In 2013, WAN optimization projects experienced a slowdown, which may be attributed to completion of network refresh projects and emergence of 10Gb Ethernet. The results of TheInfoPro’s Networking Wave 10 Study showed significant decline in new WAN optimization projects: Only 1% of respondents have projects in the pilot/evaluation stage, and almost none have near-term plans, compared to 3% in evaluation and 6% in near-term plans last year.
The decline in new projects should not be attributed to user dissatisfaction with the technology, but more to the completion of network refresh projects, especially involving 10GbE, which alleviated some of the network bandwidth strains, effectively eliminating the need for WAN optimization. High cost and decisions in favor of adding more DSL lines were cited as other factors, which may have contributed to the slowdown. Nonetheless, spending intentions remain positive, with 19% of survey respondents planning to increase spending in 2013.
This slowdown will not be applauded by Riverbed, which continues to be the leading vendor in the WAN optimization category, followed by Cisco. Notably, Riverbed is looking to continue its lead in the future: The company recently released a new upgrade to its RiOS operation system, aimed at enhancing its WAN optimization offerings.
The following narratives were provided by the commentator network about WAN optimization:
- “Replacement, taking WAN to 10Gb.” – MSE, Industrial/Manufacturing
- “WAN optimization and security is expensive, more than people expect.” – LE, Financial Services
- “We reviewed it, and ended up adding some DSL lines instead.” – LE, Services: Business/Accounting/Engineering
- “Riverbed – its WAN optimization seems ahead of the field.” – LE, Telecom/Technology