SD-WAN Leaderboard: Cisco Leads, Fortinet Jumps VMware

SD-WAN is moving from hardware-based to software-based.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

September 13, 2021

2 Min Read
WAN optimization

Cisco continues to lead Dell’Oro Group‘s SD-WAN leaderboard, as hardware-based solutions decline in popularity.

Dell’Oro recently posted its first-half market report, which showed the industry growing 39% over the halfway point last year. Cisco led Fortinet, VMware, Versa and HPE Aruba (Silver Peak) in the SD-WAN market. Those rankings remained the same from earlier this year, except that Fortinet leapfrogged from third to second over VMware.

Moreover, the top six vendors held more than 70% of market share, according to Dell’Oro.


Dell’Oro’s Shin Umeda

“Demand for SD-WAN solutions was robust in the first half of the year, sustaining the momentum we saw at the back end of last year,” said Shin Umeda, vice president at Dell’Oro Group. “The SD-WAN market continues to expand globally, and while all regions posted solid double-digit growth, uptake in Europe and Asia was especially strong.”


The brief report pointed out significant trends in the market, particularly the movement to software-based products. Dell’Oro found that hardware-based access routers declined in the first half of 2021. The decline rate sat in the mid-single digits. This piece of data fits well with what industry experts have been saying. QOS Networks CEO Frank Cittadino, for example, told us last year that SD-WAN was moving to a cloud-based, user-focused, branchless model.

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

The forecast I put out for my team is, ‘Look, the branch was great up until this year.’ And we all kind of knew that users were going to leave the branch. This year, obviously with the events that are unfolding, we’ve changed our forecast,” Cittadino told Channel Futures.

In addition, Dell’Oro Group found that vendors are integrating more and more security features into their offerings.

Check out the third Channel Futures 20 SD-WAN Providers You Should Know list.

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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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