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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Versa Networks Shares Findings on SD-WAN Management, Security and Adoption

interview versa networks 

Recently, Versa Networks issued its latest report, "SD-WAN Adoption is Accelerating to Reduce Security Risk."  The study found some interesting data after hearing from hundreds of network professionals and administrators across the globe.  To find out more about this latest survey and its findings, I spoke with Robert McBride, the company's head of product marketing.

VMblog:  What was the biggest challenge organizations found when using SD-WAN?

Robert McBride:  The survey found that securing the corporate WAN is the top challenge for network professionals, with complexity cited as the most difficult obstacle. These challenges are driving more than 85 percent of companies to consider SD-WAN specifically to increase security and reduce appliance sprawl.

VMblog:  You mentioned complexity as the most difficult obstacle.  Can you elaborate on that?

McBride:  What we found is that enterprises want to reduce complexity, but at the same time, they are deploying a multitude of devices to combat security threats, which paradoxically adds to the existing network complexity. Versa Networks is committed to helping organizations overcome these hurdles with a single integrated software solution that combines SD-WAN and advanced security, so that these organizations can build out the network of tomorrow with peace of mind that they are protected from the threats of today.

VMblog:  Who did you partner with to conduct this survey?

McBride:  We worked with Dimensional Research who conducted the actual survey. Hundreds participated across five continents with the primary goal of capturing how companies are managing and securing their network across branch locations.

VMblog:  Aside from challenges around SD-WAN, what were a few of the major findings you found through this survey?

McBride:  The survey found that network administrators face many hurdles when it comes to their organization's WAN. Increasing costs due to the growing traffic volume over existing MPLS/private networks represented a major headache, followed by information security risks at the branch that could later erupt into a cyberattack or data breach.

But overwhelmingly, the research found that managing and securing the corporate WAN represented the top challenge for the majority - 68 percent - of network professionals. And above all else, network professionals cited complexity as a key factor of that challenge. Compounding the problem, network professionals also face IT personnel shortfalls and challenges integrating security and networking products.

Altogether, these challenges have driven more than 85 percent of companies to consider SD-WAN specifically to increase security and reduce sprawl. Perhaps not surprisingly, adoption of SD-WAN has accelerated compared to data from a similar survey we did last year, with more than 90 percent targeting deployment by the end of 2019.

VMblog:  Were there any additional findings worth noting?

McBride:  Interestingly, we found that 68 percent of respondents said that deploying and managing network security devices at branch locations was the most challenging aspect of WAN management, followed by increasing costs (53 percent) and information security risks at the branch location (49 percent). More than a third of respondents cited growing complexity attributed to expansion of multi-cloud infrastructure, a rapidly growing number of SaaS applications and an increasingly distributed mobile world as the most challenging aspect of managing network security at the branch. Also, more than half (57 percent) of organizations said that increased risk and expanding attack surface due to direct internet connectivity at the branch was the primary motivation for SD-WAN adoption. Lastly, lack of understanding about SD-WAN technology and qualified personnel to implement it represented the two biggest barriers to SD-WAN adoption at 60 percent and 58 percent respectively.

VMblog:  What was the research goal and/or methodology of this survey?

McBride:  The primary research goal was to capture how companies managed and secured their network across branch locations. The research also investigated expected benefits and challenges of a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and revealed trends when compared to a similar survey conducted in 2016. A total of 309 participants across 5 continents at organizations that have 1000+ employees and have network responsibilities completed the survey in December 2017. 308 completed a similar survey in 2016.



Rob McBride is the Head of Product Marketing at Versa Networks, responsible for Versa's software-defined solutions portfolio - SD-WAN, SD-Security and SD-Branch.

Rob has spent the last 15+ years designing, marketing and bringing to market a wide range of solutions and products covering SDN/NFV, SD-WAN, Voice (TDM/VoIP), and DC virtualization. He brings a wide range of experience from senior roles in sales engineering, field support, product management and marketing.  

Prior to Versa Networks, Rob held senior positions at Brocade Communications, Enterasys Networks, Alcatel-Lucent and Enterprise Data Solutions (EDS).

Published Friday, March 23, 2018 7:33 AM by David Marshall
Charles Stacy - (Author's Link) - March 24, 2018 4:32 AM

I really like your post blog.

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