Networking & Wireless

Bandwidth Optimization Leading Reason for Software-Defined WAN Adoption

The worldwide market in infrastructure and services for wide area networks (WANs) will reach $8 billion in 2021, thanks in part to the embrace of software-defined (SD) networks, according to a new report from International Data Corp. (IDC).

"The emergence of SD-WAN over the last couple of years has paralleled the deployment of hybrid WAN architectures that have leveraged broadband, 4G/LTE and other technologies," according to a news release. "SD-WANs leverage hybrid WANs, but incorporate a centralized, application-based policy controller, analytics for application and network visibility and security, a software overlay that abstracts underlying networks and an optional routing capability that together provides intelligent path selection across WAN links."

An IDC survey found that bandwidth optimization (36 percent), consistent application security (31 percent), integration with existing WANs (28 percent) and improved automation and self-provisioning (28 percent) were the most common reasons enterprises are considering SD-WAN adoptions.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Other common reasons for considering WAN adoptions included faster deployments, operational efficiency and reduced complexity for IT staff;
  • Top use cases for software defined WANs included the ability to simplify WAN infrastructure, the ability to use multiple WAN providers and the ability to use broadband to too offload non-critical apps; and
  • Key components of SD-WAN networks include WAN optimization, network and application security, integrated routing, application visibility and application policy-based path selection.

"Given the affinity towards leveraging broadband for enhanced capacity across enterprise sites, in parallel with the proliferation of cloud-based applications and services, the enterprise WAN is being rapidly re-architected to cost-effectively deliver new, secure capabilities," said Rohit Mehra, vice president for network infrastructure at IDC, in a prepared statement. "Understanding and adapting current WAN network and security solutions across the emerging connectivity and application landscape is going to be a key ingredient for success as this market transforms in key geographies and across the service and solution provider domains."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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