Nokia’s Nuage Networks is an amazing position to help us determine the trends in the communications market. They understand the carrier and enterprise spaces and have a long heritage selling solutions in the market.
In addition, as a European provider, they bring additional flavor to their insights- with a deep understanding of global trends, needs and desires.
To that end, we are thrilled to have an exclusive set of 2020 SD-WAN predictions from Sunil Khandekar, CEO, Nokia’s Nuage Networks:
SD-WAN will predominantly be a managed service, not DIY:
- Enterprises care about control, visibility, and end-to-end security. They want to control how branches get connected to each other and the apps in the cloud. They care about the ability to have greater insight, understand what apps are being used and know when there are security issues. While this translates to a requirement for SD-WAN to be self-service it does not equate to it being self-managed.
- Prior to 2019, a fair number of North American enterprises, and a lesser % in other regions, went the “do-it-yourself” route. We saw a shift starting in 2019 wherein enterprises started to opt for managed services and a simultaneous rise in interest for self-service. Enterprises would rather focus on their core business and have a single throat to choke and make one call no matter what the problem is or where in the world that branch might be.
SD-WAN will evolve into a strategic network innovation platform:
- Although it started as a tactical, cost-saving platform using the broadband Internet to replace expensive MPLS circuits, SD-WAN has now matured. In 2020 the SD-WAN market will continue to move beyond tactical cost savings to a more strategic network innovation platform that is at the heart of the enterprise DX journey.
- Pure play SD-WAN (as opposed to bolt-on capabilities to existing routers or other branch appliances such as WAN-opt or Firewall and claiming SD-WAN) allows enterprises to not only connect branches together automatically and securely, but grants the ability for Enterprises to provide the same secure and automated connectivity from any branch to any cloud, private, public or SaaS. Additionally, Enterprises can avail value-added services either in the branch or from the cloud.
- Likewise, security will also have to be tightly linked to any SD-WAN service. It’s clear that SaaS, public cloud and local Internet breakout at the branch makes traditional appliance-based perimeter firewalls insufficient. But where and how the additional security is provided will vary based on the enterprise situation – options include embedded in the branch gateway or running as a virtual network function in the branch or somewhere in the (Telco) cloud, or a combination of all. SD-WAN solution that can provide a unified virtualization and policy enforcement spanning Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC) to SD-WAN branch to SaaS/Cloud becomes critically important to supporting this new integrated network security architecture, which Gartner has denoted the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
- Vendor consolidation in SD-WAN market is overdue and this will occur as we start to see the above predictions come to fruition. There are currently 60 plus vendors with ‘SD-WAN’ solutions, many of them adding basic SD-WAN features to legacy products such as WAN optimization and firewall appliances and branch routers. Essentially, SD-WAN is a shiny new thing that everyone has taken and painted their legacy appliances with and called it “SD-WAN”, which has created confusion. Unfortunately, enterprises have to sort through all of this to find an SD-WAN solution that truly meets their evolved needs. Once they view it through the lens of a network innovation platform though, the true SD-WAN vendors will hold the spotlight.
- Overall, it’s about creating a platform that helps enterprises connect users to their applications anywhere, in any cloud and aligning IT with the business needs. SD-WAN solutions need a fundamentally sound, modern, purpose-built architecture for this to work properly in the long run. Over time, solutions that are lacking these attributes will limit an enterprise’s ability to deliver what the business needs and will have to be replaced.
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