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The CP List: 20 Top SD-WAN Providers You Should Know

VeloCloud, Aryaka, Versa Networks, Windstream and Cisco are among those that made our list. But who else?

Edward Gately

March 20, 2018

14 Slides

**Editor’s Note: Did you miss our list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners? It’s here.

Being a successful SD-WAN provider takes continuous innovation, offering a wide range of options, and effective support and simplicity, all in a highly competitive field.

Acquisitions like VMware buying VeloCloud, Cisco scooping up Viptela and Riverbed Technology buying Xirrus, have shaken the competitive landscape. And a myriad of players stand ready to tell everyone how their SD-WAN leaves everyone else’s in the dust.

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ScanSource’s Rhonda Trainor

Analysts, members of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board and other industry experts shared their views with us on what it now takes to succeed in SD-WAN.

“The largest single most heard appliance concern is costs,” said Rhonda Trainor, ScanSource’s director of merchandising and editorial advisory board member. “SD-WAN providers must be competitive to traditional connectivity, while making the product simple to implement and monitor. The ability to provide a complete overall solution to fit the needs of the customer … integrating with existing circuits if needed, adding application acceleration, adding security components, etc. Many suppliers may fit into an area or two, but adapting to what the customer’s real needs are is the key to providing the best overall cutting edge SD-WAN solution.”

SD-WAN providers are facing a stiff challenge from Cisco, said Matthew Toth, founder and lead consultant of Collaborative Communications Consulting (C3).

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C3’s Matthew Toth

“Virtually every route/switch vendor out there changed gears quickly from selling iWAN (Cisco SD-WAN), an overly complex solution, to selling a simpler, better Viptela-based solution,” he said. “Since Viptela can be implemented as a virtual service on existing routers, customers find it appealing to implement SD-WAN without another device needing to be added. It is getting harder to compete in the SD-WAN space because there are at least a dozen reputable platforms competing today. If you’re going to break into that group, you’ve got to have a killer feature that most or all of the group is lacking today.”

Bryan Reynolds, TBI’s senior manager of post sales and editorial advisory board member, said higher-end SD-WAN providers now are “struggling with too much (firewall, WAN optimization, content filtering, intrusion detection, and intrusion prevention) on one box and the ability to deploy their solutions on the low-end appliance that they are currently running.”

“This is the way the market is headed so now SD-WAN providers are needing to deploy high availability virtual platforms to house their SD-WAN solution on the customer premise[s],” he said.

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TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

Harry Paparizos, Clarify360’s vice president of engineering, said customers consistently want six features in an SD-WAN provider: zero-touch installation; remote-device elimination; service chaining/insertion; automated IP address discovery; brown-out resiliency; and voice-quality scoring for voice applications.

“Successful providers are offering all of these features in a platform that offers cloud-based management, application awareness, and a centralized policy engine,” he said. “Many of these offerings are table stakes or they should be. Be cognizant of them as you compare providers.”

Based on feedback from analysts, editorial advisory board members, recent news reports and Gartner’s Competitive Landscape: WAN Edge report, we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 top SD-WAN providers – a mix of pure-play types and SD-WAN partners – that are making the most of the current competitive landscape and charting success.

Click through our gallery below to see who made our list and why.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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