Top 10 SD-WAN Companies and Providers in 2020

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SD-WAN: Software-Defined Wide-Area Network is an application of Software-defined Networking technology applied to Wide Area Networks (WAN). SD-WAN simplifies the administration, management, and operation of a WAN by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism. It connects enterprise networks — including branch offices and data centers — over large geographic distances.

In this blog, we have discussed the Top Best SD-WAN Companies & Providers available in the market. The information is gathered from various resources such as the Gartner WAN Edge Infrastructure report Published on 26 November 2019.

VMware

VMware is a publicly-traded company located in Palo Alto, California. It is estimated to have more than 5500 WAN Edge customers worldwide. VMware offers VMware SD-WAN by Velocloud. The VMware SD-WAN includes physical and virtual edge appliances, cloud getaways and orchestration. They can be on-premises or hosted by VMware or MSP. When the SD-Wan is combining with its gateways, it could offer enterprises a platform that is scalable for accessing cloud workloads. VMware can scale itself for large deployments. VMware offers 3 subscription levels and can align itself with use cases and price points. These use cases and price points are based on cloud connectivity and network scale.

The vendor’s solution has optimization for real-time traffic and cloud-based applications. It does not have a traditional WAN Optimization Functionality and Native Advanced Security Capabilities. VMware will focus on performance analytics, self-healing networks, and multi-cloud integration.

Advantages

  • VMware partners include multiple global NSPs, VMware and Dell Channels. Hence, enterprises many ways to consume the solution
  • The VMware has its record of deploying large, complex, and global networks in more than 1000 sites i.e largest number of WAN Deployments
  • The VMware SD-WAN Solutions provide edge devices with virtual or physical with orchestration and cloud gateways. These can be cloud-based, cloud-hosted, or MSP-hosted

Disadvantages

  • VMware does not consist of WAN Optimization capabilities.
  • It also does not support IPv6, this in-turn limits the vendor’s ability to support some deployments
  • VMware relies on partner firewalls on its platform or cloud security services

 

Silver Peak

Silver Peak is a private firm currently headquartered in Santa Clara, California. The company is estimated to have 3000 customers and more than 1500 on their WAN edge platform. Silver Peak’s WAN edge product is widely known as Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN appliances (eg. Physical, virtual, and Cloud). The Silver Peak SD-WAN is known to have optional Unity Boost WAN Optimization and Unity Orchestration. Silver Peak’s products are available from a wide range of partners including multiple NSPs. Silver Peak’s three main USPs are strong application performance, real-time optimization, and WAN optimization. But the vendor still lacks on its security capabilities.

Silver Peak is expected to focus on orchestration to extend them for ecosystem services and cloud analytics. The Silver Peak SD-WAN can be used by organizations in all sizes for WAN edge opportunities especially when the SD-WAN requires optimization functionality and path conditioning.

Advantages

  • Silver Peak’s SD-WAN pays attention to client’s needs and focuses on automation and believes in ease of use.
  • Its USPs, namely, strong application performance, real-time optimization, and WAN optimization take it a long way.
  • Channels and MSPs are projected to sell the Silver Peak solution which proves that the vendor is expanding in relevant terms to client’s consumption needs

Disadvantages

  • Silver Peak has limitations with small devices (No integrated Wi-Fi) for small branch offices
  • It lacks a native full advanced security suite
  • It also lacks cloud gateways requiring MSPs or Enterprises

 

Fortinet

Fortinet is a public company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It is estimated to have more than 21,000 WAN edge customers. Fortigate Secure SD-WAN stands strong in the SD-WAN Market. Fortigate is available in Network Function Virtualization (NFV), appliance, and via all major cloud marketplaces. Fortigate consists of a strong built in stack to its WAN Edge Architecture. It also comprises of NGFW, IPS/IDS, Decryption/Encryption, DNS Filtering, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and Anti-Virus.

Fortinet manages the FortiGate Platform via FortiManager or FortiGate Cloud. Fortinet is expected to increase investing in cloud based capabilities in access and security. It should also increase investments in its SD-based Portfolio. Fortigate can be considered by organizations of all sizes especially when strong, built-in security capabilities are the key.

Advantages

  • Fortinet ensures that it supports both managed and DIY Services Adopters
  • Fortinet’s large portfolio including advanced security, SD-WAN, and application performance gives it a broad market
  • Fortinet’s investments in SD-WAN and ASIC specific yield and performance at competitive prices will help them go a long way.

Disadvantages

  • Fortinet does not have much experience in cloud-first deployments and highly complex networking solutions
  • Fortinet’s carrier based SD-WAN service portfolio will limit it to only certain regions on the globe
  • Fortinet products are used only as security appliances and less as networking solutions

 

Cisco

Cisco is a publicly-traded company. It is based in San Jose, California. It has more than 100,000 WAN edge customers. It is estimated that more than 800 customers use Cisco’s flagship SD-WAN as a security appliance. It can also be used as a virtual software in cloud services. Cisco also offers the vEdge Solution. It also supports complex architectures with routing, application performance, and a broad set of advanced security functionality.

The Cisco SD-WAN Powered by Meraki solution promotes simplicity and ease of us but lacks application performance capabilities. The Meraki and Viptela offerings do not share common hardware or management fireworks. Cisco is recommended to focus on application performance capabilities, multi-cloud integration, and advancing multi-domain policy enforcement. The Cisco SD-WAN can be used in all industries and geographic locations.

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Advantages

  • Cisco’s Cloud Security Platform, Umbrella is supported on both Meraki and Viptela Platforms
  • Cisco’s SD-WAN Offers and Platforms have features like LAN/WLAN, Security, and Application Performance
  • Cisco’s strong enterprise network channel with brand awareness and current customer base supports both MNS and DIY deployment

Disadvantages

  • The Cisco Licensing Structure is complicated and can be difficult to understand
  • Cisco’s SD-WAN, powered by Viptela on the IOS XE platform is stable but has scaling issues
  • Cisco has broad and overlapping SD-WAN offerings that don’t share a common management platform. Hence clients have a hard time choosing the most appropriate solution.

 

Citrix

Citrix is a publicly-traded company that is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Citrix is known to have approximately 1200 WAN edge customers who have deployed Citrix products worldwide. Citrix SD-WAN appliances (virtual, physical, and cloud) are managed via Citrix SD-WAN Center. The solution has features like WAN Optimization and an optional Cloud Gateway Service for Cloud Onramp capabilities. It is designed for small to large organizations and has some native security functionality but not as advanced as some other vendors.

Citrix is recommended to focus on lowering costs, designing small-footprint devices, and adding a more advanced native security functionality. They could also focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence performance remediation and diagnostics. The Citrix SD-WAN can be used in organizations with current Citrix Software. Also, organizations with all sized and geographic locations can use the Citrix SD-WAN.

Advantages

  • For added performance and convenience for end customers, Citrix can see its SD-WAN by combining it with its digital workspace solutions
  • Citrix SD-WAN is managed via the same user interface as other Citrix solutions hence simplifying operations
  • Citrix SD-WAN includes a fully-featured WAN optimization capability
  • It also has cloud gateways for cloud onramp access to cloud workloads

Disadvantages

  • Citrix is often not seen as a network vendor which limits its growth
  • The number of service provider partners are small compared to other vendors which limit the vendors ability to grow
  • Citrix does not have a full, native, and advanced security suite and relies on partners for unified threat management (UTM) or cloud security services.

 

Huawei

Huawei is a private company headquartered in Shenzhen, China. Huawei is estimated to have more than 50,000 WAN edge customers. Many of them are located in the APAC region. Huawei has a full suite of networking infrastructure hardware, software, cloud, and consumer devices. Huawei’s WAN edge market comprises of AR Series of Routers, AR Series uCPE devices, NetEngine, and CloudWAN. Huawei’s full network stack product comprises of a comprehensive security suite including content filtering, URL, NGFW, and IDS/IPS.

Huawei’s solution delivers broad functionality but he GUI is complicated and less user-friendly. Huawei should make investments in expanding automation in its WAN edge portfolio using Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Intent-based networking and analytics. Huawei can be used by organizations outside The United States of America and Canada of all sizes.

Advantages

  • Huawei has an experience is making extremely large deployments with more than 5000 branch locations
  • Huawei is dominant in China, present in APAC as well as South America, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa
  • Huawei consists of mainly all features like flexible deployment form factors, full SD-WAN, a capable integrated security stack, and basic Wan Optimization

Disadvantages

  • Huawei’s GUI is complex and less user friendly than other vendors
  • Huawei is restricted to certain geographic locations due to geopolitical upheaval and security concerns
  • The SD-WAN Cloud Service helpful for deploying SD-WAN over public internet is available only in China

 

Versa

Versa is a privately held company based in San Jose, California. Versa is estimated to have more than 1,000 WAN edge customers. It focuses on branch and WAN functions, including routing, SD-WAN and security. Versa’s WAN edge offering is the Versa FlexVNF software. The FlexVNF supports advanced routing, multiple advanced security functions (such as NGFW, A/V, and content filtering), and comprehensive SD-WAN Versa supports FEC and packet duplication for real-time traffic but there are no native WAN optimization features.

FlexVNF can be delivered on a branded appliance, on a white-box hardware appliance or as a virtual instance in AWS. Azure, Google, Alibaba and Tencent clouds and as a software appliance delivered on white boxes Versa has been more successful selling through managed services providers versus do it yourself (DIY) customers. Versa could focus on its midmarket solution and small or midsize business (SMB) clients. Versa can be used by all enterprises in North America, the APAC region and EMEA.

Advantages

  • Versa’s strategic OEM partnership with Riverbed. This gives it access to global enterprises in which Riverbed is the incumbent and increase its growth.
  • Versa’s strong relationship with the managed service partners and CSPs is another factor responsible for its growth in the market.
  • Versa has advanced feature depth and breadth with enhanced security, voice optimization, SD-WAN in an integrated solution.

Disadvantages

  • Versa’s production network deployments are limited to 800 branches.
  • Versa does not include WAN Optimization and relies on hosting third-part virtual appliances
  • Since most of Versa’s customers are sold through MSPs hence it has less experience with direct enterprise DIY.

 

CloudGenix

CloudGenix is a privately held company located in San Jose, California, CloudGenix is estimated to have more than 800 WAN edge customers primarily SD-WAN. It is known to offer basic firewalling capability, ION appliances which are available in software and hardware devices. They are also present in Azure and AWS marketplaces. CloudGenix provides cloud service with intuitive workflow and strong analytics functionality.

It also supports routing and networking topologies but no WAN optimization and native advanced security. CloudGenix is recommended to continue with its Cloud Based Platform focusing on cloud delivered branch and autonomous networking. CloudGenix should be used by companies in North America who are looking to deploy SD-WAN and a focus on network visibility, application, and cloud delivered solutions.

Advantages

  • CloudGenix’s GUI is straightforward and spontaneous to operate
  • CloudGenix’s CloudBlades provides the turnkey service which allows users to integrate SD-WAN with various cloud services.
  • The vendor offers clarity into network health and application performance

Disadvantages

  • CloudGenix lacks some capabilities compared to competitors like Native Advanced Security Features and WAN Optimization
  • CloudGenix may limit the vendor’s ability to grow since its limited adoption by carriers and the managed services are mainly adopted by DIY-focused clients
  • It has also covered a limited geographical area outside of North America which may again limit its growth

 

Aryaka

Like most of the companies previously, Aryaka is a privately held company based out of San Mateo, California. Aryaka is estimated to have more than 800 customers. Aryaka’s technology is named as SmartCONNECT which is managed by SD-WAN. This service combines the Aryaka Network Access Point (ANAP) CPE with the Aryaka Global Core backbone. It not only includes SD-WAN but also visibility and WAN Optimization. The Aryaka backbone also supports the controlled routing of traffic. This traffic is controlled to applications in the enterprise data centres and cloud applications via cloud and internet gateways.

This service is not aligned for DIY customers as it is sold as a managed service. Aryaka is expected to focus on enhancing its cloud connectivity integration, advanced analytics, and security vendor service chaining. It can be used by organizations anywhere across the globe who require WAN Optimization and SD-WAN Services.

Advantages

  • Aryaka’s SD-WAN includes WAN optimization which is known to boost the application performance over long distances.
  • It also provides an all in one SD-WAN, Private Backbone and Managed Service Solution thus making procurement easier for customers.
  • Aryaka offers a private global backbone with direct cloud getaways which provides a solution to optimize the application performance

Disadvantages

  • Organizations which are present in smaller area countries and away from the Aryaka Point of Presence (POP) will not benefit from the Aryaka Backbone and WAN Optimization
  • The SmartCONNECT service is not useful for enterprises who prefer to manage their own SD-WAN Networks (DIY clients)
  • It also supports only Ethernet and Internet connection for its services which are in-turn limited to SD-WAN configurations and make migrations from MPLS much complex

 

Here are some more SD-WAN Vendors you might want to consider:

Juniper Networks

Juniper’s flagship WAN solution is called Contrail SD-WAN. It comprises of SRX Series Services Gateways (physical, virtual, and cloud). Juniper Networks provide a complete portfolio of WAN edge platform including MX routers, and NFX secure uCPE network function virtualization appliances which host WAN edge functions.

HPE (Aruba)

Aruba is a networking Wi-Fi and LAN switching vendors. Aruba’s Flagship WAN edge solution includes branch gateways, physical, and virtual headended gateways, and the Aruba Central Cloud Platform.

Oracle (Talari Networks)

The Oracle SD-WAN provides support for application analytics, active real-time traffic migration, and path selection. The solution is focused on delivering WAN edge connectivity with limited native advanced security. Oracle relies on partnerships with Zscaler or Palo Alto to address Next Generation Firewall requirements.

Nuage Networks

Nuage’s Virtualized Network Services (VNS) consists of Virtualized Services Directory (VSD), the Virtualized Services Controller (VSC), and the Network Services Gateway (NSG) CPE (physical, virtual and cloud). It has developed a scalable SD-WAN solution with comprehensive routing capabilities. It collaborates with NSPs worldwide to deploy SD-WAN as a service.

Cradlepoint

Cradlepoint has been focuses to enable connectivity to small branch and retail locations, which emphasize on 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity. It also addresses the SD-WAN market with its NetCloud, AER series of routers and Cloud Virtual Router (CVR) products. The NetCloud suite includes an NGFW, with advanced features like intrusion prevention system/intrusion detection system (IDS/IPS) and URL filtering.

FatPipe Networks

FatPipe provides a range of WAN products like secure routers, link aggregators/load balancers and WAN optimization appliances. Its flagship WAN edge solution is called as the FatPipe SD-WAN. It includes the company’s MPVPN CPE (physical and virtual) and its Symphony orchestrator. FatPipe has deployed its SD-WAN products across multiple industries. The solution has broad capabilities with SD-WAN, application performance and security.

Riverbed

Riverbed’s flagship WAN edge solution is called as SteelConnect and SteelHead SD, which supports SD-WAN with WAN optimization. Riverbed devices are available in physical and virtual form factors and centrally administered by SteelConnect Manager (cloud-based or on-premises). Since Riverbed does not offer vendor-hosted cloud gateways as a service, the virtual appliances are available on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud, and global SaaS acceleration is offered as a vendor-hosted managed service.

Peplink

Peplink comprises of two SD-WAN products: Balance and Max, which deliver wired and wireless SD-WAN, respectively. Peplink SD-WAN platforms are administered via InControl 2 cloud-based management platform. Peplink also addresses the need to remediate real-time application and voice traffic with its SpeedFusion WAN smoothing, which uses FEC as its active remediation mechanism. However, it offers no WAN optimization for non-real time traffic. The platform can be secured via its limited advanced native security suite, which includes IDS/IPS and web filtering.

Barracuda

Barracuda makes use of its prior experience in selling security products as a basis for delivering SD-WAN functionality to its flagship CloudGen Firewall offering. The CloudGen Firewall is available in physical appliance as well as virtual network function (VNF). This is in addition to being available as a virtual appliance on Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Marketplaces. CloudGen Firewall also includes features such as WAN optimization and real-time traffic remediation, using packet duplication.

Teldat

Teldat provides a broad range of voice and data products like LAN, WAN, WLAN and voice. Its flagship WAN edge offers the Teldat M8 Smart, an SD-WAN edge gateway and the Cloud Network Manager (CNM) controller. Telnet also provides routing, SD-WAN, some native advanced security functionality including IDS, A/V, and cloud content filtering. But the vendor offers no WAN optimization or real-time optimization capabilities.

The above vendors are top industry players you can trust for your organization. If you have any more suggestions kindly let us know.

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