Originally published January 10, 2018
2018 is shaping up to be the Year of WAN Transformation. Rapidly evolving market forces and relentless innovation is shifting Digital Transformation into high gear and driving mass adoption of cloud, mobility and IoT within business of all size and across many industries. All of these changes are stretching legacy WAN infrastructures to their breaking-point in terms of volume, velocity and variety of connected endpoints - from fixed and temporary branch sites to legions of field workers and an ever-expanding universe of things (vehicles, kiosks, cameras, sensors, actuators, meters, beacons, etc.).
Here are some of my WAN predictions as we head into 2018.
1. SD-WAN Will Get Bigger, And Smaller
Making the WAN more agile and cloud-like is essential to enabling Digital Transformation, which is what's fueling the rapid assentation of SD-WAN. IDC is pegging its growth at 69% CAGR through 2021. At the same time, the wave of early market consolidation - that started with Pertino being acquired by Cradlepoint in 2016 and Viptela going to Cisco and VeloCloud to VMware in 2017 - will not abate in 2018. Expect more "big company eats innovative startup" consolidation and probably a few players that were late out of the gate and lack a differentiated market position throwing in the towel.