SD-WAN: Moving from Proof-of-Concept to Production

As Apcela marks the halfway point of 2018, it’s becoming clear that SD-WAN services and related technologies are gaining momentum, with increasing numbers of enterprises moving from proof-of-concept to production. That’s also the view of market research firms such as Information Services Group (ISG), which notes that trends with worker mobility and the consumerization of enterprise IT are driving the most significant changes in networking they’ve seen in the market in the last 30 years.

In the recently published ISG Provider Lens™ Software-Defined Networking and Services Quadrant Report, ISG surveyed over 43 vendors on a global basis, ranging from pure-play technology vendors to tech and telecom vendors offering managed services. Among the key findings:

  • “Although still in the early stages of adoption, SD-WAN is expected to have a high take-up by enterprises that are seeking a managed service alternative to their WANs” over the next three years, according to ISG.
  • “Many enterprises have also expressed interest in using forms of managed SD-WAN as an interim solution to allow them to receive immediate benefits of SD-WAN technologies and methods, while reducing learning curves within their own enterprise,” ISG said.

How to Overcome SD-WAN Integration Challenges

The combination of both explosive growth and interest in managed SD-WAN services is not a surprise to us. In a webinar we conducted with Dr. Jim Metzler, founder and lead analyst of Ashton, Metzler & Associates, Metzler’s research found that there are still cases where enterprises are not aggressively implementing SD-WAN. A common road block: enterprises were having challenges with implementing an SD-WAN and integrating it with their existing WAN.

Typical issues included challenges in troubleshooting performance/configuration issues as well as increased complexity of operations. As noted by ISG, SD-WAN gives enterprises new options for network services, including blending of broadband, WiFi, and cellular links from different providers. This provides a number of benefits in terms of service performance, availability and cost, but management can look like a daunting task to IT ops personnel. That’s why a managed SD-WAN service is being look at by many customers – it gives enterprises the ability to more quickly leverage SD-WAN while gradually building up their own operational knowledge.

Apcela is an ideal partner for enterprises, with our history of operating high performance/low latency networks for financial services firms for many years. Our work hasn’t gone unnoticed – ISG ranked us as a Market Leader in Network Services (VAS) and a Product Challenger in its Managed SD-WAN quadrants. ISG cited Apcela’s strengths in “hybrid networks, multi-cloud and SD networking, especially in allowing smooth and accelerated application use and delivery” as factors in our ranking.

Find out more about ISG’s survey of the SD-WAN market by downloading your copy of the report here.