When it comes to network services and applications, security, quality of service and reliability rank ahead of cost, according to a survey of US-based IT professionals.
CenturyLink's survey, which was conducted by Spiceworks, also found that 45% of the IT respondents had already deployed SD-WAN solutions while 30% planned to do so within the next two years.
Before SD-WAN reached its current peak in popularity, there was speculation that it would replace the more expense MPLS circuits, but that hasn't proven to be true as service providers still see the value of offering MPLS and public Internet connections in conjunction with SD-WAN. But according to the survey, more than one in three respondents were already using, or considering using, an all SD-WAN solution, rather than a hybrid solution that has both MPLS and SD-WAN.
The big drivers cited for SD-WAN weren't much of a surprise. IT professionals that took part in the survey said lower costs (47%), improved efficiency and productivity (44%) and increased innovation (30%) were the big ticket items for SD-WAN.
MPLS received votes of confidence for its reliability and performance with 55% of the IT professionals responding that they were already using MPLS -- for things like creating private WANs -- while 45% of them said they were considering it. The benefits of MPLS included improved bandwidth efficiency with routing and application prioritization.
Overall, the survey results pointed to wider use cases for MPLS with six out of ten of the respondents saying they anticipated using it for cloud/hosted services (66%), databases (64%) and file sharing (61%) applications/workloads.
For the big picture, nearly half of the IT professionals wanted to purchase networking solutions as a bundle while nearly three of out ten of them thought their organizations would need "significantly more" bandwidth in the next three years. (It's somewhat surprising that it was just three out of ten.)
Close to half of the respondents said they preferred purchasing networking solutions as part of a bundled package instead of as a single solution. More than 70% of the organizations using Ethernet and MPLS, and more than 60% using SD-WAN, were considering or evaluating vendors for those solutions.
"As IT professionals work to meet the increasingly complex technology demands of their organizations, they are looking to deploy versatile networks that can scale with company growth," said Eric Barrett, director of network product management, CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), in a prepared statement . "Regardless of the type of networking technology being utilized, reliability, security and quality are the driving factors when selecting a solutions provider."
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation