SD-WAN growth drives the adoption of SD-Branch deployments

By Jeff Olson, Director of SD-WAN Product and Technical Marketing, Aruba
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A recent IDC market perspective "Five Key Enterprise Networking Trends to Watch in 2020" confirms what I’ve been hearing from customers. SD-WAN simplicity and savings are just the start. Delivering a better experience and security from edge to cloud are the real rewards, and looking deeper within the branch on how to use wired and wireless context are foundational going forward.

Cost Savings with Improved Visibility

Many organizations are turning to SD-WAN to reduce costs and increase the flexibility of their large, highly distributed networks. The IDC survey found that 42% of respondents had already deployed SD-WAN either in part or in full, with 95% expecting to shift to SD-WAN within the coming two years. This will allow these organizations to lower costs because they can use broadband Internet, metro Ethernet and LTE to increase WAN capacity, while reducing reliance on expensive, inflexible WAN connectivity methods like MPLS.

A software-defined approach also simplifies the configuration and operations of a distributed network, which also leads to IT efficiencies and savings. WAN optimization and policy-based routing improves application performance and reliability – without buying more bandwidth. The right SD-WAN solution can also bolster the security of the network, with integrated firewall and unified threat management capabilities.

Why SD-Branch is the Natural Evolution

SD-WAN is a foundational component of SD-Branch, states IDC. Network buyers are looking for context from within the branch to include in WAN optimization, firewall, WLAN controller, secure web gateway, and network analytics/visibility tools. This direction is what we at Aruba refer to as a full-stack solution.

In IDC’s market perspective, the annual SD-WAN survey provides a comprehensive view of network buyer’s needs, priorities and the perceived advantages of SD-Branch deployments.  The second most important trend to watch is the evolution of SD-WAN to a full-stack SD-Branch.

This quote reinforces our belief that greater context and security with the branch delivers the most value as we shift to greater mixture of cloud-hosted apps and data center services.

“IDC predicts that up to half of the SD-WAN market will evolve into the SD-Branch market by 2024 as SD-WAN vendors add additional network, security, and management functionality to their SD-WAN platforms beyond routing connectivity.”

In fact, I recently heard Kishore Seshadri, VP/GM of Cloud at Aruba, say the following: “While late to the SD-WAN market, the need for a more comprehensive solution than those offered by competitors is why Aruba purpose-built and launched Aruba SD-Branch back in 2018. Customers were already telling us that they wanted more than SD-WAN.”

Why Aruba?

We’ve taken SD-WAN and are offering a full-stack networking solution for wired, wireless, and security that’s available today. Integrated SD-WAN features within Aruba Central further simplify network operations with end-to-end management, visibility and troubleshooting of LAN, WLAN, and SD-WAN from a single-pane-of-glass. Orchestrated SaaS and cloud connectivity (AWS, Azure), unified role-based policy for LAN access and WAN routing, and SaaS acceleration for high priority applications are all built-in.

Aruba Central also offers zero touch deployment of all networking infrastructure, policies are centrally defined and enforced across all branch sites. And, changes are automatically pushed out across multiple branch locations resulting in consistent user experience and access privileges at each branch, and as they move from on branch location to another.


As you can see from the IDC report, the market is moving to SD-Branch as a natural evolution. It’s hard to ignore the simplicity, savings, and security required for large distributed enterprise networks in the modern cloud, mobile and IoT era.  I think the overall message is to not deploy another siloed solution that only addresses part of your requirements for today and the future.

Learn more about:

Aruba SD-Branch

Aruba SD-WAN