For detailed SD-WAN Vendor and Open Source comparisons, checkout the Virtual Edge Expanding: The 2016 SD-WAN and vCPE Report also available as PDF Download
SD-WAN vs iWAN
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is a specific application of software-defined networking (SDN) technology applied to WAN connections, which are used to connect enterprise networks – including branch offices and data centers – over large geographic distances.
Intelligent WAN (iWAN) is the name of Cisco’s SD-WAN product that was built from an existing Cisco product (also called iWAN). Cisco’s iWAN provides traffic control and security features for the WAN that has been integrated into Cisco branch-office routers. Cisco says its iWAN product provides customers with capabilities similar to MPLS VPN, such as quality of service, WAN optimization, and VPN tunneling.
Some of Cisco’s service provider customers have deployed iWAN as their SD-WAN solution. Those customers include Verizon, British Telecom, Orange Business Services, Vodafone, Telstra and SFR. Verizon, which deployed Cisco’s iWAN SD-WAN product in 2015, says it is using iWAN to provide enterprise customers with a platform that lets them use the intelligent path control to select alternative network connections so they get lower operational costs.
Enterprises are increasingly looking at SD-WAN as a way to decrease the number of physical devices required to support applications as well as reduce the cost of maintaining technology deployed in branch locations.
Growth in SD-WAN
Gartner predicts that by the end of 2019, 30 percent of enterprises will have deployed SD-WAN in their branch locations. And International Data Corp (IDC) estimates that worldwide SD-WAN revenues will exceed $6 billion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 90 percent over the 2015-2020 timeframe.