The SD-WAN Sector Is Accelerating

Carl Weinschenk
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Software-Defined Networking and the Enterprise

AT&T said today that it is working with VeloCloud to provide software-defined wide-area network (SD WAN) services to its business customers. The press release says that the carrier will offer SD-WAN in a hybrid networking scenario that can be accessed through multiple types of networking. It will be available next year.

The press release positions SD-WAN as the third iteration of its move into software-based networking. The first was software-defined networks (SDN) and the second was network functions virtualization (NFV).

The value of software-based networking is that it enables real-time, centralized control of routing and other key parameters. This can more precisely customize the networking assets and capabilities to customers’ needs, which can reduce costs without sacrificing the quality.


The market is growing quickly. Late last month, a report by IHS Markit said that the SD-WAN market will reach $1.3 billion by 2020. The represents growth of more than 90 percent annually. The growth will not be consistent, however. The firm said that there will be a slowdown until 2018, when uptake will accelerate.

In 2020, SD-WAN will be responsible for 71 percent of WAN optimization revenue.

There is a mix of old standbys and startups in the sector. Familiar names include Cisco, Juniper and Nokia. The new faces are Aryaka, Cloud Genix, Talari, TELoIP, Versa Networks, VeloCloud and Viptela.

AT&T is not the only carrier making SD-WAN news. Last week, according to CIO, EarthLink took the wraps off its own SD-WAN service. The project was described within a bigger story on Chief Information Officer and Chief Product Officer Jay Ferro, who moved to the carrier from the American Cancer Society in July. The SD-WAN enables its subscribing companies to establish and manage virtual private networks (VPNs), WAN optimization, VoIP and firewalls. It is also using VeloCloud technology.

Indeed, SD-WANs are hot. The competition will lead customers to get a lot of TLC, according to EarthLink CEO Joe Eazor:

EarthLink's SD-WAN Concierge includes a dedicated service manager and a team of EarthLink experts, who will work with each business to create and deploy routing and security policies based on real-time analytics and unique business requirements. EarthLink is also guaranteeing 100 percent uptime in its service-level agreement contracts, Eazor says.

Early this year, Viptela announced that its SD-WAN would be part of Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ Virtual Network Services portfolio. The target is Fortune 500 companies for the service. The offering is managed by Viptela. 

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

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