. Logically, to make networks safer or at least to minimize damage in case of attack, it is necessary to divide the system into numerous sections, so one section, being infected, can’t expose to risk another one. And WAN can do this job. SD-WAN, it is even better in this case because, due to its software nature, it is much easier to be installed and used, as well as the scope of its application is really wide.

Extra service value-added

Exploring the unique advantages of SD-WAN use can also be offered as a service itself in the market. SD-WAN’s improved data protection, operational performance, and compatibility will bring extra benefits to the service suppliers.

The companies which are going to adopt SD-WAN tech will, obviously, discover the benefits of equality while cooperation with other users. The unprecedented variability of connecting with multiple devices, apps, and mediums in any place will stimulate the user to look for support with other parties’ involvement. Besides, as the supplied SD-WAN includes a full-scale management option, the IT personnel in the company can focus more on broader tasks, including business strategic analysis and forecast building.

Market players

In terms of SD-WAN, such startups as VeloCloud, Talari, CloudGenix, Viptela, and some others will remain the leaders in the market. Besides, in 2018, some communication companies and cloud service suppliers are expected to adopt SD-WAN as well as cable companies, for example, Charter and Comcast Business, replacing MPLS. Similarly, the router-based providers such as Cisco Systems, Nuage, and WAN integrators such as Citrix, Silver Peak, and others will also compete for the SD-WAN market share.

These days the IT industry and commercial sectors are characterized by the tendency to absorb the latest innovations of each other for more profits earning, so almost all new perspective solutions are integrated and utilized immediately. However, SD-WAN is a different story because it was known as an effective networking tool for years, but its glory has come only now. That's why we can expect 2018 to be the peak season for SD-WAN.

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