SD-WAN – The New Backbone of the Enterprise

by Erik Larsson

Enterprises are rapidly modernizing their networks by adopting a new technology called Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN). The goal is to connect different enterprise sites using commercial Internet access while ensuring business-class, secure and simple cloud-enabled connectivity at a lower cost than traditional WAN.

SD-WAN – The market is booming!

All areas of the SD-WAN market are growing: hardware appliances, software and managed services. SD-WAN is becoming the "backbone of the enterprise," according to IDC, who sees the SD-WAN market growing at a 40.4 percent compound annual growth rate and forecasts that it will represent $4.5 billion by 2022.

This is supported by a recent report from IHS Markit, which states that in the fourth quarter of 2018 the SD-WAN market grew 26 percent from the previous quarter to reach $359 million.

Gartner predicts that this growth will continue, with over 30 percent of companies adopting SD-WAN by the end of 2019, driven by promises of cost-savings and performance improvements.

Why are enterprises moving to SD-WAN?

As network architectures become increasingly software-based, the benefits of SD-WAN solutions become more evident to enterprises, who can improve application performance, simplify networks and reduce the cost of maintaining technology in remote locations. Technical trends such as digital transformation (network virtualization, big data, and mobility), and the continuing rise of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications (MS Office 365, etc.) are paving the way for adoption of SD-WAN.

SD-WAN also delivers more flexibility and better economics than traditional WANs, leading to cost savings of up to 50 percent. One of the ways to reduce costs is through the use of universal Customer Premise Equipment (uCPE), which allows enterprises to consolidate networking functions such as reporting, security and traffic routing onto a single piece of independent, standardized, white box hardware.

What Enea software is used in SD-WAN?

Enea offers two products for the SD-WAN market: Qosmos ixEngine and Enea NFV Access. See figure below.

SD-WAN solution from Enea

Qosmos ixEngine

SD-WAN solutions need built-in detailed, real-time understanding of network traffic. Enea's Qosmos ixEngine provides this application visibility and traffic intelligence through DPI-based traffic analysis and classification, which is used as input for higher-level functions such as traffic routing, quality of service, cybersecurity, and reporting. Qosmos technology is already the de facto industry-standard for DPI and IP classification software, and Qosmos ixEngine is embedded in two out of the three top SD-WAN solutions. We are the first choice for SD-WAN specialists looking to raise the performance of their solutions through more accurate and detailed network visibility.

Enea NFV Access

Enea NFV Access is a software platform that provides virtualization for uCPE equipment running SD-WAN functions. Enea's experience in providing operating systems for the most demanding environments means that we are able to meet the many challenges of the network edge. Enea NFV Access has been developed as a high-performance, virtualization platform that is perfectly suited for uCPE and SD-WAN.

The bottom line

SD-WAN is a transformational trend in enterprise networking, bringing many advantages in terms of cost, performance and optimization of resources. Enea's technologies enable SD-WAN solution vendors to take full advantage of the potential of this new, virtualized approach to enterprise networking!

Erik Larsson, Enea

Erik Larsson, Enea