Spring 2018 Optical Connections Magazine


SD-WANs play a key role in network evolution as telcos and service providers address cloud and digital transformation demands. Antony Savvas looks at how this market is evolving.

“cannibalising” their profitable MPLS oerings and start pushing the benefits of SD-WAN more. But with smaller providers already making a dash for the SD-WAN market, the bigger players are showing signs of following them. NEWENTRANTS A good illustration of how new players are also entering the market is VMware’s acquisition last year of early SD-WAN services player VeloCloud, which supported a number of MSPs (managed service providers) and enterprises in setting up software-defined networks. VeloCloud will enable VMware to build up sales of its network virtualisation platform VMware NSX, and expand its networking portfolio to address end-to- end automation, application continuity, branch transformation and security from data centres to the cloud and the edge. customers, both directly by enterprises and by telcos and managed service providers serving enterprise customers. VeloCloud service providers include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Macquarie Telecom, MetTel, Mitel, Sprint, TelePacific, Telstra, Vonage and Windstream. “In the digital era a new networking approach is required to solve the hyper distribution of applications and data, as we move from a model of data centres to one of centres of data at the edge,” says Pat Gelsinger, chief executive ocer, VMware. “With the addition of VeloCloud we will be able to extend the VMware NSX approach of automated, secure and infrastructure- independent networking to the WAN.” VeloCloud SD-WAN technology is deployed globally by over 1,000

S oftware-defined Wide based intelligence that monitors, analyses and controls the network, to allow end users to mix and match dierent forms of connectivity, such as MPLS, the internet, Ethernet and wireless services. Organisations are turning to SD-WANs to improve access to both the cloud and their corporate network. They can use the technology to assign and manage application policies across multiple sites and scale bandwidth up or down as required from a central point. This flexible orchestration allows organisations to make their networks more agile, which means they can respond quicker to changing business conditions by, for instance, easily connecting to a new business partner or opening a new remote site. And, crucially, SD-WANs make it possible for enterprises to build enterprise-grade networks over commodity broadband internet connections. In the past, Area Networks (SD-WANs) build on hybrid network architectures that have been rising in popularity for years, but they add centralised software-

companies had little choice other than to buy more expensive MPLS networks or leased lines from telecoms suppliers to link their oces and data centres. “SD-WANs have emerged as one of the hottest topics in the networking industry,” says Jan Hein Bakkers, an analyst at IDC. “They will become one of the key building blocks of network evolution, driving the flexibility, manageability, scalability and cost eectiveness that organisations require in their balancing act between rapidly growing requirements and much flatter budgets.” BIGMONEY IDC estimates that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and reach $8.05bn between now and 2021. The most significant driver of SD-WAN growth, says IDC, will be digital transformation, with enterprises deploying “3rd Platform” technologies like cloud, big data and analytics and mobility, all of which need eective and flexible data management.

For the SD-WAN market to really go forward in a big way though, the big telecoms firms will have to start


| ISSUE 12 | Q1 2018


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