SD-WAN has moved from being a niche use case to a vibrant and growing market opportunity for networking vendors.
According to IHS Markit's Data Center Network Equipment Market Tracker, revenue for SD-WAN, which includes appliance and control management software grew in the first quarter of 2019 by 8 percent. Among the key area of growth for SD-WAN technology are mobile and remote workers.
"Enterprises want to ensure that employees who are remote or mobile still have high levels of connectivity for SaaS-based applications," stated Josh Bancroft, senior research analyst at IHS Markit. "Application traffic is required to traverse over multiple links to ensure failover for voice and video sessions where constant connectivity is essential, such as for home office-based customer service agents or medical first responders."
Bancroft added that it is imperative for SD-WAN vendors to have compact SD-WAN appliances to seize the growing market opportunity. Additionally, IHS Markit has found that financial services organizations are rearchitecting their WANs with SD-WAN to utilize traffic-routing segmentation features.
"This ensures that traffic containing sensitive customer data is separated from other network traffic, increasing data security and aiding in demonstrating payment card industry (PCI) compliance," Bancroft said.
The big winner so far in the SD-WAN market is VMware with a 20 percent share. VMware entered the SD-WAN market in 2017 via the acquisition of VeloCloud
Coming in second is Cisco at 13 percent, which also bolstered its SD-WAN efforts via acquisition in 2017, picking up Viptela for $610 million. Rounding out the top three is Aryaka at 12 percent
There are a number of key trends that are driving the SD-WAN market forward, according to the 2019 SD-WAN Market Trends Survey from Masergy conducted in partnership with IDG Research.
The survey found that the need to optimize the network is a top objective for companies moving to SD-WAN as is the need to improve security. 46 percent of survey respondents noted that network management simplification was the top expected benefit of SD-WAN adoption.
While the SD-WAN market is growing there are still some challenges.
"The lingering skills gaps remain a top barrier to adoption, whereas concerns regarding WAN interoperability with existing WANs have receded since 2017, the report stated. "Organizations are concerned with ensuring that they have the requisite skill set available in their IT staff for successful SD-WAN implementation and management."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.