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SD-WAN 2017: A Worldwide Success

With more than 450 participants (+ 80%) from 31 countries (+ 60%), the second SD-WAN Summit has earned its place as the leading event for stakeholders in this new technology.

During the first summit a year ago, it was difficult to determine what was the exact delineation of what everyone referred to as SD-WAN. The principle was simple enough: offer a WAN technology that was less costly and simpler to implement than MPLS networks. But apart from the marketing pitch, it remained difficult to identify the real stakeholders having implementable solutions. Since then, the market has structured itself with the arrival of manufacturing heavyweights (Huawei) and major acquisitions (the takeover of Viptela by Cisco).

Indeed we can clearly see the tremendous progress of this paradigm shift in the industry.

The 2017 SD-WAN Summit demonstrated that all stakeholders in SD-WAN, from vendors to managed service providers are making significant progress in offering feature-rich products and services that enterprise IT can take advantage of.
— Mike Fratto, Research Director, GlobalData

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Service providers: implementing hybrid networks

Over the past year most operators have set up a business plan of deploying the technology for their initial customers. They now seem ready to respond to the foreseeable demand from companies, the major enterprises apparently being the primary targets.

Statements by the incumbent operators (Orange, BT, Telia, Telefonica Tata, etc.) and the new players (Hub One, Jaguar Networks) have corroborated that SD-WAN is not intended to replace MPLS today. Though they use their Internet network to offer WAN services to businesses, they nonetheless keep the MPLS infrastructure to support mission critical applications. The service offered is thus identical: a hybrid network combining SD-WAN and MPLS.

The conference demonstrated that SD-WAN is going to change the enterprise WAN not because of MPLS cost reduction but rather because it powers enterprise digital transformation. SD-WAN allows for enterprise agility and seamless adoption of cloud services through a software define network approach and cloud based presence.
— Amir Zmora, The NewDialtone

Interoperability: a necessity over time

It will be interesting to see next year how much SD-WAN will reshape the overall telecom industry and wether or not it will impact the globalization of business services and service providers’ footprints.

But before reaching this level, the SD-WAN offer will have to acquire a wider scope of features in terms of security and scalability. Above all, the different offers will have to become interoperable in order to definitively win over operators and very large enterprises.

Daniel Bar Lev, speaking for the MEF, and Carsten Rossenhoevel, Managing Director of the EANTC, have clearly outlined all the progress yet to be made in this domain.

The 3rd SD-WAN Summit, to take place the 26th to 28th September 2018, will be an occasion to see just to what extend the different SD-WAN stakeholders have become aware of these imperatives.

On one hand, the Summit was confirmation of the manufacturers’ maturing the technology and focusing on use cases. On the other hand, and probably most remarkably, there was a clear message from the service providers aligning their strategies to transform their traditional IP/MPLS VPN services into SD-WAN concepts and technologies.”
— Jean-Marc Uzé, Consultant

Participants profile: 50% operators & enterprises

Figures below demonstrate that operators/ISPs/integrators counted for 32% of delegates, while enterprises represented 18%.

The 2017 Exhibition

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