predictions about SD-WAN in 2017

    • Flexible host options: Cloud applications are changing the design of network branches. Branch offices are becoming like smaller campus networks that connect to public clouds, collaborative facilities, and data centers. SD-WAN needs to be flexible enough to be hosted in every location in both hardware and software (virtualized) form without compromising performance or management simplicity.

    • Improved security features: SD-WAN primarily protects connections between locations through secure coverage. While connecting a branch office directly to the Internet is critical to improving the performance of applications hosted in the cloud, it can also be exposed to threats. Cisco expects to see security integrated into the branch platform, complemented by cloud-based security and analytics to accelerate threat detection of network, SaaS and even encrypted traffic.

    • Virtualized branch offices: Branch offices may still require SD-WAN, next-generation firewalls, and WAN optimization, but organizations need to be more flexible in deploying and using the network functions they need, rather than using network functions once in a single platform. Cisco expects to see more virtualization of traditional physical network capabilities combined with broader automation capabilities in the branch to reduce deployment time and increase agility.

    • Increased Managed Services Products: Providing enterprises with additional services such as security, monitoring, and application optimization is an effective way to increase service provider attention to SD-WAN. Cisco expects to see more service providers, including resellers, system integrators and IT services companies, offering SD-WAN as a hosted service, hoping to expand its services by giving companies more choices.

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