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Cato survey finds WAN complexity still major challenge

March 21, 2018  

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Cato Networks, provider of Cato Cloud, the world’s first secure, global SD-WAN as a service, today released the findings of its enterprise WAN market study. The report, entitled State of WAN 2018: Too Complex to Ignore, predicts SD-WAN will grow 200% year-over-year. At the same time, the additional abstraction layer that is SD-WAN and its impact on the network security architecture significantly increases WAN complexity.

Simplification for connectivity, security, and the cloud will be major themes for WAN transformation in 2018.

The company noted in a release that for too long IT agility has been constrained by the patchwork of appliances and network services comprising today’s wide area network (WAN). It added that Gartner analysts Andrew Lerner, Bill Menezes, Vivek Bhalla, and Danellie Young wrote in Avoid These ‘Bottom 10′ Networking Worst Practices: Senior leaders regularly complain to Gartner about the complexity within network infrastructures (“… it’s brittle and feels like a science project”)… In essence, complexity is the enemy of availability, security and agility.”

The importance of simplification was one of major key findings from Cato Networks’ “State of WAN 2018: Too Complex to Ignore” report:

Half of the respondents indicated simplifying the network or their security infrastructure will be primary use cases for SD-WAN in 2018.

A quarter of respondents planning to deploy SD-WAN indicated “additional complexity” as a primary barrier to further investment.

Respondents had complexity concerns with both SD-WAN vendors and providers. Overall, 30% say SD-WAN appliances are too complex followed by SD-WAN services (23%).

81% of those respondents actively planning an SD-WAN deployment in the next 12 months identify “protecting locations and the site-to-site connections from malware and other threats” as a “critical” or “very important” priority in their SD-WAN decision making.

Overall, more than three-quarters of respondents (78%) ranked improving cloud or Internet performance as a “critical” or “very important” SD-WAN priority.

“While our survey shows strong positive momentum for SD-WAN as a category, it also uncovers major shortcomings,” said Shlomo Kramer, founder and CEO of Cato Networks. “When organizations invest in SD-WAN point solutions they may carry forward the legacy baggage of the traditional WAN — expensive MPLS services, appliance sprawl, and the overhead of maintaining and updating branch security solutions — limiting the business impact of WAN transformation. Our future networks must holistically address global connectivity, network security, cloud integration and mobile access to truly drive the business forward.”

The global report, “State of WAN 2018: Too Complex to Ignore,” surveyed more than 700 networking and security professionals from around the world who enterprises ran MPLS backbones. Results were gathered from January 8, 2018 until January 22, 2018.

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