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VeloCloud 2016 Predictions: Looking Ahead - 2016 will be the Year of Cloud SD-WAN

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Michael Wood, VP of Marketing, VeloCloud

Looking Ahead – 2016 will be the Year of Cloud SD-WAN

We have seen a number of IT trends that lead me to make the following predictions around software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) for the upcoming year.

IT will get better control of cloud services and SaaS by using Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN

IT is losing control of where the wide area network (WAN) starts and ends as more employees use both IT sanctioned and unsanctioned SaaS applications. IT needs a way to evolve the WAN to be able to take back control. In 2016, IT will finally be able to regain control of business policies, application performance and the network by taking the WAN to where these cloud services exist - in the cloud. Enterprises will deploy services such as Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) which will allow them to take the WAN to the cloud.

A significant security threat will drive IT to implement Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN

Control and security of cloud applications are being threatened as Enterprise users move to the cloud. In many cases, IT isn't even aware that these applications are being used by their employees or partners. A security breach in 2016 will force IT to take a hard look at Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN, which will enable IT to gain the security, compliance and control it needs to keep the Enterprise secure. Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables IT to obtain visibility into the applications being used, apply Enterprise business policies, and enable security services pervasively in the cloud.

Branch office application use will cause a tipping point for IT to look at SD-WAN

The modern branch office and remote workers' bandwidth hungry workloads brought on by mobile devices, new applications, cloud services and B2B Internet have grown steadily and show no signs of slowing down in 2016. This, I predict, will cause a tipping point for IT, which typically has to deal with the complexity of mixing variable quality transports - including cable, DSL, MPLS and LTE - to creatively handle these workloads. Because SD-WAN technology can easily abstract network architectures into a separate control plane and data planes, and can be used with cloud-based management and automation, IT can now simplify the delivery of services to the branch office. With adoption of virtualized WAN, aka SD-WAN, IT can be more flexible, efficient and cost effective in adding throughput while leveraging investments in existing networks.

Further convergence of IT budgets will make SD-WAN attractive and necessary

CIOs continue to read in the business and technical press and hear from their peers that they can do "more with less." If nothing else, IT budgets are being forced to converge and at best stay flat. I've spoken to IT managers who are required to combine and reduce their WAN service, WAN equipment and branch network budgets. I predict that this pressure will make SD-WAN an essential candidate for expanding traditional WANs, given its affordability, while ensuring the manageability, performance, and reliability assurances that Enterprises expect. As part of these budget reductions, Enterprises will also look to eliminate the double bandwidth expense of backhauling Internet traffic.


About the Author

Michael Wood, VP Marketing


Michael has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in the networking industry. Prior to VeloCloud, Wood served as VP of product management and marketing for Akamai Technologies' Cloud Networking Business Unit, driving both product management and marketing activities while establishing a new product category and market. He also was an executive in residence, and is currently an advisor, for Plug and Play Tech Center, a startup incubator and accelerator. Early in his career Wood was with StrataCom as a senior member of the technical staff designing, building and architecting networking products. After Cisco acquired StrataCom in 1996, Wood spent 15 years with Cisco in various positions, culminating in the director of product management and marketing role for the multi-billion dollar branch office integrated services router business for enterprises and service providers.

Wood has a master's degree in electrical engineering and a bachelor's degree in industrial technology from San Jose State University.
Published Friday, December 11, 2015 11:35 AM by David Marshall
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