Fortinet, VMware, Palo Alto, Versa Lead Packed Gartner WAN Edge Magic Quadrant

According to Gartner, more and more enterprise customers want to rely on only public internet for their connectivity.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

September 22, 2021

2 Min Read
WAN optimization

Fortinet, VMware and a few other companies are pushing each other for the lead in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN edge infrastructure.

The same six companies occupy Gartner’s “Leaders” quadrant from 2020 to 2021: Fortinet, VMware, Versa Networks, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco and HPE. The race has tightened since 2019, when only VMware and Silver Peak (since acquired by HPE/Aruba) resided among the leaders.


Source: 2021 Gartner WAN Edge Infrastructure Magic Quadrant

The “Visionaries” quadrant contains only Juniper Networks. Last year it included Juniper and HPE Aruba, but HPE moved into the leader quadrant following its integration of Silver Peak. Citrix and Huawei continue to populate the “Challengers” quadrant.

Teldat represented the only true departure from the quadrant, having “failed to meet the inclusion criteria.” Gartner requires that vendors offer publicly available, 24/7-supported enterprise WAN edge networking hardware or software. Gartner counts SD-WAN and traditional branch routers as WAN edge infrastructure.

Customer Count

Gartner listed its estimations of how many WAN edge or SD-WAN customers each vendor possesses:

  • Cisco: 40,000 WAN edge customers

  • Fortinet: 34,000 WAN edge customers (and more than 10,000 SD-WAN customers)

  • Huawei: 20,000 WAN edge customers

  • Juniper Networks: 18,000 WAN edge customers

  • VMware: 14,000 SD-WAN customers

  • Peplink: 14,000 WAN edge customers

  • Barracuda: 12,000 WAN edge customers

  • Versa Networks: 12,000 WAN edge customers

  • Cradlepoint: 9,000 WAN edge customers

  • Riverbed” 3,000 SD-WAN customers

  • HPE Aruba 3,000 WAN edge customers

  • Nuage Networks: 2,500 enterprise WAN edge customers

  • FatPipe Networks: 2,000 WAN edge customers

  • Palo Alto Networks: 2,000 WAN edge customers

  • Citrix: 1,700 WAN edge customers

These numbers obviously should not be taken as one-to-one comparisons from one vendor to another. However, they give an interesting glimpse into the size of the market.

Gartner’s report reflects the movement of enterprise customers from private MPLS networks to public internet as their main source of connectivity. For example, Gartner predicted that 40% of enterprise locations will solely use internet WAN connectivity. Currently, 15% of them use only internet.

Gartner found that 40% of SD-WAN customers operate a secure access service edge (SASE) environment. Furthermore, Gartner forecasted that number to jump up to beyond 70% by 2024.

The study also predicted a rise in AI features connected to SD-WAN deployments. Gartner estimates that fewer than 5% of SD-WAN customers are using AI for “Day 2 operations.” However, it expects the percentage to rise to 40% by 2025.

Gartner forecasts the WAN edge market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.6% from 2019 to 2025. On one hand, SD-WAN will grow at an 18% CAGR, while on the other, traditional branch office routers will decline 16.5%.

Dell’Oro Group earlier this month reported that first-half 2021 SD-WAN market bested first-half 2020 by 39%. Dell’Oro also said that the top six vendors hold 70% of market share.


About the Author(s)

James Anderson

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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