SD-WAN Buzz Spills Into Reseller & Partner Space

Service providers' and vendors' SD-WAN Spidey senses are tingling, but in a good way as demand skyrockets. This week, Windstream Wholesale and Versa Networks are sensing new opportunities in the reseller space, while VeloCloud kicked off a partner program for SD-WAN security.

In December, Gartner forecasted that spending on software-defined WAN products will rise from $129 million in 2016 to $1.24 billion in 2020.

Transformation to digital business is the driving force behind the rapid adoption of SD-WAN -- and the pace of adoption is "unheard of in wide-area networking," according to the firm's December 2016 report which predicted that enterprise spending on SD-WAN will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 76.2% from 2016 through 2020.

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This growth is at the expense of traditional routers so service providers and vendors alike are trying to stay ahead of the game by pushing hard with SD-WAN. In fact, it wouldn't be an ordinary week at Light Reading if we didn't have SD-WAN news -- and this week is no different.

First, on the service provider side, today at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN) Wholesale launched a SD-WAN solution designed specifically for the reseller space -- and at the same time it announced it was revitalizing its reseller program thanks to the resellers it inherited from the EarthLink merger. (See Windstream Wholesale Launches Reseller-Specific SD-WAN, Expands Reseller Program and Windstream Buys EarthLink for $673M.)

In the same vein, VergX , a network-as-a-service provider, has partnered with Versa Networks to provide SD-WAN and software-defined security (SD-Security) solutions to managed service providers who want to provide those services to their end customers. (See VergX Partners With Versa to Offer NaaS to MSPs & Resellers.)

"There is a compelling business case for enterprises and SD-WAN because they are trying to drive more agility in the business, have more visibility and control and do this at the same cost or little incremental cost," Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja told Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin at Mobile World Congress. (Watch The Keys to SD-WAN Success.)

Ultimately, the goal of SD-WAN is to create application-driven services so that the connection service and the level of security is based on what each application needs. To that end, VeloCloud Networks Inc. is making that goal easier with a new SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program announced today. Inaugural members include IBM Security, Check Point Software Technologies, Fortinet and Zscaler. (See VeloCloud Introduces Comprehensive SD-WAN Security Ecosystem.)

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— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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