In January of this year LookingPoint Senior Solutions Architect, Chris Marshall, wrote a blog highlighting a technology we had just started hearing more about, SD-WAN. To recap, SD-WAN is an acronym for Software Defined Wide Area Network, and is a specific application of Software Defined Networking (SDN) that simplifies WAN management and connects enterprise networks. SD-WAN provides aggregation of WAN bandwidth, centralized control and policy enforcement, and visibility into network traffic.
Gartner published their predictions, in December 2016, that spending on SD-WAN will rise from $129 million in 2016 to $1.24 billion in 2020, and in January Chris shared his predictions around SD-WAN for 2017 and the coming years:
Consolidation of SD-WAN vendors
Incumbents today without SD-WAN play (Juniper, Arista, etc.) acquiring SD-WAN startup
Smaller SD-WAN players will fall away
It seems that since January SD has taken over the industry, and not just SD-WAN, but "SD-Everything". We have SD-networking, SD-storage, SD-data center, SD-WAN, and now SD-Access, which is Cisco’s introduction of software defined networking for the access layer of campus and branch office networks.
Cisco has two SD-WAN solutions beyond the Viptela acquisition:
iWAN is Cisco’s on-premise SD-WAN offering based on existing technologies, such as DMVPN and PFR. It’s built on a foundation of 4 key pillars:
Transport-independent design: you can choose whatever combination of providers and connectivity works best for you
Intelligent path control: automatically route network traffic to the best path to make sure applications perform well
Application optimization: add WAN optimization and caching to help applications run faster
Secure connectivity: block attacks with a highly secure VPN overlay and strong encryption techniques
Meraki SD-WAN is Cisco Meraki’s SD-WAN offering compatible with the Meraki MX security appliances.
The addition of the Viptela SD-WAN solution adds a cloud based, easily deployed and centrally managed solution to the Cisco SD-WAN portfolio. Cisco’s current plan is to integrate Viptela SD-WAN into all IOS-XE platforms (ISR, CSR, ENCS, ASR1K) in the next year. There is a long-term path to integrate Viptela into Cisco’s new DNA Center, delivering and end-to-end cloud management experience to users with integrated workflows for SD-Access and SD-WAN.
Chris Marshall’s predictions from January seem to be aligned with market trends we have seen throughout 2017. In this month’s Fireside Chat Chris shares a new prediction to add to the list stating he thinks “Cisco will pivot to start pushing Viptela, and leverage their cloud based management”.