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CP List Revisited: 20 Top SD-WAN Providers for 2019

When it comes to SD-WAN, expectations are higher now.

Edward Gately

May 2, 2019

11 Min Read
Twenty, 20, SD-WAN providers
Jörge röse-oberreich/Shutterstock

A lot can happen in a year, especially if you’re in the highly competitive and ever-changing field of SD-WAN.

Last March, our second “CP List” focused on SD-WAN with analysts, members of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board and other industry experts sharing their views with us on what it now takes to succeed in SD-WAN. We’re back with an updated list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape during the past year.

Brian Washburn, practice leader of network transformation and cloud service for Ovum, said in the context of SD-WAN, there is still a confusion of vendor and service providers, each with their own, and sometimes conflicting, messages.

Washburn-Brian_Ovum.jpg

Ovum’s Brian Washburn

“We’ve seen an increase in customers that have started SD-WAN trials or small deployments,” he said. “Those enterprises learn that whether or not SD-WAN itself is ‘easy,’ the technology triggers more work and decisions that end up becoming a bigger, more complicated network transformation.”

Bryan Reynolds, TBI‘s director of sales operations and editorial advisory board member, said last year it was the “big three V’s (VeloCloud, Versa, Viptela).”

“The field has certainly opened up, now including CloudGenix more regularly, along with Fortinet SD-WAN, Cato Networks, BigLeaf, Ecessa and others,” he said. “It’s no longer, ‘Oh you are a Cisco show, you must want Viptela’ or ‘You have [an] AWS environment, you must want VeloCloud,’ It is all about the business needs and applications.”

Reynolds-Bryan_TBI.jpeg

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

Expectations are higher now, said Matthew Toth, founder and lead consultant of Collaborative Communications Consulting (C3).

“It’s not treated as ‘new technology’ now,” he said. “The space became hypercompetitive so quickly that products matured quickly to keep up with the inflow of new providers and fast-evolving existing providers. If I’m Cisco, I’m nervous. I don’t need Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts (CCIEs) or even Cisco Certified Network Associates (CCNAs) to run my WAN anymore.”

Harry Paparizos, Clarify360‘s vice president of engineering, said it’s an interesting time in the SD-WAN market.

“We’ve seen some acquisitions occurring as established tech providers look to jump into the SD-WAN market quickly, for example Oracle’s purchase of Talari in late 2018, VMware’s purchase of Velocloud in early 2018 and Cisco’s purchase of Viptela in 2017,” he said. “We’re also starting to see partnerships form like C3 and VeloCloud and PanTerra Networks joining forces with Bigleaf. Interoperability with hyperscale cloud providers is also a client expectation. We’re seeing more attention to a multicloud approach from many of the providers.”

Based on feedback from analysts, experts and recent news reports, we’ve compiled a list, in alphabetical order, of 20 top SD-WAN providers that are making the most of the current competitive landscape and charting success. The list offers a mix of well-known providers as well as lesser-known companies that are making big strides in SD-WAN.

Adaptiv

Adaptiv-300x156.pngPaparizos cites Adaptiv Networks as a company that provides solutions for specific client use cases and advantages.

“Customer expectations are changing in today’s SD-WAN environment, driving cutting-edge solutions to be delivered by providers,” said Kelly Ratcliff, Clarify360’s CEO. “Today it’s not only the initial migration to SD-WAN, but next steps in their technology road map as cloud-based apps and critical business systems are being driven to branch offices with the same needs and capabilities that headquarters has. As in any network, the last mile is critical and with gigabit and Metro Ethernet connections being delivered, finding the optimal solution of price and performance is easier.”

Aryaka

cd7940418ab54016a953f5b005c85e61-300x169.jpgPaparizos also cited Aryaka as one that provides solutions for specific client use cases and advantages. Aryaka and Next Dimension have initiated a partnership to provide Aryaka’s global SD-WAN service to multi-national enterprise customers that have a presence in Canada.

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Bigleaf Networks

bigleaf-300x102.pngBigleaf Networks last month announced it is making a global play. The provider said it has expanded its network and services to three of Europe’s major telecom hubs — Frankfurt, London, and Amsterdam — with plans to expand to Paris and Australia later this year. The expansion comes as business demand for SD-WAN heats up globally. MarketsandMarkets predicts the SD-WAN market will grow to $4.1 billion by 2023.

Cato Networks

f8321e31945546e38cab7153ebc6aba1-300x169.jpgReynolds points to Cato Networks as a successful SD-WAN provider.

“We’ve seen Cato Networks make big strides in their product set,” Toth said. “When combined with their global footprint and recent round of funding, they become an interesting player.”

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Cisco Viptela

Viptela.pngCisco Viptela has become more and more widely supported by service providers to appeal to enterprises that want to stay on an all-Cisco solution, Washburn said.

“Overall there is an increase in options and in sophistication from service providers,” he said. “Smaller, newer SD-WAN equipment entrants are not getting as much traction through the large service provider channel, but they might have better luck setting their sights lower, targeting enterprises through smaller channels, consultancies and market influencers.”

Citrix

ab469f6ffbb84fcf9d6790c93252d781-300x169.jpgLast month, Citrix announced that it will make its SD-WAN, and an application delivery and load balancing solution available on the Google Cloud Platform. The move is designed to allow companies to extend their networks to the cloud and deliver applications in a way that gives users access to the tools they need and prefer to use and perform anywhere and anytime from any device.

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CloudGenix

CloudGenix.pngReynolds said CloudGenix is a noteworthy SD-WAN provider.

“The industry is moving in a direction of ‘experience first,'” he said. ” Customers are expecting (not at a premium) white glove service. Most providers will sell a solution, even as a managed service, and leave the customer to figure out the implementation. We have seen great success from CloudGenix in this area. They go above and beyond, and guide the customer through the next steps after signature.  A ‘good’ provider will jump on calls to screen share and walk the customer through configuration/deployment with the help of diagrams.  Attention to detail goes well with customers.”

Cradlepoint

CradlePoint.pngIn January, Cradlepoint began offering customers a subscription-based pricing model, providing its wireless router, along with its software, on a subscription basis for one, three or five years. More than 27,000 enterprise and government organizations globally, including 75 percent of the world’s top retailers, 50 percent of the Fortune 100, and first-responder agencies in 10 of the largest U.S. cities, use Cradlepoint to keep branches, points of commerce, field forces, vehicles and IoT devices connected and protected.

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Ecessa

Ecessa-300x200.jpgEcessa announced an extensive product road map in December, entailing all the enhancements it would make for its platform in 2019. Those updates include Layer 7 web filtering, and intrusion detection and prevention systems. CEO Mike Siegler told Channel Partners that security is “table stakes” for SD-WAN.

“More security providers are getting into the SD-WAN game and more SD-WAN players are introducing security into their solution,” Reynolds said.

FatPipe Networks

Fatpipe.jpgWashburn said FatPipe Networks is an independent presence in SD-WAN. It recently chose Jenne as its newest distribution partner for SD-WAN. FatPipe has delivered more than 10,000 deployments and provides Jenne partners with compatible solutions to enhance network connectivity, security, applications and cloud services.

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Fortinet

Fortinet.pngWashburn said Fortinet is a key player in SD-WAN.

“Dedicated network performance has standardized to a degree with so much network peering taking place with all the carriers that who is providing the last mile is not as important anymore as much as the carrier’s ability to execute and support a solution,” Reynolds said. “Customers are starting to trend away from the big LECs and MSOs because they can get to the underlying network through more niche and white glove providers who guarantee a better support experience.”

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Juniper Networks

07c24a50931e4defba3b47e713259db2-300x169.jpgWashburn said Juniper Networks has a solid product. Last month, the company announced a version of its Contrail Service Orchestration offering that it will deliver through the cloud. The new platform also integrates the “AI-driven” wireless LAN of its recently purchased Mist Systems. Mist will allows customers to see analytics about their WiFi and other networking features.

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Mako Networks

Mako-Networks.pngMako Networks integrates cloud management and reporting, SD-WAN, Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE failover, VPN cloud, firewalls, end-to-end PCI DSS certification and content filtering into one system.

“We’re seeing less of a focus on cost savings and more of a focus on other advantages like redundancy and more forward thinking around security,” Paparizos said. “By changing the architecture from hub and spoke to one where internet is used as the primary connectivity resource at the remote sites, we move from one point of ingress and egress to hundreds. We’re starting to see more of a focus on security conversations and features with particular emphasis on cloud. The goal is the provide a client deep visibility into the network so that they can easily spot a security attack. Most clients are opting for managed SD-WAN services, electing not to self-manage. There is a market for MSPs that are able to provide white glove SD-WAN management post deployment.”

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Masergy

Masergy-logo-small-300x160.pngMasergy is cited as the lone visionary in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Network Services, Global report.

“Enterprises are focusing on increasing the agility of their networks and on services that can enable their adoption of cloud IT delivery and eventual adoption of IoT,” Gartner said. “This is leading to most new global networks being based on SD-WAN and making greater use of the internet as a primary WAN transport. Additionally, enterprises are more willing to utilize smaller providers and innovative services consumed on an as-a-service basis.”

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Nuage Networks

Nuage-Networks.pngNokia’s Nuage Networks has a strong presence internationally and has made some U.S. inroads, Washburn said.

“There are more and more providers that offer this springing out every day,” Reynolds said. “While M&A is still the normal thing to happen to any industry, the telecom industry has seen a surge as of late, and with the many carriers using other carrier’s technologies, this means that customers no longer have to go to the ‘biggest’ carriers to get enterprise-ready solutions.”

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Riverbed Technology

50bb81555a0f41bb837797bc05ffd859-300x169.jpgPaparizos said Riverbed Technology is among “tried and true vendors that have long pedigrees of excellent products in the network hardware space.” Washburn also cited Riverbed among successful players.

“An effective SD-WAN service should offer dynamic path selection between these different links based on predefined policies set to align with business priorities,” Ratcliff said. “They should test circuit performance in real time, measuring packet loss, latency and jitter to determine if the line meets the acceptable level of quality for its application traffic. Clients also need guaranteed traffic levels for different applications and secure VPN. Lastly, zero-touch deployment that allow appliances to be delivered remotely and configured by simply powering on.”

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Silver Peak

Silver-Peak.pngPaparizos and Washburn said Silver Peak is a noteworthy presence in SD-WAN. The provider is leaning heavily on channel partners to sell its Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution. It also is expanding its distribution partnership with Synnex in order to build its North American indirect sales presence. The companies had already been working together by virtue of Synnex owning Westcon-Comstor, but the earlier partnership covered Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific.

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Talari Networks

Talari.pngTalari Networks is among cutting-edge, successful providers, Reynolds said. Last November, Oracle completed its acquisition of Talari. George Just, Talari’s vice president of worldwide channel sales, told Channel Partners the acquisition will open new areas of the market for Talari and its partners.

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Versa Networks

Versa-300x200.jpgWashburn said Versa Networks remains a strong SD-WAN provider. Last month, Versa released a cloud-managed SD-WAN branch and security service for MSPs and midmarket enterprises. Alongside the Versa Titan offering, it released Versa Cloud Services Gateway, a series of appliances that provide security and SD-WAN.

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VMware VeloCloud

bb283eb3ba2448eb87e7f9f59e4808ef-300x169.jpgWashburn cites VMware VeloCloud as a successful SD-WAN provider. VMware bought VeloCloud and brought its SD-WAN offering into its portfolio in late 2017. Many analysts saw the acquisition as a move that cemented VMware and Cisco as the top two vendors, while rivals like Aryaka and Silver Peak loomed large.

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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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