Last week, in our Network Collective show about the Cisco’s purchase of Viptela, I suggested that many vendors will soon be headed toward a post-SD-WAN view of the world. Jordan laughed and several people have mentioned it to me since. Let me explain what I meant.
In the past two years, the SD-WAN space has exploded in both the number of vendors and in industry hype. Anyone who has had a product that could be related to the WAN has begun to market an SD-WAN solution. And because Cisco, the leading networking vendor, did not have an offering that could compete on its merits, vendors clambered to fill the space championed by Viptela, VeloCloud, and other leading SD-WAN companies.
Cisco’s acquisition changes this entire dynamic. The 800 pound gorilla has entered the marketplace and the shift will be seismic. Now, SD-WAN vendors are not merely competing on merits (or more accurately marketing buzzwords), they’re also competing with the considerable name recognition and industry inertia of Cisco.
Companies who saw opportunity to scoop up customers in the absence of a strong Cisco presence will begin to reconsider their marketing strategy. Sales and marketing teams will gather to determine the next set of industry buzzwords and SD-WAN will become a phase.
What about the technology of SD-WAN? Over time, we will simply call it the WAN. The features of built-in encryption, intelligent traffic steering, and carrier agnosticism will become part and parcel to every serious branch connectivity solution. Eventually, we will talk about the old days of the WAN with nostalgia, just like 9600 baud modems.
Are we there yet? Not hardly. But mark my words, the post-SD-WAN days will be here before we know it.