Only one fact about software-defined wide area network services is incontestable: its growth rates dwarf growth rates for MPLS, a service some believe eventually could emerge as a replacement for some portion of MPLS demand.
A new forecast from International Data Corporation estimates that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will see a compound annual growth rate of 69.6 percent and reach $8.05 billion in 2021.
MPLS, on the other hand, will grow at about four percent rates through 2021.
The most significant driver of SD-WAN growth over the next five years will be driven by increased reliance on cloud computing, big data analytics, mobility, and social business, IDC says.
Use of those tools generally increases network workloads and elevates the network's end-to-end importance to business operations, including support at all branch locations.