Blog post

Predicting SD-WAN Adoption

By Andrew Lerner | December 15, 2015 | 3 Comments

WANSD-WANNetworkingJust Published

SD-WAN is pretty hot right now, it has become that shiny new object, and vendors are cranking up the marketecture and vendorspeak. Now while it doesn’t cure all the evils in wide-area networking, and isn’t a fit for all branch scenarios, it’s still pretty cool. SD-WAN represents a simplified and cost-effective way to WAN, and that is important because most enterprise hate their WANs. Along these lines, we recently made this SD-WAN prediction: By the end of 2019, 30% of enterprises will have deployed SD-WAN technology in their branches, up from less than 1% today.

So that is a pretty dramatic uptick (I’m no math major but that’s at least 30X). The rationale behind this is that the benefits are just so darn compelling, and the insertion point of a single branch (for piloting) is quite doable. We just published an inaugural Market Guide for SDWAN to help enterprises cut thru the marketecture and create shortlist of vendors to best meet their usage scenarios. The Market Guide covers market dynamics, direction, and vendor landscape (spoiler alert; uber-fragmentation). The vendors we cover (which is not an exhaustive list) include Cisco, Citrix, CloudGenix, FatPipe, Nuage, Ocedo, SilverPeak, Talari, VeloCloud, Versa, Viptela, Infovista, Riverbed, and Sonus.  A few snippets from the report:

  • Enterprises are only in very early stages of piloting or implementing smaller production deployments (bleeding edge).
  • The market is evolving quickly with multiple vendors entering the market, including large networking vendors, focused WAN specialists and startups.
  • This market will experience both vendor expansion and contraction for the next five years.
  • Many of the concepts underpinning SD-WAN (such as encryption, path control, overlay networks and subscription-based pricing) are not new. However, SD-WAN essentially wraps these technologies together, and presents them to enterprises as a new integrated offering.
  • Solutions need greater comprehensive functional support, broader support of edge devices, integration with both WAN services and cloud services, and proven scalability in larger-scale deployments (i.e., more than just a few hundred sites up to 1,000-plus on a global scale). Hint: Ask for reference customers.

Regards, Andrew

Full research details: Market Guide for Software-Defined WAN

Summary: We evaluate the emerging SD-WAN market as well as a selection of representative vendors with commercially available SD-WAN solutions. Network managers and architects can use this research to create a shortlist of vendors to engage with when seeking an SD-WAN solution

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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  • Great article and we’ve been doing several SD-WAN solutions over the last year.

  • Great article and we’ve been doing several SD-WAN solutions over the last year.

  • Haresh Rane says:

    Great to see early acknowledgement by Gartner of SD-WAN market. Unitedgrids has been instrumental in providing consulting and transformation services to large number of corporation throughout Europe, read more at