That SD-WANs will replace routing was not the most important message from last week’s Gartner webinar with Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Joe Skorupa.

No, the biggest message came in some startling statistics. Half the market revenue is held by just two startups, which begs the question: With 30-plus vendors in the SD-WAN space, are you sure the SD-WAN vendor you’re considering has the cash for the long haul?

No more routing

Back in September, we wrote about the argument for replacing routing with SD-WANs. It’s a message we’ve been thinking about for some time, listening to the frustrations of many of our enterprise customers. It’s also a trend that Skorupa’s market data supports—and for good reason.

For years, software has been replacing what was formerly the province of dedicated hardware. Watches, calculators, even phone infrastructure and seismometers are all being subsumed into software-directed multipurpose platforms. SD-WANs are going to do the same to conventional routing.

Switching to SD-WAN brings enormous savings. A single router, good for just one campus, can cost thousands of dollars. SD-WAN technology uses simpler hardware yet provides flexibility and reliability at an unbeatable price (see “An SD-WAN and MPLS Pricing Scenario”). It can even provide connectivity through a regular internet connection, greatly simplifying connectivity from far-flung branches. These benefits have led retail franchises, financial service companies and healthcare providers to be the leading adopters of SD-WAN technology….. (full text available here).