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SD-WAN Developments: 2020 vs. 2022

Approaching a decade since SD-WAN emerged as a networking expertise, it’s protected to say practically all company community managers have not less than heard of SD-WAN.

The COVID-19 pandemic compelled IT infrastructure groups to accommodate distant work and accelerated the shift to cloud providers. These adjustments within the underlay shifted the cybersecurity menace panorama and drove SD-WAN distributors and prospects to focus extra on safety than ever earlier than.

SD-WAN is changing into extra complicated, integrating SASE architectures and bettering providers to fulfill the wants of the WAN world. 

After we first requested our WAN Supervisor Survey respondents about SD-WAN in 2018, curiosity was excessive, however few respondents had put in the expertise or begun the rollout course of.

Over the previous 4 years, early adopters who completed their deployments are starting to evaluate the affect, and extra enterprises than ever are within the rollout stage. We’ve seemed on the enterprise SD-WAN market each two years to see what has modified and solidified.

SD-WAN Adoption

We anticipated comparatively quick development for SD-WAN over the previous a number of years, and if something, thought COVID would largely enhance demand–which it definitely has.

Nevertheless, whereas the variety of enterprises deploying SD-WAN has elevated since 2020, set up percentages are decrease than anticipated as a result of lengthy rollout phases.

This yr, 47% of respondents have put in SD-WAN whereas 86% are in some stage of adopting the expertise.

This yr, 47% of respondents have put in SD-WAN, whereas 86% are in some stage of adopting the expertise.

Prior to now two survey editions, we made a notice that a lot of our survey takers might need been extra proactive or forward-thinking WAN managers in comparison with the universe of enterprises. We’d like to emphasise this once more, though we do imagine this to be reflective of the place the remainder of the market is heading.

The time sequence determine under notes key shifts of the place respondents had been within the means of researching and adopting SD-WAN in 2018, 2020, and 2022.

Stage of Adoption of SD-WAN (2018 vs. 2020 vs. 2022)


Notes: Every bar demonstrates the share of all legitimate respondents in 2022, 2020, and 2018 who’re in every stage of SD-WAN adoption. Supply: © 2023 TeleGeography



  • This yr, the SD-WAN set up price is at 47% of respondents, versus 43% in 2020 and 18% in 2018. This marks an virtually 30-point enhance since our first survey. Inside the Put in class, we included any firm that had SD-WAN on not less than a part of their community. 
  • The share of respondents within the Pilot/Roll Out section has elevated by 14%, indicating that extra enterprises within the researching section have determined to undertake and are actually within the means of rolling the service out. 

  • A minority of respondents—solely 5%—indicated they weren’t adopting SD-WAN. One WAN supervisor within the Enterprise Companies business mentioned they weren’t adopting SD-WAN as a result of they have already got their very own VNF setup.

It has turn out to be clear that rolling out SD-WAN just isn’t as quick and straightforward because it as soon as appeared.

What finest describes the period of time it took you to totally deploy SD-WAN in your community? (2022)


Notes: Every bar demonstrates the share of respondents who indicated it took that period of time to totally deploy SD-WAN on their community in 2022. Supply: © 2023 TeleGeography


  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents reported that their SD-WAN rollout took not less than a yr, of which, 50% mentioned deployment took greater than a yr. 

The preliminary advertising for SD-WAN surrounded the flexibility to chop community spending “in half.” For some, that promise stays engaging, however the means to create a extra agile, versatile, optimized community with out growing prices has emerged as a robust motivator for adopting SD-WAN.

We requested respondents to rank the components in contemplating or adopting SD-WAN on a scale from one to 5, the place one is by no means essential and 5 is extraordinarily essential.

Causes for Adopting SD-WAN (2022)


Notes: Every bar demonstrates the common rank respondents from 2022 who’re not less than contemplating SD-WAN as much as have already put in it assigned to the given issue when it comes to significance in making their resolution to undertake the expertise. Supply: © 2023 TeleGeography


  • The issue with the very best common rank was to enhance efficiency. Not far behind: to extend website capability. 

  • This yr, all components we offered as choices had been, on common, ranked not less than three and a half out of 5.

SD-WAN Administration Ranges

The spectrum of provider involvement in a managed SD-WAN service differs by the service supplier and the bundle chosen.

It could actually vary from a carrier-provided unmanaged SD-WAN overlay (much like what you’d get straight from an SD-WAN vendor) to a totally managed provider service the place a supplier handles set up, ongoing assist of deployment, and coverage implementation.

Within the center, you discover co-managed SD-WAN providers the place a supplier handles deployment and administration, however an enterprise can view community analytics, add functions, and set up insurance policies via their buyer portal.

Stage of SD-WAN Administration Chosen/Plan to Choose (2022)


 Notes: Every bar represents the share of respondents contemplating or adopting SD-WAN which have deliberate or chosen that administration plan in 2022. Supply: © 2023 TeleGeography


  • Unmanaged plans had been the preferred configuration amongst our respondents (39%), adopted carefully by co-managed plans (36%), then primary managed or absolutely managed.  

The developments of SD-WAN administration plans have shifted, and we count on they are going to proceed to as extra enterprises analysis and undertake SD-WAN.

Co-managed choices are common—particularly with enterprises which have a smaller IT infrastructure workforce and must outsource some capabilities, however have the talent and want to take care of some management.

This evaluation was pulled from our newest WAN Supervisor Survey—which now contains information collected all through 2022.

Obtain the total government abstract to maintain studying.


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