SD-WAN Deployments Set to Increase 200% YoY Say Global Enterprises, According to New Report

Cato Networks survey highlights continuous MPLS investment despite plans for SD-WAN adoption; security concerns present a significant barrier

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL--(Marketwired - May 31, 2017) - Cato Networks, provider of network and security as a service solutions, today released the findings of a global SD-WAN market study, projecting a 200% year-over-year increase in adoption rate. The report, SD-WAN in 2017: Growth, Investment and Concerns, shows that network security and cost of new equipment present major concerns for the more than 350 professionals surveyed. The report also pointed to sustained momentum for MPLS despite SD-WAN's rise.

"The SD-WAN market is poised for major growth over the coming years, which will be accompanied by growing pains," said Jim Duffy, Senior Networking Analyst at 451 Research. "IT practitioners are still ironing out the wrinkles when it comes to SD-WAN. The technology offers streamlined management and increased network agility, but its cost reduction impact is constrained by the need for increased security and the continued reliance on MPLS. The scope of SD-WAN is likely to expand to address these constraints and enhance customers' return on investment."

Key findings from the report include:

The SD-WAN sector is poised for nearly 200% growth in new deployments, as once-niche technology hits the mainstream and networking spend increases overall.

  • 1 in 5 respondents say their companies are planning to deploy SD-WAN in the next 12 months, while 1 in 10 already have a solution deployed. An additional 30% of respondents reported that their companies are considering SD-WAN, pointing to additional future growth.
  • Half of respondents say they are increasing their networking budgets over the next 12-24 months. The most popular investment priorities, other than SD-WAN, were, in order:
    • WAN agility 
    • Site-to-site security 
    • Traffic backhaul elimination 

Security is a major cause of concern for those who have or plan to adopt SD-WAN

  • Of the respondents who plan to deploy an SD-WAN solution over the next 12 months, more than 50% anticipate increasing their investments in network security appliances as a result.
  • Respondents who had already deployed SD-WAN reported similar associated costs, with 53% having increased their investment in security following the rollout.
  • The top three barriers to SD-WAN deployment for those considering SD-WAN:
    • Cost of new equipment services -- 63%
    • Maturity of existing SD-WAN offerings -- 53%
    • Internet performance -- 52%
    • Security gaps created in the network -- 50%

Despite anticipated increased SD-WAN investment, organizations continue to invest in MPLS

  • 62% of respondents who have already deployed SD-WAN say that their MPLS investment has either increased or remained unchanged.
  • At the same time, many of those who are just planning to deploy SD-WAN rank MPLS elimination and cost savings as important, pointing to a potential shift in the market. Respondents rank their top SD-WAN priorities as follows:
    • Reduce deployment and reconfiguration times
    • Reduce reliance on MPLS or private data service
    • Improve cloud or internet performance

"While our survey shows strong positive momentum for SD-WAN as a category, it also uncovers major shortcomings in traditional SD-WAN solutions," said Shlomo Kramer, founder and CEO of Cato Networks. "When organizations invest in solutions that lack an SLA-backed transport layer and built-in security, they still rely on expensive MPLS services as well as physical security appliances, both of which severely limit savings potential. SD-WAN has clearly emerged as a serious contender in the networking space, but must mature significantly before it can truly live up to its potential."

The global report, SD-WAN in 2017: Growth, Investment and Concerns, was based on a survey of more than 350 networking and security professionals from enterprises around the world, which was conducted in March and April of 2017. The report can be found here.

About Cato Networks
Cato Networks provides organizations with a software-defined and cloud-based secure enterprise network. Cato delivers a single networking and security platform that securely connects all enterprise locations, people and data. The Cato Cloud reduces MPLS connectivity costs, eliminates branch appliances, provides direct, secure internet access everywhere, and seamlessly integrates mobile users and cloud infrastructures to the enterprise network. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cato Networks was founded in 2015 by cybersecurity luminary Shlomo Kramer, who previously cofounded Check Point Software Technologies and Imperva, and Gur Shatz, who previously cofounded Incapsula. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter: @CatoNetworks.

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