Forty-five percent of North American businesses intend to increase their spending on software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) over the next two years, according to a survey of 150 businesses by IHS (Infonetics).

“Within the data center, raw speed with support for software-defined networking (SDN) and virtualized workloads are the top requirements for fabrics among companies participating in our enterprise data center study,” Cliff Grossner, research director for data center, cloud and SDN at IHS, said in a statement.

“Meanwhile, outside the data center, SDN-led transformation is taking hold in the WAN optimization market,” Grossner said. “There’s a shift from optimizing application traffic flows over a single point-to-point WAN link to automated and dynamic load balancing of application traffic over multiple link types—MPLS, broadband, internet, cellular, etc.”

Among the other highlights of the report, security, application performance and scalability are respondent organizations’ top data center investment drivers; and the need for raw bandwidth continues to drive higher speeds in data center networking.

Also, the use of solid state drives for storage is increasing and placing higher performance demands on storage networking; and by 2017, 71% of survey respondents said they plan to have software-defined storage products in live production, up from 15% today.

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