CF20: 2024's 20 Top SD-WAN Providers You Should Know

Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks also made our list. See who else did and why.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 16, 2024

20 Slides

SD-WAN providers are seeing increasing demand as rising adoption of cloud services and more fuel global market growth.

As more businesses migrate their operations to the cloud, the demand for SD-WAN solutions increases. SD-WAN provides reliable, secure and high-performance connectivity to cloud applications and services.

SD-WAN solutions come with integrated security features such as encryption, firewall and other advanced features to help protect against security threats and complement the services provided by a cloud-based security service edge (SSE).

In addition, SD-WAN solutions reduce operational costs by leveraging lower-cost internet connections instead of more expensive, traditional MPLS circuits.

This is our fourth annual “CF20” focused on top SD-WAN providers; the seventh if you count our previous CP Lists. Analysts share their views on what it takes for SD-WAN providers to succeed with the technology. It includes an updated list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the global SD-WAN market should grow from $3.4 billion in 2021 to $13.7 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.9%.

Mauricio Sanchez, Dell’Oro‘s research director for network security, secure access service edge (SASE) and SD-WAN, said several trends have emerged in the SD-WAN industry that are significantly impacting its development.


“Notably, SD-WAN and SSE have become closely integrated over the past four years under the SASE banner,” he said. “However, whether as part of a larger SASE solution or stand-alone, SD-WAN has primarily been utilized for distributed enterprise branches, such as retail stores, banks and smaller campuses. SD-WAN has not traditionally been used to replace enterprise WAN backbone deployments. This is now changing as SD-WAN technologies continue to evolve.”

Emerging networking solutions that go beyond traditional SD-WAN are increasingly focused on providing on-demand, as-a-service WAN connectivity, Sanchez said.

“This shift allows enterprises to leverage and consume networking across the entire enterprise WAN, moving beyond just branch connectivity,” he said. “As a result, these next-gen SD-WAN solutions are starting to play a more significant role in the overall enterprise WAN strategy.”

Adding SSE Features

Brian Washburn, Omdia‘s research director of service provider enterprise and wholesale, said SD-WAN is alive and well, and is growing, though an increasing share of the market is now adding SSE features and therefore is reporting some form of SASE. Not single-platform SASE, but the idea of combined cloud-based security functions and network is there.


“The average large enterprise with SD-WAN/SSE/SASE now has more than three solutions in its networks,” he said. “Most commonly, enterprises keep them straight by using solutions for different functions, and/or having them operated by different groups. Ninety-one percent of enterprise SD-WAN/SASE/SSE adopters subscribe to one or more managed services. This take rate for managed services has held steady over time.”

In the past, dissatisfied solutions adopters had patience, Washburn said. They were willing to stay the course and iron out problems.

“Not anymore,” he said. “Today’s adopters are more likely to swap services partners first than wait it out and hope circumstances improve. And they are as likely to swap platforms as to stay the course.”

Shifting to Services Consumption

Eric Hanselman, chief analyst, TMT, at 451 Research, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said the SD-WAN market continues to grow and it has shifted to a greater percentage of services consumption.


“Hyperscalers are adding services, colocation providers are increasing connectivity options and network operators are expanding their service offerings,” he said. “Cloud-delivered services have become more attractive to the midmarket as more of their application use has shifted to cloud and SaaS.”

The most effective SD-WAN deployment is the one that best meets an organization’s operational needs, Hanselman said.

“There are many options to choose from, but one of the most critical aspects is the ease of operation,” he said. “Whether consumed as a service or deployed with products, it’s critical that the management and policy controls are well integrated to ensure that they can be operated with reasonable effort. They need to have the ability to deploy simply and the flexibility to deploy into a variety of situations. Security controls are becoming increasingly important, whether they’re delivered in SASE or SSE form, and SD-WAN offerings have been a stepping stone to their deployment.”

We’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 top SD-WAN providers. It’s based on feedback from analysts and recent news reports. The providers in the slideshow above are making the most of the ongoing competitive landscape and charting success.

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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