Deciphering the SD-WAN buzz and predictions


We were excited to participate in the November MEF 17 conference in Orlando, one of the industry’s most informative service provider events of the year. There is a lot of buzz and interest in managed SD-WAN services. It was a key focus area of MEF’s new SD-WAN initiatives and for this year’s conference agenda.

Silver Peak Founder and CEO David Hughes delivered a CEO perspective: “SD-WAN From Software-Defined to Self-Driving.” David presented a vision for how SD-WAN technologies that leverage AI and automation can further accelerate the development of managed, customized SD-WAN services. David’s presentation also explored the future of SD-WAN and its impact on the broader software defined networking space.

SD-WAN adoption is sky-rocketing and recent industry analyst forecasts continue to shine a bright light on the growth potential of managed SD-WAN services and SD-WAN technology. For example, Frost & Sullivan predicts a growth in global managed SD-WAN services will accelerate from $700 million in 2017 to $3 billion by the year 2022.

Masergy is already delivering a new generation of managed tiered SD-WAN services to their enterprise customers by employing the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnectSP SD-WAN solution. “SD-WAN can make your network more agile with centralized control and management. A managed SD-WAN solution lets organizations more rapidly deploy new sites, optimize application performance and support bandwidth-hungry applications,” said Masergy CTO Tim Naramore.

NTT Communications’ new turnkey global managed SD-WAN service masks deployment complexity so globally distributed organizations can quickly reap business value and benefit without exposure to the risk of either rolling their own or having to cobble together a network comprising multiple regional providers. Support in 190 countries is quite impressive, but it’s the value-added features such as connectivity flexibility, security, application optimization, and analytics that will enable NTT Communications’ customers to use its managed SD-WAN services as the foundation for digital transformation.

So, what else can service providers expect from their SD-WAN technology partners in the next few years when it comes to developing tiered managed SD-WAN services and enabling their enterprise customer’s path towards digital transformation?

Service providers adopting SDN/NFV and SD-WAN technology solutions are also transforming their network infrastructure and service delivery by leveraging virtualization technologies, which is in turn driving a fundamental rethink of their network and security architectures.

Do service providers leverage innovations in SD-WAN technologies to develop customer/application-centric services vs. a function-based service? David’s MEF presentation looked at how automation, AI and machine learning are coming together to enable the self-driving networks of the future, translating high-level business intent into action.

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