The 3 Stages of SD-WAN Adoption

High expectations surround Software-Defined WANs (SD-WANs).  Since the technology first emerged, it's taken a while for actual adoption to live up to the billing. Between 2017 and 2018, uptake of SD-WAN solutions crossed the Rubicon, from the domain of early adopters to the territory of mainstream customers.  Melding SD-WAN hard and soft dollar efficiencies using the Internet combined with existing MPLS services makes a powerful 1-2 combination for supporting real-time and TCP apps, whether enterprise site-to-site, or site-to-cloud.

A Dickens' view of SD-WAN past, present and future

In Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," the protagonist is visited by a series of ghosts, each giving him a look at pivotal life moments in his past, present and future. Let's apply this storyline, but substitute the prospective SD-WAN buyer as the main character to see how adoption changes over time:


Gartner identified 2014 as the year when commercial SD-WAN technology first took clear shape, describing it as SDN hitting the WAN. Organizations in North America led the early movement, with particularly strong uptake among highly distributed companies in the finance and retail sectors. By 2017, Gartner estimated there were at least 6,000 paying SD-WAN customers and 4,000 production implementations.


In 2018, many more enterprise trials and pilots began, leading into the current environment where mainstream adoption has taken off.  EMA's Network Management Trends 2018 report found SD-WAN as a top five priority for network teams, identified by 36 percent of respondents.  This is a significant increase of interest from the previous survey. IHS Markit has also estimated that worldwide SD-WAN revenue increased 12 percent between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, to $162.1 million.


The ongoing shift to cloud-based applications means the case for SD-WAN gets stronger every year. Failsafe SD-WAN solutions leveraging imperfect but inexpensive Internet links is ideal for handling the traffic flows of everything from Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365 to hosted VoIP and unified communications.  These offerings are in stark contrast to the traditional branch architecture built predominantly around using low-bandwidth, expensive MPLS links.

In other words, failsafe SD-WANs are being adopted not only for the associated cost savings (primarily from leveraging inexpensive broadband to augment or replace MPLS connections) and easier network management benefits, but increasingly for the upgrade in network performance, predictability and QoE, too.  Failsafe SD-WANs offer businesses fault-tolerance to ensure WAN uptime and QoE for SaaS and cloud services, delivering SD-WAN's benefits without having to compromise on quality  of connectivity or end user experience.

More and more of our growing list of SD-WAN customers see reliable cloud connectivity, without compromise or hassle, as essential to the future of their organizations.  Learning from past and present stages, and seeing the future, Talari Networks' failsafe SD-WAN solutions, provide that no-compromise secure site-to-site and site-to-cloud connectivity with high availability and high QoE. Learn more by requesting a demo.

Categories: Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN)

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