Cisco tops SD-WAN infrastructure market, according to IDC research

Cisco is holding down the largest share of the SD-WAN infrastructure market, followed by VMware, Silver Peak, Nuage Networks and Riverbed, according to International Data Corporation's research.

IDC's Market Share and Forecast reports draw a bead on the SD-WAN infrastructure market, which is comprised of both the hardware and software that are used in SD-WAN deployments.

Source: IDC 2018

Fueled by its router deployments and various SD-WAN offerings, Cisco had the largest market share of the SD-WAN infrastructure market. Cisco has various flavors of SD-WAN offerings, with the primary one being powered by its 2017 purchase of Viptela. Cisco also has SD-WAN across its Meraki business portfolio and its IWAN SD-WAN service.

Along the same lines, VMware's SD-WAN fortunes are due to its acquisition of VeloCloud two years ago. Both Cisco and VMware are actively integrating Viptela and VeloCloud across their business portfolios.

On a macro level, IDC's research said the enterprise networking market for SD-WAN infrastructure will grow at a 31% compound annual growth (CAGR) rate from this year to 2023 to reach $5.25 billion.

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"SD-WAN continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the network infrastructure market, driven by a variety of factors," said IDC's Rohit Mehra vice president, Network Infrastructure, in a statement. "First, traditional enterprise WANs are increasingly not meeting the needs of today's modern digital businesses, especially as it relates to supporting SaaS apps and multi- and hybrid-cloud usage. Second, enterprises are interested in easier management of multiple connection types across their WAN to improve application performance and end-user experience.

"Combined with the rapid embrace of SD-WAN by leading communications service providers globally, these trends continue to drive deployments of SD-WAN, providing enterprises with dynamic management of hybrid WAN connections and the ability to guarantee high levels of quality of service on a per-application basis."

The SD-WAN infrastructure market remains highly competitive, with sales increasing 65% last year to $1.37 billion, according to IDC.

While IDC's reports focus on infrastructure SD-WAN services, managed SD-WAN services, which include set-up and operational support, are poised to grow as well.

According to Vertical Systems Group, carrier-grade managed SD-WAN services in the U.S. increased in the second half of last year to the tune of more than $282 million in revenue. Vertical Systems Group expects network operators to further ramp up their managed SD-WAN offerings this year.