With software defined networking (SDN) already making its mark on the data center to enable cloud computing services, the focus is shifting towards wide area networks (WANs), which can be used to meet the requirements of cloud applications and services. IDC says that this shift will drive SD-WAN revenues beyond the $6 billion mark by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 90 percent over the five year forecast period. The research firm forecasts that SD-WAN revenue will start to ramp strongly in 2016 and 2017 across a range of vertical markets.
Although service providers like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have started to offer SD-WAN services as part of their SDN strategy, IDC said that SD-WAN is still a recent development that's followed the emergence of hybrid WAN architectures. The SD-WAN leverage the hybrid WANs, but incorporate a centralized, application-based policy controller, analytics for application and network visibility, a software overlay that abstracts underlying networks, and an optional SD-WAN forwarder that together provides intelligent path selection across WAN links. Enterprises and smaller businesses are finding various benefits of SD-WAN services. Among the benefits are more cost-effective delivery of business applications, meeting the evolving operational requirements of the modern branch/remote site, optimizing software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-based services such as UC&C, and improving branch-IT efficiency through automation. Release