Frost & Sullivan Global Survey Reveals Enterprises Deploying SD-WAN Plan to Replace Branch Routers

69 percent of US respondents say they will replace branch routers with an SD-WAN appliance; cloud security gains increasing appeal and WAN optimization remains critical for enterprises

SANTA CLARA, Calif., August 22, 2018 – Frost & Sullivan announced today the findings of a recent global end-user market survey sponsored by Silver Peak® that offers insights into enterprise IT decision makers’ current mindset regarding SD-WAN market trends and their impact on enterprise WAN architectures. In addition to respondents planning to replace existing branch routers with an SD-WAN appliance that supports routing functionality, 73 percent of US and 61 percent of global respondents indicated they plan to service chain cloud-based security services with their SD-WAN solution. And, despite all the hype about SD-WAN making WAN optimization redundant, 67 percent of US respondents want WAN optimization as an integrated function with SD-WAN. The global web-based survey included responses from 850 individual companies across five industries and spanned eight key countries around the world.

The survey results affirmed that SD-WAN is a high technology priority for enterprises, with 85 percent of global respondents underscoring that their top business driver is to deliver an improved customer experience, which ultimately leads to positive top- and bottom-line growth. Thirty-three percent of surveyed companies have either already deployed an SD-WAN solution or have a deployment underway, and 61 percent will deploy SD-WAN in the next 12-24 months with banking and financial services companies holding the greatest potential for deployment in that time frame.

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“Hybrid cloud services, network and application security, and SD-WAN are the top three technology trends of priority to businesses in the next 12-24 months,” explained Roopa Honnachari, Business Communication Services & Cloud Computing Services Industry Director at Frost & Sullivan. “This is not surprising as these three priorities are intertwined and directly support the top business driver of improving the overall customer experience. What was surprising is the businesses’ mindset regarding various WAN functions while evaluating SD-WAN, especially their intent to replace CPE routers with an SD-WAN appliance with integrated routing functionality.”

“As global companies adopt SD-WAN, they are shifting from a device-centric WAN model toward a business-first model that ensures resiliency and business continuity while delivering superior WAN and application performance,” said John Vincenzo, Senior Vice President and CMO at Silver Peak. “This global survey confirms that enterprises are seeking not only to integrate network functions at the WAN edge but that they are also demanding centralized cloud-based network management from their SD-WAN vendor. The survey findings also affirm what we’re hearing from our more than 1,000 customers, which tightly aligns to our vision to power a self-driving wide-area network that not only unifies key functions, including routing, security and WAN optimization, but continuously learns and adapts to changing business requirements.”

Key highlights from the global SD-WAN survey include:

  • Survey results indicate both US and global enterprise IT decision makers are looking to embrace SD-WAN appliances with integrated routing and WAN optimization functions while keeping existing CPE-based solutions at other sites until maintenance contracts expire.
  • Conclusions also indicate that both US and global respondents are looking to embrace cloud-based security services supported by the SD-WAN vendor to retire or augment CPE-based firewall solutions at different company sites. 61 percent of global respondents that have deployed SD-WAN currently use cloud-based security services and plan to service chain together with their SD-WAN solution.
  • An overarching number of US and global respondents indicated WAN optimization is critical for them; 67 percent of US respondents would like it to be integrated with SD-WAN.
  • Seventy-five percent of US and 58 percent of global enterprises indicated cloud-based network management is their top criteria during the SD-WAN vendor selection process. With SD-WAN, enterprises have the choice to deploy the network management/orchestration tool in their own data center or host it in the cloud.
  • US and global respondents ranked ensuring resiliency and business continuity with the ability to move from a router-centric WAN architecture to an application-centric WAN architecture with centralized management as the top benefits IT decision makers expect to realize from their SD-WAN solution deployments.

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