This is How the Average Enterprise is Managing Their Network in 2020

By Elizabeth ThorneMar 12, 2020


After another year of polling and interviewing WAN managers around the world, the results of our annual WAN Manager Survey are in.

Once again, we connected with networking professionals from nearly 100 companies, focusing on those whose day-to-day role covers designing, sourcing, and managing U.S. national, regional, and global corporate wide area computer networks. 

What'd we discover? Here are some top-line takeaways.

The Future of MPLS

The demise of MPLS is often a matter of speculation in the industry, however, it's still by far the most prominent product deployed on global networks. The average respondent’s WAN was running MPLS at two thirds of sites. But this is a case where we need to look at the entire distribution to get the full story. 

  • 41% of respondents reported that they had MPLS running at 90% or more of their sites.
  • 14% reported 100% MPLS coverage of their global sites.
  • On the other end, a quarter had MPLS installed at fewer than 50% of sites. 
  • 5% were running no MPLS. While it is likely this number will increase as SD-WAN adoption reaches maturity, the data also show that MPLS is not quickly disappearing by any means. 

Trends in Cloud

WAN managers have an array of IaaS partners to choose from. When selecting cloud computing services, our respondents heavily favored Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) – with 78% and 73% reported usage, respectively. 

We found that IBM and Google were less common, with less than 20% usage each across all respondents. Oracle, which recently moved into cloud computing by leveraging its enterprise software, saw limited uptake among participating companies. 

Security, Security, Security  

At the WAN Summit, we've increasingly heard calls to reexamine network security and strengthen the relationship between network teams and their security counterparts.

We started our discussion of security by investigating where network security responsibilities sit within the IT team. 

  • Most commonly, network and security were handled by separate teams who worked closely together on things like SD-WAN or hybrid network adoption. 
  • Around one-quarter of respondents said that security was a separate team but that their WAN team has security focused members. 
  • Just under 20% had fully or mostly integrated network and security teams, while having teams with little to no overlap was the least common configuration.    

There's more raw data where this came from. Learn more about the WAN Manager Survey here.


Forum Fest '21

Elizabeth Thorne

Elizabeth Thorne

Elizabeth Thorne is a Research Analyst at TeleGeography. Her work is focused on enterprise network research.