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Hughes' managed SD-WAN supports range of broadband access options

Hughes now offers managed SD-WAN, which supports wireless, fiber and satellite connectivity. Also, an IHS Markit survey reveals 2016 SDN expectations didn't meet the actual numbers.

In SDN news, Hughes Network Systems announces its latest managed SD-WAN service, which supports satellite connectivity; an IHS Markit survey reveals the pace of SDN adoption; and VeloCloud cites strong growth figures for 2016.

Hughes announces managed SD-WAN services

Hughes Network Systems LLC is the latest to jump on the managed SD-WAN bandwagon, offering a service that supports satellite broadband, in addition to cable, fiber and cellular connectivity.

SD-WAN allows companies to use a combination of links, like MPLS, T1, broadband or -- as Hughes also offers -- satellite to connect their remote offices. Satellite broadband, although rated at speeds below those offered by cable or other wired technologies, is attractive to companies that must connect offices not accessible by wired networks. 

The managed SD-WAN benefits Hughes listed include cloud-readiness, increased performance, network flexibility, higher application availability, cost savings and security management. Hughes Managed SD-WAN joins HughesON, the vendor's other networking offerings, intended for a range of industry verticals like retail, restaurant, financial services and government.

IHS Markit survey shows room for SDN growth

SDN deployment in the data center is moving slower than anticipated, leaving the vendor market wide open. According to IHS Markit's 2016 Data Center SDN Strategies Service Provider Survey, SDN reality didn't meet deployment expectations, with only a portion of companies pledging to roll out SDN in 2016 actually doing so. IHS' 2015 survey found 60% of respondents expected to put SDN in production last year, but only 22% did. At the same time, of the 89% of respondents expecting to begin lab testing in 2016, only 67% followed through.

Cisco and Juniper Networks, meantime, were rated the top SDN software and hardware vendors. Seventy-two percent picked Cisco, while Juniper received 39% of respondents' answers. Cisco's version of SDN, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, is based on its Nexus 9000 series physical switches. Juniper offers OpenContrail, a software strategy based on a centralized controller and a virtual network overlay, with a virtual router.

Finally, the report showed deployment of bare-metal Ethernet switch ports remained stagnant -- at 33% of the data center market. About 24% of bare-metal switch ports, however, are used for SDN purposes. IHS forecasted the percentage of bare-metal Ethernet switch ports in data centers will top 41% by 2018.

VeloCloud numbers point to increased SD-WAN interest

VeloCloud Networks Inc. announced it has picked up around 600 customers -- encompassing approximately 50,000 deployed sites -- for its Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN service. The SD-WAN startup said sales grew eight times from 2015 levels, reflecting the market's increased interest in SD-WAN technologies.

In addition, 2016 was also an eventful year for VeloCloud in terms of partnerships and deals. VeloCloud chalked up managed SD-WAN service deals with AT&T, Sprint, Mitel and Windstream, adding those companies to existing deals it had in place with Vonage, MetTel and EarthLink.

VeloCloud's sales and deals with service providers mirror the strong growth trends the SD-WAN market realized throughout 2016, and it can expect to see this year as well. Service providers and vendors are partnering together to provide comprehensive SD-WAN offerings to their respective customers. Additionally, as more enterprises look to migrate their applications and services to cloud platforms, SD-WAN is viewed as a tool that can make that transition easier, while enabling more efficient traffic routing and increased performance for services in the cloud.

Next Steps

Satellite connectivity is a WAN option

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Cisco ACI vs. Juniper OpenContrail

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