Software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) has been making big headlines lately as the next frontier for enterprise networking and a better approach to handling the high-bandwidth requirements of the modern workplace, including the increasing adoption of cloud-based applications for information technologies (IT) and unified communications and collaboration (UC&C).
SD-WAN technology promises not only to simplify branch office networking and the delivery of WAN services, but also touts application performance improvements and lower costs compared to traditional and less flexible network techniques such as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Internet Virtual Private Networking (VPN).
Research firm IDC is watching this market develop and estimates that SD-WAN revenues worldwide will surpass $6 billion in 2020, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate or CAGR of 90% over 2015-2020. IDC cites a recent U.S. survey that shows as many as half of enterprises will consider a migration to SD-WAN over the next two years. Gartner also weighs in, predicting that 30% of enterprises will actually deploy SD-WAN technology in their branch offices by the end of 2019.
The SD-WAN Approach
We turned to Chris Cameron, President of Accent, for his expertise on the SD-WAN approach and its benefits, particularly as these relate to cloud-delivered telephony and unified communications. Ohio-based Accent is a national provider of telecommunications services and solutions, including cloud telephony services based primarily on either Zultys or ShoreTel technologies depending on customer needs. About a year ago, the company began beta testing cloud-based SD-WAN technology powered by VeloCloud, and in early 2016, rolled this out to customers as an alternative to using more expensive MPLS for delivery of its VoiceOne business communications cloud offering.
What is SD-WAN in simple terms?
In simplified terms, SD-WAN is a cloud-based software-defined networking technique that utilizes the public Internet to connect geographically-dispersed sites within an enterprise network, including branch offices. Unlike earlier WAN technology that typically involves fixed circuits and proprietary hardware, SD-WAN virtualizes the network control and moves it to the