cloud_securitySD-WAN will grow 200% year-over-year, according to a new report from SD-WAN provider Cato Networks. Additionally, identified SD-WAN success factors include simplification for connectivity, security, and the cloud, all of which are major themes for WAN transformation in 2018.

The need for network simplicity is one of the major issues for today’s wide area networks (WAN), according to Gartner’s “Avoid These ‘Bottom 10’ Networking Worst Practices.” Gartner analysts Andrew Lerner, Bill Menezes, Vivek Bhalla, and Danellie Young wrote: “Senior leaders regularly complain to Gartner about the complexity within network infrastructures (“…it’s brittle and feels like a science project”)…In essence, complexity is the enemy of availability, security and agility.”

The Cato Networks report points out that simplification of network and security architectures are essential for SD-WAN success:

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  • Half of the respondents indicated simplifying the network or their security infrastructure will be primary use cases for SD-WAN in 2018.
  • A quarter of respondents planning to deploy SD-WAN indicated “additional complexity” as a primary barrier to further investment.
  • Respondents had complexity concerns with both SD-WAN vendors and providers. Overall, 30% say SD-WAN appliances are too complex followed by SD-WAN services (23%).

The Cato Networks report added that advanced network security and cloud integration will play a significant role in the selection of SD-WAN solutions:

  • 81% of those respondents actively planning an SD-WAN deployment in the next 12 months identify “protecting locations and the site-to-site connections from malware and other threats” as a “critical” or “very important” priority in their SD-WAN decision making.
  • Overall, more than three-quarters of respondents (78%) ranked improving cloud or Internet performance as a “critical” or “very important” SD-WAN priority.
  • Cloud data center-WAN integration was the third most popular primary use case for the next 12 months.
  • Microsoft Office 365 was the most popular cloud application (75% of respondents) followed by Salesforce.com (30% of respondents).
  • Microsoft Azure was the most popular cloud data center service (70% of respondents) followed by Amazon AWS (53%), Google Cloud (12%), and Alibaba Cloud Compute Services (1%).

Image courtesy of flickr user Blue Coat Photos.

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