The Next Evolution of SD-WAN
Over the past year the number of enterprises adopting SD-WAN to connect their branch offices has skyrocketed. And the number of vendors making SD-WAN gear has increased dramatically to meet this escalating demand.
But the early popularity of SD-WAN also has a downside. There have been two major acquisitions of SD-WAN firms — Cisco purchased Viptela for $610 million and VMware purchased VeloCloud for an undisclosed sum. Both of these acquisitions occurred in the past year and some analysts believe that potential customers are waiting to see how these big deals shift the SD-WAN landscape before they make a commitment to the new technology.
And the acquisitions also have an impact on innovation. These big firms are so busy incorporating these SD-WAN firms into their existing businesses that they may not have a lot of time to develop new capabilities for their existing products.
But for SD-WAN firms that want to stand apart from the competition, now is a great time to focus on new innovations and products. One area of particular focus is security. Enterprises are looking for encryption from end-to-end and firms that can provide that type of feature set will likely stand apart.
In addition, enterprises are also looking at how they can use SD-WAN to handle some of the network functions at the edge. By moving functions to the SD-WAN, enterprises can reduce latency and increase efficiency. In addition, they are preparing for a new set of capabilities that will be made possible by the IoT.