SD-WAN, or software-defined wide area network, is the preferred technology for centralized management of network infrastructure. In a diverse market, companies most often opt for secure solutions fully integrated into the public cloud.
In a globalized economy, connected businesses need to manage constant flows thanks to connectivity that guarantees the fluidity and security of exchanges. By enabling seamless integration and centralized management of transportation technologies and infrastructure, SD-WAN, the broad software-defined network, helps reduce infrastructure operating costs while preserving application performance. It has emerged as the preferred abstraction technology for companies wishing to reduce the costs of operator links by, among other things, using consumer Internet links.
In a study published by Barracuda Networks and entitled Secure SD-WAN: The Launch Pad into the Cloud, the provider of cloud security solutions reveals that even if the adoption rates of the public cloud continue to increase, security remains the main obstacle, given the volume and variety of threats that businesses face today. Commissioned by Barracuda, the study, carried out by Vanson Bourne, gathered the responses of 750 IT decision-makers from around the world (EMEA, Asia-Pacific and the United States), having responsibility or knowledge of their cloud infrastructure. business. The survey was carried out in January 2020.
SD-WAN, the answer to security fears in the public cloud
While the percentage of IT infrastructure in the public cloud is expected to drop from 45% to 76% over the next five years, the report finds, security is the number one concern that limits rapid adoption. Seven out of ten organizations say that the security of public cloud infrastructure, the impact of cyber attacks and the security of applications deployed in the public cloud are hampering their adoption. Network integration is also a major concern, including the integration of the public cloud with existing technologies, that with the private cloud and better integration with on-premises infrastructure.
In a context of growing deployments in the public cloud and security concerns, SD-WAN appears to be the integrated solution par excellence. According to respondents to the above survey, 74% of companies have already deployed SD-WAN or plan to do so in the next 12 months. When asked about their preference for SD-WAN provision, 50% of respondents prefer solutions from public cloud providers. In the United States and in APAC, simplicity and knowledge are the determining factors in acquisition. In the EMEA region, the priority is to obtain tailor-made solutions or better prices.
Microsoft Azure (45%) is far ahead of AWS (30%) and GCP (20%) as the preferred cloud platform. Azure also gets the highest scores for security and usability. With security the main barrier to moving to the public cloud, Azure is seen as the safest platform.
However, the dominance of cloud providers does not extend to all use cases. Some IT professionals realize that native security solutions from a cloud provider do not always provide sufficient capacity and they are looking for third-party providers to help them. 16% are looking for an independent supplier, while 15% would opt for a telecommunications partner and 12% for an IT reseller.
The financial sector is the most proactive
Depending on industries and sectors, the deployment of SD-WAN solutions varies considerably, taking into account the diversity of business needs. The financial services sector is the one that adopts SD-WAN the most: 35% of those questioned indicate that it is already in use and 41% are in the process of deploying it or plan to do so in the next 12 months. The public sector has fewer deployments, with only 7% currently deploying it, while 36% are currently deploying or planning to do so in the next 12 months.
It is not surprising that the factors behind the adoption of SD-WAN vary considerably from industry to industry. Simplicity of adoption is essential for retail and professional and commercial services. For the manufacturing sector, the determining factors are a good relationship with the supplier and the availability of a tailor-made solution. Price is the most important factor for the public sector and energy.
In short, most companies are keen to take advantage of the many benefits of SD-WAN, including enhanced security, better performance, better user experience and cost optimization. But between the undifferentiated solutions offered by public cloud providers and the specific needs of certain companies, the ideal solution lies somewhere in between: it must combine security and centralized network optimization at affordable costs.