The Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) Market in 2022

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A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) virtually connects a company’s various locations and endpoints.

As a virtual WAN network, its architecture enables enterprises to use various data transportation solutions, like the cloud and LTE broadband, to connect employees to apps and platforms.

See below to learn about the global SD-WAN market:

See more: The Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Market

SD-WAN market

The estimated value of the SD-WAN market in 2020 was $1.9 billion. It is expected to increase to about $12 billion by 2026, following an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.07% over the forecast period from 2021 to 2026.

Several geographic regions are driving growth in the SD-WAN market:

  • The North American region holds 76% of the global SD-WAN market in 2022
  • The European market is estimated to follow a 32.8% CAGR over the period from 2020 to 2026
  • The Asia-Pacific market was valued at $150 million in 2019, and it’s estimated to maintain a CAGR of over 60% over the period from 2020 to 2026
  • China, Japan, and South Korea held over half of the Asia-Pacific SD-WAN market in 2019

Industry-wise, the retail sector is the primary driver of the SD-WAN market is Asia-Pacific. Other industries heavily involved in the industry include:

  • Banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI)
  • Health care
  • IT and telecommunication
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

SD-WAN features

As an abstract network structure, SD-WANs are divided into the control plane and forwarding plane in communication. An SD-WAN’s architecture is based on three primary components.

The SD-WAN edge

The edges of an SD-WAN represent its endpoints. The parts it is meant to connect can include anything from branch and remote offices, data centers, and cloud platforms.

The SD-WAN orchestrator

The orchestrator of the network is its virtual manager. This part oversees all traffic and data flow throughout the network. It’s also responsible for applying policies and protocols applied by the network’s admins.

The SD-WAN controller

The controller portion of the network centralizes its management. It operates full control through a single pane of glass, enabling them to set the policies and protocols for the orchestrator.

SD-WAN architecture varies depending on how and where it is deployed.

On-premises SD-WAN

An on-premises SD-WAN is the ideal solution for highly sensitive information that can’t be transported over the internet. It requires all hardware to be available on-site and grants network operations direct and easy access to the various components.

Cloud-based SD-WAN

When cloud-enabled, SD-WAN architectures are more accessible to a wider range of users. This type is also easier to integrate with third-party and cloud-native apps over the internet.

Hybrid SD-WAN

Hybrid models are cloud-enabled SD-WAN architecture with an on-premises backbone. This type enables enterprises to keep a backup offline and switch seamlessly between online and offline communication, depending on network traffic and capacity.

SD-WAN benefits

Enterprises that demand seamless connectivity while maintaining efficient operations and management benefit from having an SD-WAN architecture in place, regardless of the deployment type.

Some SD-WAN benefits include:

  • Boosts network security
  • Reduces the costs and complexity of network management
  • Reduces workload on IT staff with centralized management
  • Provides full visibility and access into the network
  • Increases bandwidth without the added cost

“The software-defined wide area network can have a vast impact on business processes and ultimately the bottom line,” says Business Insider Africa on the flexibility of SD-WAN for businesses.

“Network connectivity has to be treated like the pillar on which your business’s agile work environment is built. Using an SD-WAN solution, your organization will not just prepare itself for the future, but even enjoy a lot of new skills. It will offer excellent ROI.”

SD-WAN use cases

Here are some examples of how different types of organizations are using SD-WAN solutions to help manage their expanding networks:

McLaren Racing

McLaren Racing is a British Formula One racing team. 

Modern car racing relies heavily upon data analytics. Each car on the track provides a large amount of data every second that needs to be taken into consideration. Partnering with NTT Communications and Versa Networks, McLaren was able to use SD-WAN services for reliable high-speed data transfer.

“Because SD-WAN offers us more control over data flows during critical moments, it gives us an edge,” says Zak Brown, executive director, McLaren Technology Group.

“I also think it proves the willingness of our technology partners to deliver, to bring their expertise to the part, with the ultimate goal of driving the team faster.”

Versa Network’s SD-WAN solution enabled McLaren Racing to transfer over 11 billion data points per second, achieve zero downtimes, and gain centralized control.

Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects is an architecture and design firm based in London. The firm was estimated to be worth over $130 million in 2020 thanks to multiple construction contracts.

Working with clients from a wide variety of regions around the globe, employees at Zaha Hadid Architects were having trouble connecting to their site-to-site virtual private network (VPN) solution, which would significantly slow down their applications.

Partnering with Aryaka, the architecture firm needed a solution to improve its online connections in general and communication with China in particular.

“Hong Kong office is now able to work much more effectively with the U.K. office, whereas this was not possible at all due to performance before Aryaka,” says Dane Hawkins, infrastructure architect, Zaha Hadid Architects.

“Our users regularly deal with large files that when accessed on demand monopolize the link and are slow to open. Aryaka has greatly alleviated this.”

The firm estimates savings between 25%-50% since network deployment and the ability to support 25% more end users.

Take-Two Interactive Software

Take-Two Interactive Software is a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Based in New York City, the company publishes its work under the brands Rockstar Games and 2K.

After setting up a company-wide VPN using the public internet, its internal network performance was inconsistent, inefficient, and unreliable. It ended up consulting and working with SD-WAN-Experts to implement a network infrastructure that meets its current demands in addition to being highly scalable.

“SD-WAN-Experts are extremely proud of what they do, and aside from the immense knowledge they offer, SD-WAN-Experts took the time to really understand our business, knowing that each business unit is very unique,” says Frank Cupo, senior director of global corporate infrastructure, Take-Two Interactive Software.

“The SD-WAN-Experts team diligently removed all of the complexities associated with choosing a network provider and ultimately led us to the one that works best for us.”

As a result, Take-Two’s network is faster, more reliable, and operates with no delays. It’s now able to transfer large amounts of data across the world with no issue. 

SD-WAN providers

Some of the leading players in the SD-WAN market include:

  • Cisco
  • Fortinet
  • HPE
  • VMware
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Versa Networks
  • Aryaka
  • Juniper Networks
  • Open Systems
  • 128 Technology

See more: The Storage Area Network (SAN) Market

Anina Ot
Anina Ot
Anina Ot is a contributor to Enterprise Storage Forum and Datamation. She worked in online tech support before becoming a technology writer, and has authored more than 400 articles about cybersecurity, privacy, cloud computing, data science, and other topics. Anina is a digital nomad currently based in Turkey.

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