Optus Business today stepped into the burgeoning local software-defined wide area networkmarket, hot on the heels of rival Macquarie Telecom which launched its own service last month.\nThe telco\u2019sOptus Fusion SD-WAN offering is supported by Riverbed\u2019s SteelConnect platform and can be deployed as an \u2018over-the-top\u2019 managed service across any business network \u2013 regardless of provider or connection.\n \n\u201cBusiness is moving at an unprecedented pace and, in an effort to remain relevant, organisations have deployed technologies from multiple providers. With real-time insights into how network components are working together and performing, CIOs, network architects and developers are empowered with information shaping existing and future IT strategies,\u201d said Enzo Cocotti, director at Optus Business.\n \nOptus Business said the insights provided by the product allow businesses to improve and prioritise data flow between network branches, as well as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure cloud environments, to immediately address business needs.\n \n\u201cThis is the start of the evolution of SD-WAN in Australia. As organisations continue to adopt more and more cloud apps and services, the network has to adapt to become more agile and intelligent,\u201d said Keith Buckley, Riverbed Technology\u2019s vice president ANZ. \u201c[The offering] represents a catalyst for change \u2013 and a radical new approach to networking in today\u2019s cloud-centric world.\u201d\n \nHuge growth\n \nEnterprises are relying more and more on SD-WAN to streamline connections among enterprise sites, resulting in a market for the technology which isexpected to balloonfrom $225 million in 2015 to US$1.19 billion by the end of this year, according to IDC.\n \nOver the next five years, SD-WAN sales will grow at a 69 per cent compound annual growth rate, hitting US$8.05 billion in 2021, according to IDC\u2019s Worldwide SD-WAN Forecast, 2017\u20132021.\n \n\u201cSD-WAN offers compelling value for its ability to defray MPLS costs, simplify and automate WAN operations, improve application traffic management, and dynamically deliver on the cost and efficiency benefits associated with intelligent path selection,\u201d IDC analysts Rohit Mehra and Brad Casemore write in the report.\n\nMacquarie Telecom launched its SD-WAN service in August, partnering with US cloud SD-WAN pioneer VeloCloud. The company claimed at the time that around 80 customers were already using the service.\nThe company's group executive Luke Clifton called the technology "the most exciting development in the market since the dawn of 3G".