WAN optimization solutions, methods for increasing the efficiency of data transfer within the network, continue to climb in terms of the immediacy of network managers’ needs as measured by TheInfoPro’s Technology Heat Index, climbing from 5th place in 2010 to 3rd in the most recently completed wave. From an enterprise solutions perspective, this has shown up as a two-horse race according to respondents between the offerings of two companies: Riverbed Technology and Cisco.
The chart below details current levels of, and projected growth for, WAN optimization solutions by vendor. This is a preview chart, through 78 completed interviews, 59 of which provided WAN optimization projections.
Digging into the preview data for our in-progress 9th networking study, we see little changing, as Riverbed maintains the lead in both completed implementations, and will maintain that lead based on new projects going into next year. Cisco shows a healthy of new customers planning implementations as shown in the roadmap above as well.
There are general forward trends that will benefit WAN optimization as a product space. For the first time in three studies, planned “network wide” implementations (65% of those implementing) outpaced those implementing WAN optimization as a point solution (35%). While solving specific application performance issues still dominated network managers’ reasoning (52% cited this as their primary driver for implementation), 20% believed WAN optimization is a critical component to infrastructure consolidation efforts, and 12% built it into their plans for facilitating a greater move towards virtualization.
Here are examples of user sentiments gathered thus far on key vendors in the WAN optimization space:
- “Riverbed allows us to optimize what we have without having to increase our bandwidth. It is a very robust product that works as advertised. No real weakness, potentially their tech support could be upgraded.”
- “Riverbed products are easy to deploy and work as advertised and they are innovative. We really like their support! No weakness I can think of. Everything with Riverbed is just fine!”
- “Because of the integration. We’re considering Cisco WAAS just because of the integration, built into routers.”
Of course we’ll have a fuller picture of the WAN optimization space at the close of our 9th Networking Study.