- Chapter 1: SD-WAN and vCPE Market Drivers – The Need for Changing WAN Topologies
- Chapter 2: SD-WAN, vCPE Taxonomy and Architecture
- Chapter 3: State of the SD-WAN Market
- Chapter 4: SD-WAN Purchase Patterns
- Chapter 5: SD-WAN Implementation Recommendations and Considerations
- Chapter 6: SD-WAN, vCPE and uCPE Products
- Chapter 7: SD-WAN/vCPE Products
- Chapter 8: Universal CPE (uCPE) Products
- Chapter 9: Managed SD-WAN Provider Products
2017 SD-WAN and Virtual Edge Report is also available as a PDF Download
Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) and universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) are critical elements in the transformation of the WAN marketplace. These last 12 months have seen the focus in the SD-WAN market shift from vCPEs and NFV in the service provider market to SD-WAN solutions in the enterprise.
Within enterprises, growing dependence on cloud services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), increased demand for bandwidth at the edge, as well as security and compliance requirements have driven organizations to look for new solutions for their WANs. The traditional approach of proprietary integrated software-hardware appliances combined with one-off box-by-box configuration can no longer meet the needs of today’s enterprises.
SD-WANs, leveraging SDN (software-defined networking) principles and sporting centralized cloud controls and a combination of WAN technologies (layer 3, layer 4-7) under one umbrella, fit the new enterprise requirements well. In addition to the cloud networking vendors who have rebranded themselves under the SD-WAN moniker, other SD-WAN vendors have come out of the woodwork. Many vendors have their roots in past WAN and even LAN solutions, ranging from router vendors, to firewall vendors, to WAN optimization vendors and even to wireless LAN providers. Each come to the table with strengths from their legacies as they invest in building new capabilities to become a comprehensive SD-WAN solution.
With the flexibility to directly control WAN links run or as an overlay, and with varied offerings from off-the-shelf uCPE platforms to vCPE software implementations, to fully-managed SD-WAN services, SD-WANs provide enterprises with various purchase and deployment options. Bringing forth benefits such as improved agility, security, performance and lower costs (both CapEx and OpEx), SD-WANs are the new hot item on the enterprise IT front.
Nevertheless, the plethora of features available from the vendors can be confusing to enterprise IT teams and many aren’t quite sure of which features they need, much less have a plan of whom to purchase the solution from and how to purchase. And there are challenges to SD-WAN uptake, including dealing with brownfield vs greenfield issues like migrating existing WAN equipment, ensuring that data and applications in the public cloud can be accommodated, and evaluating and picking from the diversity of SD-WAN vendors in the market today.
For service providers, SD-WANs represent a great opportunity to sell value-added services on top of connectivity, or a fully-managed solution. And SD-WANs as overlay technologies also enables service providers to expand into regions where they don’t own the in-ground copper or fiber today, competing purely as an OTT (over-the-top) provider.