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September 20, 2022
Six vendors occupy the top category in Gartner‘s latest SD-WAN Magic Quadrant.
The research firm unveiled its latest assessment of the SD-WAN market, which is still very much up for grabs. VMware, Fortinet and Cisco landed at the farthest edge of the Leaders quadrant. Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks and HPE also landed in that group. All six vendors finished in the Leaders category last year. The same went for 2020.
Juniper Networks and Huawei were the sole members of the Visionary and Challenger quadrants, respectively. Gartner added Forcepoint to the list this year, while dropping Riverbed and FatPipe Networks.
Gartner 2022 SD-WAN Magic Quadrant
The research firm previously called this study the WAN Edge Infrastructure Magic Quadrant. The included vendors needed to either be running at least 60,000 SD-WAN sites, at least 1,500 SD-WAN customers or land in the top 10 in market share.
The study also showed an increasingly cloud-based, security-integrated future for SD-WAN. Most notably, Gartner predicted that half of SD-WAN deals will occur as part of a secure access service edge (SASE) platform by 2025. SASE combines networking technologies like SD-WAN with next-gen security technologies into a unified platform. As of 2022, only 10% of SD-WAN purchases are part of a SASE offering, according to Gartner.
In addition, network-as-a-service (NaaS) offerings will encompass more and more SD-WAN sales. Gartner noted that almost zero percent of new SD-WAN procurements stem from a NaaS deal, but predicted that number to grow to 30% by 2026.
ATA Trusted Advisors’ Idris Odutoye
Idris Odutoye serves as technology advisor for professional IT consulting services firm ATA Trusted Advisors, said the movement toward software as a service and platform as a service have driven demand for SD-WAN and SASE.
“Customers need more visibility into what those applications are doing, and that’s where an SD-WAN/SASE product comes into play to give them that visibility,” Odutoye said.
Odutoye noted that the consumption model for these different vendors and these products varies significantly. Some of these companies came from the firewall industry and realized they needed to add a network component through an acquisition. Others come from the infrastructure world and are used to selling their solution as a do-it-yourself offering. Another subset of this group has partnered closely with network providers to deliver these offerings as a service. Odutoye said the value of an SD-WAN solution depends very much on how it fits the customer’s procurement and deployment needs.
“Are you the type of customer that wants to continue control your environment, and want to buy boxes? OK, we have options to help you procure those types of solutions. However, if you are limited on resources and you want more of a managed services feel, now we have a SASE/SD-WAN kind of option for you as well,” he told Channel Futures.
He said it’s also important to probe into the customer’s WAN strategy. What do they need from their network? Are they running an MPLS network, and do they want to move on from it?
“Are you considering other options that are either more secure, or that give you the flexibility to leverage multiple connections, have more resiliency, have more visibility into the applications? Because MPLS doesn’t do that for you,” Odutoye said. “So depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, SD-WAN/SASE is the next evolution of the WAN marketplace.”
Senior News Editor, Channel Futures
James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.
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