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SD-WAN players braced for market lift-off

The second half of this year and 2019 are expected to be big for those selling SD-WAN technology and related services

The main players in the SD-WAN market are already seeing an increased demand for the technology from customers but are bracing themselves for much more of a market take-off from the second half of this year.

The technology has been going through the usual hype cycle but has been gathering momentum and has become an important part of digital transformation discussions that partners are having with their customers.

Giovanni Di Filippo, vice president EMEA channels and sales at Riverbed, said that it was looking for more uplift later this year.

"Last year we saw an acceleration and we believe 2018 in the second half and then going into 2019 will be the breakthrough," he said.

He added that that timeline fitted in with the messages coming out of the major analyst houses that were also tracking the growth of the market.

"There is old legacy infrastructure that has to be replaced and the next generation is software defined," he added.

Kristian Thyregod, vice president for the EMEA at Silver Peak, said that it had also seen an increase in the demand for SD-WAN and expected that momentum would continue to gather pace.

"We have already seen several quarters back that the balance shifted in a majority of SD-WAN," he added that it was highlighting the services opportunities that were out there for partners.

The metaphor used by Atchison Frazer, head of worldwide marketing at Talari Networks, to describe the SD-WAN customer adoption was to comment that it was well past the half and hour mark in a football game and already a couple of goals had been scored.

He said that it had already delivered its best quarter for growth at the end of last year thanks to the growing demand for SD-WAN and that trend had carried over into 2018.

"A number of things are driving the growth. There is the digital transformation movement and if you are running a lot of SaaS apps at the edge then reliability then becomes extremely important," he said.

He added that the pressure to maintain app performance, particularly in a distributed branch office environment, was forcing customers to look at their infrastructure.

"All of that is creating more of a last mile congestion problem on the legacy WAN. if you are getting all the bandwidth that's available you might only be getting 30%," he said.

All of the vendors are looking to the channel to help them take advantage of that expected growth with Riverbed having just cut the ribbon on a fresh partner programme, Silver Peak opting to bolster its local management and support and Talari also looking to expand its indirect base.

Virgin Media Business and Versa Networks

The two firms have formed a partnership to enable the carrier to deliver Versa Network's SD-WAN services. Virgin Media Business will use the vendor's cloud IP platform to provide managed secure SD-WAN services.

“SD-WAN is turning corporate IT on its head; enabling the IT to respond to the business needs rather than the business responding to what the IT can deliver,” said Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business.

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