Author: John Burke, CIO & Principal Research Analyst
SD-WAN is rapidly reshaping the WAN landscape and the enterprise’s idea of what a WAN should be and can be. More than 40% of organizations participating in Nemertes Research’s WAN Economics and SD-WAN: 2018-19 Research Study have begun to deploy. One factor accelerating adoption is the rapid profusion of managed solutions. While 69.9% deploy a do-it-yourself (DIY) solution, acquiring and operating the SD-WAN gear themselves, already 30.1% use a managed SD-WAN service, most of which deliver some SD-WAN functionality via the providers own service cloud. This represents a huge jump in SD-WAN service adoption in a short time.
Driving this rapid rise in in-net adoption are the spreading availability of solutions from all major service providers, as well increasing preference for as-a-service-based consumption in general. More organizations are also aware of the “provider sprawl” issue—the cost and complexity that come with proliferation of last-mile connectivity providers in an SD-WAN. And, interest is increasing in integrating exchange-based cloud connectivity into the SD- WAN seamlessly. Add to these the operational, agility, scale, flexibility, and security benefits that can come with in-net SD-WAN and a “stack in the cloud” and the momentum of in-net offerings makes sense.
Everyone deploying SD-WAN expects to get improvements in WAN availability and stability: they are foundational promises of the technology. Unsurprisingly, the differences are stark when comparing the overall experience (including a great many organizations just beginning their transitions) with that of those nearing the end of deployment (having 90% or more of their sites converted to SD-WAN). Somewhat more surprising, though, is the dramatic difference between DIY and in-net experiences within the 90%+ group: In-Net services are providing a substantially better experience, resulting better than 90% reductions in overall downtime and in average outage duration.
IT professionals should:
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