SD-WAN Meets the Demands of a Growing IoT

June 06, 2017

By Laura Stotler - Hybrid WAN Contributing Editor

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been evolving for years now, and we’ve certainly seen a shift in the way devices are being architected. Concurrently, there has been a wholesale shift in the way traditional hardware vendors conduct their business, moving toward a software-centric model in which intellectual property and competitive clout reside in smart software running on plain white boxes.

The important thing to remember is that none of this matters unless networks can keep up with the pace of change. Much is happening on that front, with software-defined optical networking and virtualization becoming pervasive for most carriers and service providers. The enterprise needs to catch up as well, though, and that is where the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) fits into the IoT picture.

The SD-WAN is a practical solution for all types of businesses as it can run over any type of physical network, whether wired or mobile. That’s a massive consideration for most organizations, which are reluctant to rip out cabling and disrupt operations to re-architect their networks. Perhaps more importantly, the SD-WAN enables central management and monitoring of networks, making it an ideal fit for even the most remote locations. And SD-WANs are intelligent and autonomous by design, rendering them capable of handling a dizzying amount of traffic generated by the cloud, BYOD, mobile apps and of course, the IoT.

The many advantages of the SD-WAN are driving the market at a record-breaking pace, according to MarketsandMarkets. The research firm put the global market size at $738 million last year, but estimates it will reach more than $9 billion by 2021, growing at a dizzying 65.11-percent CAGR. The IoT is an important variable driving that growth, of course, along with its inherent flexibility and ease of resource monitoring and management. Other adoption variables include improved security, particularly for IoT, as well as intelligent pathway control and auto network management.

It’s not only large enterprises that are savvy to the benefits of SD-WAN, but also SMEs, who are increasingly deploying technology throughout a number of vertical markets. Very simply, the sheer number of connected devices that drive the IoT are putting unprecedented demands on the network, and the SD-WAN approach is an economical and efficient way to handle them.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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