Networking Trends for 2020 Are Dominated by SD-WAN Improvements

SD-WAN is at the center of networking trends, with providers prioritizing better security for 2020.

Enterprises continue their endorsement of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), with many organizations adopting it to support bandwidth-hungry cloud applications and to improve management of the network. Networking trends for the upcoming months continue to focus on SD-WAN and its many benefits.  

In a market that has exploded with providers wanting to offer SD-WAN solutions, differentiation is now occurring as more mature products offer new innovations and support for security and the cloud onramping process. Take a look at the emerging networking trends shaping SD-WAN offerings:

Provider Shuffling: While the number of providers offering SD-WAN has expanded, watch for some of the more marginal providers to be acquired or exit the market as it matures. When considering an SD-WAN solution, enterprise IT should consider the viability of their provider over the long term.

Acceleration of Onramps for Cloud Solutions: SD-WAN suppliers have developed a partnership with the most-used cloud platforms, creating ways to accelerate traffic to the cloud. Enterprises with a multi-cloud environment should examine SD-WAN solutions for their ability to integrate with critical cloud platforms. Features should include customizable application programming interfaces (APIs), one-click connectivity from a branch location, and application performance optimization.

Improved SaaS Performance: Enterprises have a variety of Software as a Service (SaaS) options for customer relationship management, unified communications, accounting, and other specific business processes. IT may face difficulty in guaranteeing certain levels of service for these applications because of the different sets of requirements from each SaaS provider.

SD-WAN solutions are increasingly able to recognize the specifications for each individual SaaS solution and align policy, compliance, and security criteria to match the needs of the application. Some SD-WAN solutions even have partnerships with particular SaaS platforms to integrate functions seamlessly.  

Baked-In Security: SD-WAN adoption can expose networks to potential security gaps as the solution leverages bandwidth from a variety of unsecured internet pathways. Initially, enterprises were forced to add on security in order to be able to enforce security policies at branch locations. Such features included policy controls, visibility into network traffic, and protection against intrusions. 

This is one of the key ways in which SD-WAN solutions are differentiating themselves in a crowded market. Most suppliers have added some security, such as stateful firewalls and encryption, but increasingly the products also offer URL and content filters, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, and intrusion prevention.

SD-WAN products are also improving visibility into devices and applications for better auditing and compliance.For more information about networking trends and how SD-WAN is supporting digital strategies, contact us at Compass Solutions. From choosing the right SD-WAN solution to helping you implement it within your timeline, we offer the guidance you need for an infrastructure upgrade.

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