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According to Dell’Oro Group’s recent report, the worldwide software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) market grew 50% in the fourth quarter of 2020, in comparison to the previous year. Cisco outranked VMware, Fortinet, Versa, and HPE/Silver Peak as the leading vendor in the overall revenue share for 2020.

“The combination of pent-up demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and an acceleration away from legacy technologies created a surge in SD-WAN adoption during the fourth quarter,” said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group.

By and large, Cisco has one of the most widely deployed enterprise-grade SD-WAN solutions in the industry. The solution is deployed across Fortune 2000 and 70% of Fortune 100 enterprises, as well as thousands of production sites in various industries including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, energy, oil and gas, insurance, finance, and government, among others.

For 2020 alone, the SD-WAN market share had an increasing concentration in a small number of vendors. Hence, Cisco, VMware, Fortinet, Versa, and HPE/Silver Peak — the top five vendors — accounted for almost two-thirds of the revenue share. Additionally, vendors are increasingly leveraging security functionality to differentiate their SD-WAN solutions and progressive growth.

In retrospect, a Gartner report said that SD-WAN is among the key technologies to help enterprises transform their networks from ‘fragile to agile.’ From its visual networking index (VNI) study, Cisco remarked that globally, SD-WAN traffic was 9% of its business IP WAN traffic in 2017 and will be 29% of business IP WAN traffic by 2022.

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