What does the technological landscape of 2019 hold for software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) technology solutions? Well, the 2019 horizon promises SD-WAN technological activities, advancements and challenges.
The growing popularity and usage of SD-WAN infrastructure means that it will continue to be a viable and vibrant networking setup throughout the new year.
Here are four predictions about SD-WAN technology for 2019:
1. Industry consolidation
Last year saw industry consolidation, and 2019 promises to offer more mergers and acquisitions as well. Some major companies, like Cisco and VMWare, were active in the 2018 consolidation phase and additional major corporations will likely conduct acquisitions to gain a foothold in the industry. WAN edge technologies will improve as a part of this interest (and capital).
Another result of this consolidation phase will “shake out” current SD-WAN providers who are unable to compete in this new landscape. For the consumer, this consolidation will also require them to evaluate the longevity of their current SD-WAN technology and hardware, particularly as to its feasibility going forward.
2. SD-WAN as-a-service
Look for 2019 to offer a burgeoning Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version of SD-WAN. By going with a SaaS model, the industry will move to provide better, and less congested, WAN service that moves away from dependence on WAN edge appliances.
By offering the SaaS version, SD-WAN users will experience a more fluid infrastructure utilization which should improve their overall usage. This also means that users will have to worry less about the hardware matching to accommodate their WAN needs.
3. Security as a top consideration
While most large, enterprise consumers will continue to blend the use of firewalls, physical security and encryption to help protect against data breaches, the industry as a whole will offer additional security components to further enhance the SD-WAN paradigm.
While full encryption of transmitted data is needed, additional add-on security components can be expected in 2019 to further enhance the attraction of SD-WAN technology. The physical appliances within the SD-WAN setup should also see security enhancements and upgrades as well. Network segmentation will be integrated further into the SD-WAN multi-point architecture as a security enhancement in order to also help prevent threats.
4. Wider adoption of SD-WAN technology
Indications are that 2019 will see greater enterprise adoption of SD-WAN technology. For a number of reasons, SD-WAN technology is expected to grow in its favorability. These multiple factors will help SD-WAN adoption grow.
Greater adoption will be helped by items such as:
- Improved router-centric hardware and appliances (as mentioned above)
- Ability to use SD-WAN with cloud based network provisions
- Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) providers will more than likely partner together with SD-WAN providers to deliver robust and high-quality voice services over broadband
- Additional attention will be paid to mobile development, use and integration of SD-WAN since the current mobile aspects are not seen as being very useful
- Internet of things (IoT) integration will continue to be tightly associated with SD-WAN and lead to further adoption
- SD-WAN infrastructure and components will grow in its use of machine learning and artificial intelligence
- More SD-WAN users, especially those with large, physical distances between network locales, will demand greater reliability and performance from the network set-up (this is particularly true for SD-WAN architectures built for use over the Internet)
- The advent of 5G and its higher bandwidth promise faster deployment, connectivity and overall adoption of SD-WAN technology.
In the end, 2019 looks to be another year of technological greats being achieved, including within the SD-WAN realm. It will be interesting to see how macro and micro-industry factors combine to impact SD-WAN.