Why the Cloud is Driving SD-WAN Adoption - Rahi
IT Infrastructure

Why the Cloud is Driving SD-WAN Adoption

By Prathamesh Rahate

January 11, 2023 - 5 min

ResearchAndMarkets.com projects that the global SD-WAN market will see a compound annual growth rate of 31.9 percent through 2027. The firm says that cloud adoption is a primary driver of this impressive growth.

The cloud, mobile, and distributed computing models have dramatically changed network traffic patterns. Traditionally, most traffic stayed within the corporate LAN, and networks were designed to maximize the efficient movement of that traffic. Because remote access followed a relatively fixed path to centralized applications and resources, legacy WANs focused on moving traffic into and out of the data center.

When organizations first began adopting cloud services, they treated them as an extension of the enterprise IT infrastructure . Security was also centralized in the corporate data center, and Internet traffic was backhauled over the WAN from remote sites through headquarters.

It worked well enough until the cloud started creating a deluge of Internet traffic, causing bottlenecks in the WAN. With more and more traffic moving outside the corporate network, organizations began rethinking their WAN architectures. Today’s WAN needs to support flexible, anywhere connectivity for cloud-based services, remote locations and users, and edge data centers. That’s why continued cloud migration is one of the primary drivers of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) adoption. 

How SD-WAN Enables the Cloud

SD-WAN enables organizations to aggregate multiple WAN links for transport independence, with automated, intelligent routing based upon network conditions and application requirements. 

Organizations can connect their data centers directly to cloud providers, or utilize intermediate nodes at carrier-neutral facilities or regional peering points. Remote sites can use the public Internet to access the cloud, reducing costs and bringing cloud services closer to users.

With direct Internet connectivity, integrated security becomes critical. SD-WAN solutions provide for seamless security by automatically establishing and configuring virtual private networks (VPNs) to protect data traveling over the public Internet. Best-in-class SD-WAN solutions also incorporate multiple security controls, such as a next-generation firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, and content filtering.

Some organizations are taking an intermediate approach by replicating the data center security stack in regional hubs. Remote sites can connect directly to trusted applications such as Microsoft Office 365, and connect to the regional hub for other cloud and Internet access. All of this is enabled by the transport flexibility and security of SD-WAN.

Top SD-WAN Benefits

In a recent Frost & Sullivan survey, respondents ranked SD-WAN third among their top technology priorities, behind hybrid cloud services and network and application security. The research firm sees SD-WAN as rounding out the top two trends by enabling secure hybrid cloud connectivity.

In the U.S., respondents have identified that SD-WAN adoption has a significant factor contributing to the following top four benefit

  • Network resilience and 24×7 business continuity
  • Improved WAN and application performance
  • Granular security policy application
  • Deep visibility into the network from end to end

A recent IDC study found that 47 percent of organizations have already migrated to SD-WAN. Another 48 percent say they plan to deploy an SD-WAN solution sometime in the next two years. However, the study also found that organizations lack the in-house expertise to handle complex deployments and maximize the benefits of SD-WAN.

Rahi’s networking practice includes experts with extensive experience in WAN transformation and cloud access. We help organizations leverage highly virtualized, cloud-managed SD-WAN solutions to reduce costs, accelerate provisioning, enhance security, and improve operational efficiency through increased visibility and centralized management.

If your organization is looking to take advantage of SD-WAN, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Put our integrated portfolio of consultative, professional, and managed services to work to accelerate your WAN transformation in the most efficient and least disruptive manner.

Contact Us for more information.


  • Prathamesh Rahate is a Network Engineer at Rahi. Since joining in 2019 he has been involved with delivering Professional Service projects. Starting his career as a Network Support (NOC) Engineer working on network environments like Data Centre, Campus Network & Office Networks, he has now transitioned into a Solutions Engineering role. He is part of the Pre-Sales Engineering team at Rahi. Prathamesh holds a Master’s degree from the San Jose State University majoring in Computer Networks. An avid sports fan, he enjoys Cricket, Soccer and Basketball.

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