IDC: Growth of Cloud Driving Accompanying Interest in SD-WAN

July 26, 2016

By Steve Anderson, Contributing Writer

There are many reasons why the growth of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is so pronounced these days, but one big reason is coming to light thanks to a recent study from the International Data Corporation (IDC (News - Alert)). While SD-WAN systems work well for security and cost savings, the move to the cloud is one of the biggest growth drivers involved in SD-WAN operations.

With SD-WAN, users are increasingly getting a means to make hybrid network management simpler, and that's a move that's especially useful in connecting data centers and other enterprise networks, which is something of a central tenet of cloud development. Perhaps the biggest advantage in SD-WAN for widely-dispersed networks is the ability to bring in intelligent path selections. This allows for centralized controllers to work with issues of policy, while software overlay systems can provide better insight into the networks beneath. Routing tools are also on hand, as are analytics systems that offer insight into both applications and the networks that support these.

With all of these principles acting together and adding value, the IDC estimates that SD-WAN market revenues will reach $6 billion just in 2020. Not exactly a tough goal, considering that 70 percent of respondents to the IDC study revealed plans to bring SD-WAN systems to the company in some way, whether as a full implementation or just as a test subject, over the course of the next 18 months.

Security played a factor in 36 percent of plans to bring such systems in, while 35 planned to do so on the strength of price, and 31 percent went with SD-WAN mainly on simplicity. Additionally, many are looking to more hybrid WAN systems being put in place, which is regarded as the earliest stages of full SD-WAN use, so we may well see even more development on this front in the near future.

It's no secret that cloud-based technology is gaining on several fronts, thanks to an increasingly mobile workforce and businesses eager to save cash on things like travel. With this in mind, having the necessary infrastructure in place to keep cloud-based systems up and running becomes all the more important, and it's SD-WAN systems that will fill in on that point. The sheer versatility associated with SD-WAN systems improves the outlook for their continued use, and as more companies successfully put SD-WAN to work, it will become necessary for others to follow suit or risk having a competitive edge used against them.

If the IDC studies hold true, we should see a lot more movement in SD-WAN over the next several months into 2020. It may not happen quite as markedly as the IDC suggests, but even if it's only half right, that's still a lot of forward momentum and reason to watch closely.

Edited by Maurice Nagle