Gartner ID's New SD-WAN Leaders in 'Magic Quadrant'

Former "Visionary" Aryaka pooh-poohed its absence as the number of "Leaders" quadrant members tripled.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

September 29, 2020

3 Min Read
Global WAN

There are more Gartner WAN Edge Magic Quadrant “Leaders” this year.

The research firm just unveiled its latest WAN Edge Magic Quadrant (MQ), which evaluates SD-WAN vendors. Far more companies crowd the Leaders quadrant in 2020 than in 2019. Only VMware and Silver Peak claimed that honor in 2019, but Fortinet, Versa Networks, Cisco and Palo Alto Networks have now joined them.


Source: Gartner

In particular, Versa and Fortinet came closest to matching VMware. Gartner noted Fortinet’s recent service provider wins and said Versa’s “growth has outpaced the market.”

VMware, on the other hand, placed ahead of the pack for the third consecutive year.

Gartner’s report observed the dramatic change the WAN edge market has undergone in the last few years. Previously, a select few routing-focused suppliers dominated the market, according to Gartner.

“However, as SD-WAN routing functionality has improved and, in most cases, has become equal to traditional routers, vendor products have been proved, and traditional routers are reaching end of life,” report authors Jonathan Forest, Andrew Lerner and Naresh Singh wrote. “We see SD-WAN operating as the main WAN edge function in customer networks going forward.”

We recently compiled a list of 20 top SD-WAN providers offering products and services via channel partners.

The report projected consolidation of both devices and vendors. As the rise of SASE indicates, security and WAN optimization functions are converging into the same solutions. Gartner predicts SASE adoption among SD-WAN users to increase from 35% in 2020 to more than 60% by 2024.

Device consolidation will create multifunction devices and subsequently “cause declines in the number of devices shipped and the total market size,” according to Gartner.

Gartner also projects more than 10 mainstream supplier to exist five years from now. It estimates a total of current 80 WAN Edge providers.

Acquisitions Reflected

Palo Alto made the WAN Edge Magic Quadrant for the first time as a result of buying CloudGenix.

Silver Peak and its recently announced buyer HPE both made the list, with Silver Peak slotting into the Leaders quadrant. HPE is integrating the SD-WAN provider into its Aruba business unit.

HPE joined Juniper Networks in the “Visionary” quadrant.

Citrix and Huawei landed in the “Challenger” quadrant. Finally, Barracuda, Cradlepoint, FatPipe Networks, Nuage Networks, PepLink, Riverbed, and Teldat rounded out the “niche players” quadrant.

Oracle and Aryaka Networks both dropped out of the leaderboard in 2020.

Aryaka Opts Out

Aryaka, which landed in the Visionary category last year, explained its absence in a blog.

Chief marketing officer Shashi Kiran wrote that the Gartner WAN Edge Magic Quadrant belongs to “vendors selling traditional SD-WAN boxes.” Aryaka earlier this year stopped calling itself an SD-WAN vendor and focused instead on “cloud-first WAN.” Aryaka also provides a fully managed service, precluding the 60% of North American WAN deployments Gartner that estimates is do-it-yourself (DIY).

“We can deliver a service with a tremendous amount of consistency, end-to-end SLAs, and cloud normalization at almost any site globally,” Kiran wrote. “Most telcos and MSPs are challenged to do this. They can perhaps service their customers in certain regions but find it hard to do so globally. This results in a poor telco experience.”

Kiran said while Aryaka contains features of both the WAN Edge and Network Services Magic Quadrants, tailoring itself to meet the criteria of a single leaderboard would hurt the business.

“It became apparent that being included in this MQ would be a disservice to not just our prospects, customers and partners, but also Gartner’s clientele as well,” he said.

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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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