The 10 Hottest New SDN Products Of 2019

Enterprises are asking for more software functions for flexibility and scale, and vendors are rising to the occasion. Here are 10 of the hottest SDN products of 2019 that are helping businesses and end customers build next-generation networks.

Software-Defined Everything

You couldn't mention software-defined networking (SDN) in 2019 without inevitably talking about SD-WAN, one of the fastest-growing networking technologies in the market today. In fact, research firm IDC predicts that the SD-WAN infrastructure market will grow at a 30.8 percent compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2023 to reach $5.25 billion.

Vendors are coming to the table with more virtualized offerings as customers demand more flexibility and control—something that SDN promises. Some of the largest carriers are even getting on board with SDN. AT&T, for one, has stated its intention virtualize and "software-control" 75 percent of its core network operations by 2020, a goal that the carrier is on track to hit. Verizon has also publicized its own aggressive virtualization plans.

As enterprise seek to build a more intelligent network edge and cloud-based applications and the Internet of Things introduce more traffic, here are 10 of the hottest SDN products of 2019 that are helping businesses and end customers create next-generation, software-run networks.

Get more of CRN's 2019 tech year in review.

Aruba Networks' SD-Branch

Aruba Networks, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has distributed SD-WAN throughout the enterprise branch in an offering called SD-Branch.

SD-Branch, according to Aruba, combines branch gateways and headend gateways with existing HPE Aruba technology, including ClearPass policy management software, to form an integrated SD-WAN, WLAN, LAN and security offering. SD-Branch offers context, affordability and flexibility for customers, which translates to a powerful opportunity for Aruba partners, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said.

Big Switch Big Cloud Fabric

Self-proclaimed cloud-first networking company Big Switch Networks is offering its consistently updated flagship product, Big Cloud Fabric, a next-generation data center switching fabric that delivers operational quickness, network automation and visibility for software-defined data centers and cloud-native applications, while staying within flat IT budgets, according to Big Switch. The company's cloud software is powering technology leader Dell EMC's switch hardware today, according to Santa Clara, Calif.-based Big Switch.

CenturyLink SD-WAN

CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S., has been making strides toward becoming an IT services provider as a way to differentiate itself in the crowded telecommunications market. To that end, the Monroe, La.-based provider has been snapping up more network automation technology in recent years.

CenturyLink came to the market early with its flavor of SD-WAN via its partnership with SD-WAN startup Versa Networks. The carrier has spent 2019 extending its SD-WAN offering into new geographies, including Latin America in June.

CenturyLink now generates about 75 percent of its revenue through business customers.

Cisco DNA Center

Cisco DNA Center is the company's network management and command center for Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA). Partners and end customers can use DNA Center, an open, extensible management platform for intent-based networking, as a single dashboard for managing enterprise networks, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based IT giant.

The company in November revealed an additional reward for its channel partners for activating more Cisco DNA Center use cases in the form of its new Use Accelerator bonus, which is available now through Cisco's third quarter 2020.

IBM Networking Services For SDN

IT giant IBM is offering SDN Services to helps enterprise customers build highly programmable network fabrics that can span data center, cloud, the wide-area network and branch networks.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM in July expanded its partnership with Dallas-based carrier AT&T to better support one another in cloud and software-defined networking in a multiyear partnership. As part of the deal, IBM has made AT&T Business its primary provider of SDN.

Juniper Networks' SD-LAN

Networking provider Juniper Networks enhanced its enterprise portfolio of offerings by injecting more SDN into the product set. In December, the company launched a cloud-managed SD-LAN offering to join its existing SD-WAN offering.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper said that the SD-LAN offering helps to complete its SD-Branch vision. From one portal, businesses and partners can now easily provision Juniper EX Series switches to manage LAN fabrics and configure LAN virtualization and security policies in the same way they operate their SD-WAN environments.

Lumina SDN Controller

Networking newcomer Lumina Networks got its start in 2017 when Brocade was purchased and split up. Brocade's emerging SDN technology was acquired by Lumina Networks.

San Jose, Calif.-based Lumina today is offering the OpenDaylight-based Lumina SDN Controller, formerly the Brocade SDN Controller. The Lumina SDN Controller can be used to deliver 5G services.

Lumina Networks launched its partner program in October.

Martello Technologies SD-WAN Offering, Now For 5G

Network performance specialist Martello Technologies Group has been pushing the limits on its SD-WAN and link balancing technology this year.

In May, the company completed a successful proof of concept with Blackberry QNX for mobile SD-WAN for autonomous vehicles.

Ottawa-based Martello in December revealed that it has completed the first phase of testing its SD-WAN technology on ENCQOR 5G, Canada's first pre-commercial 5G wireless network.

Masergy Intelligent Service Control

Masergy Communications, a hybrid networking and cloud communications provider, updated its Intelligent Service Control (ISC) SD-WAN portal in August to include analytics for Unified Communications as a Service.

The addition is giving end customers more visibility and control over applications and their performance, specifically bandwidth-intensive, real-time voice applications.

Masergy in October refreshed its brand and added a new tagline to promote SD-WAN opportunities for solution providers. Plano, Texas-based Masergy does about 80 percent of its business through the channel.

Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect

Network optimization leader Silver Peak in December refreshed its Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform, which now has been injected with Unity Orchestrator Global Enterprise management software, a SaaS-based application designed for large-scale global enterprises with multiple divisions, business units or subsidiaries that each require a dedicated SD-WAN fabric, according to the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

With the new enhancements, each fabric can be individually orchestrated, secure and managed, Silver Peak said. Users and partners can also extend that automation into public cloud workloads such as Microsoft Azure instances. Silver Peak is also now offering more advanced segmentation within its EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform.