Earlier this year, fellow industry analyst Lee Doyle wrote a blog post on the software-defined branch (SD-Branch) market hitting $3 billion by 2022. Doyle defines the SD-Branch as having SD-WAN, routing, network security, and LAN/Wi-Fi functions all in one platform with integrated, centralized management. An SD-Branch can be thought of as the next step after SD-WAN, as the latter transforms the transport and the former focuses on things in the branch, such as optimizing user experience and improving security.
I don’t often critique other analysts work, as their opinion is theirs and not everyone agrees. However, in this case, I don’t think “all in one platform” should be a requirement. The integrated and centralized management hits the nail on the head, but the software should act as a management overlay, so even though the infrastructure isn’t a “single box,” it’s managed like it.