We had the chance to interview Sorell Slaymaker, Principal Consulting Analyst at TechVision Research and Chairman of the World SD-WAN Summit, before the event. Learn about his experience in the SD-WAN industry and what his expectations are for the summit.


Can you tell us about TechVision Research and its vision for the SD-WAN industry?

TechVision Research (TVR) provides expert research and practical advice to safely guide enterprises, service providers and government agencies with their digital transformation.

TVR predicts that the SD-WAN market will continue to grow rapidly, driven by the digital economy where everything is connected. Networks are expected to evolve rapidly to support edge computing for next-generation applications such as augmented reality while providing more intelligence including automation and zero-touch provisioning and enhancing network security. SD-WAN promises to make networks faster, better, cheaper, AND more secure.


How is TechVision Research addressing security concerns within the SD-WAN market?

TVR is an advocate of Zero Trust Networking (ZTN). ZTN does not allow a single packet on the network unless it has been authenticated and authorized. This stops hackers and malware at the edge of the network versus at the middle or in front of a user, service, or application. The below figure is an example of changes required to move to ZTN:

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In your opinion, how do SD-WAN providers vary and why do these differences exist?

The promise of SD-WAN is to be hardware, transport, service provider, and vendor-independent. The market reality is different:

  • Hardware – Some vendors support a truly white-box model while other vendors offer a grey or black box offering. Performance, support, and capital costs vary widely depending on the underlying hardware utilized.

  • Transport – Offerings vary on offering LTE or legacy interfaces such as T1/E1 and the ability to aggregate bandwidth from many different connections or types such as Ethernet, Internet, MPLS along with the ability to support meshed based routing and multicast.

  • Service Provider – Some solutions only provide SD-WAN using a limited or single service provider for transport, while others will use the best available and provide the service aggregation so that an enterprise has a single entity to work with for ordering, management, and billing. The cheapest bandwidth can be obtained by buying it at wholesale rates.

  • Vendor – There are approximately 60 SD-WAN vendors in the global market. Many SD-WAN solution providers only offer a single vendor solution. Unlike the traditional routing market, which was dominated by a single vendor with a few secondary vendors, the SD-WAN market has many viable vendors.


What obstacles are hindering some SD-WAN adoptions and how can businesses overcome them?

SD-WAN is a big change. New hardware, different circuits from different service providers, and in many cases, a new SD-WAN routing vendor and implementation/support partner. Many organizations get bogged down in making decisions and are currently in the pilot and/or RFP stage.   Existing WANs have evolved over time and are very complex and fragile. Making big changes is scary since today’s businesses require 99.99% reliability.


How can SD-WAN technology help enterprises cut costs and manage networks more effectively?

I’ve seen enough business case proposals and implementations of SD-WAN to be able to put a stake in the ground that SD-WAN can cut WAN costs in half. Typically, WAN costs are about 10% of an enterprise’s overall IT budget. Anytime a project can save money, improve performance, increase reliability, and provide additional security controls, it would seem that it would be a slam-dunk.


What are your expectations for the World SD-WAN Summit?

The World SD-WAN Summit will provide those who are investigating or implementing SD-WAN with practical and actionable advice as best practices on designing, implementing, supporting, and evolving SD-WANs emerge.  The SD-WAN market is very dynamic with new players, solutions, and features coming out weekly.  This conference has speakers with real-world expertise and experience within enterprises and service providers on implementing SD-WANs.

I am looking forward to an engaging conference!


Interested in learning more about the World SD-WAN Summit? Request your free brochure here!