This is the year of SD-WAN. With the rising demand for secure, robust state-of-the-art and cost-effective technology by the corporates, networking companies have been offering virtualized WAN and end-to-end cloud-based provisioning. Many such corporates have already replaced their static MPLS networks and shifting base to Software Defined WANs. This will continue to happen and although MPLS will not cease to exist completely, a number of Hybrid WANs (integration of the existing MPLS network with optimized WANs) will be seen.
The use of Hybrid WAN proves to be quite useful because it allows the Engineers to dedicate lines to direct traffic depending upon their priorities while being economically practical through and through.
The Global Market Scenario
It is really interesting to see the number of companies stepping into this space – incumbents, startups, alternative suppliers. While SD-WAN as a feature set is well known, and more than 20 companies built solutions in this space, the real market shift is that SD-WAN will disrupt the networking market like the cloud disrupted the IT compute and storage market. Networking will be dominated by nimble software innovators, rather than custom hardware solutions. Cisco is the market leader in WAN solutions, but their acquisition of Viptela shows that product architecture needed to solve today and tomorrow’s WAN problems cannot be solved by their ISR or Meraki solutions. Similarly, VMWare acquired VeloCloud because networking is the next big area of demand and innovation in today’s cloud first world. What will separate the winners from the also-ran(s) is the vision for cloud managed networking that will sweep up enterprises. SDN architectures are here to stay, and SDN controllers will be delivered from the cloud – private or public, and that is a big transition that SD-WAN is the first step to. Once your WAN is built and run using SDN, then other elements like wireless and security also will move to a similar paradigm.
The India Market Scenario
Technology is developing drastically and the effect of that is not isolated. One piece of advancement is connected with others and everything moves forward in a symbiotic manner.
Shyamal Kumar, CEO – Lavelle Networks, mentioned in one of his articles that, the impact of technology leapfrogging can be dramatic and immediate, which is what is happening with the presence of SD-WAN. According to him, even before MPLS gets a decent foothold in India, SD-WAN will take the lead of being affordable, reliable, and offering dynamic connectivity which, in turn, will render MPLS obsolete.
He believes that MPLS cannot keep up in India as the internet is rapidly spreading all over the country. Due to the sheer magnitude of the county geographically, maintaining MPLS system for companies with various branch offices is bound to be a tedious and expensive affair. So, SD-WAN has a better chance in a country like India than others.
The number of internet users have almost doubled since 2015. See Figure 1 below.
- As per this chart, we can see that this year, the number of internet users are almost 370 million.
- This is the recorded usage and despite the fact that there are many more regions that are still categorized as untapped potent
- We Indians have become the second largest online market worldwide (See Figure 2) with about 462 million internet users.
- Majority of India’s internet users are mobile phone internet users.
- The projections for 2022 looks good, almost doubling from 2015.
- This is one of the reasons why the future of SD-WAN looks bright in our country.
Future of SD-WAN in India
Among other things, it is building the path to better and operations in the retail world, by lifting the veil and merging the digital and the physical counterparts. Research suggests that about 56% of shoppers visit the stores to assess products like specs, price and variety before purchasing the same online.
Thanks to the rise of Software Defined Networking, solutions like Hybrid WAN and SD-WAN are in vogue. Retailers can now cater to a 360° experience store for their technologically advanced customers. The intricate architecture of the solution connects the various store branches and the warehouse to provide a real time experience giving the retail business the extra boost it needs to face the competition in the market. WAN may become a bottleneck for Digital Transformation- for IoT, Artificial Intelligence or any Cloud based technology. Enterprises need to start shedding the weight of legacy infrastructure and start upgrading to SD-WAN
Vishal Khare, CoFounder – Lavelle Networks, says, “the internet is growing fast and so are cloud services and requirements. So, our thinking is that SD-WAN will grow much faster in India than other countries”.
Data courtesy: www.statista.com