Of all the vendors that underpin carrier-managed SD-WAN services, VMware is the most common. For now.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 20, 2024

2 Min Read
SD-WAN vendors
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VMware topped Vertical Systems Group's leaderboard for SD-WAN vendors in 2023, despite concerns over the future of its carrier partnerships during the new Broadcom regime.

Research firm Vertical Systems Group announced its year-end 2023 U.S. SD-WAN Technology Leaderboard. The ranking, which measures the SD-WAN vendors that network carriers use as their platform for their own managed services, predictably shows VMware and Cisco in first and second, respectively.

VMware, now known as "VMware by Broadcom," is no stranger to first place in such rankings of SD-WAN vendors. Long before Broadcom had acquired VMware and VMware had acquired VeloCloud, the core VeloCloud SD-WAN solution was a market leader. The company was signing carrier partnership after carrier partnership and racking up market share, with service providers citing its multitenancy and self-service capabilities.

VeloCloud/VMware has faced stiff competition over the years from the likes of Cisco. Cisco led this very same leaderboard at the midyear point in 2023 and often has flipped back and forth in different market share measurements of SD-WAN vendors with VMware.

Fortinet, HPE Aruba and Versa Networks came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. HPE leapfrogged Versa from the previous leaderboard.

Related:Will Broadcom 'Milk' VMware SD-WAN Post-Merger?

Vertical Systems Group was counting the number of billable carrier sites their SD-WAN supported at the end of 2023. The five listed suppliers are possess 5% or more market share.

Vertical Systems Group noted that the shake-up in the leaderboard stems from shifting customer priorities.

That includes the increased merging of SD-WAN and secure service edge (SSE) technologies into the same platform – known as SASE (secure access service edge).


“Significant changes in site shares for the leading SD-WAN Technology companies resulted in a shake-up in the year-end 2023 rankings," said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Many enterprise customers are refreshing their carrier managed SD-WAN networks with new orchestration capabilities, dynamic underlay connectivity and SSE security.”

VSG estimated that carrier-managed SD-WAN sites increased by 24% in 2023.

What's Next for VMware SD-WAN?

VSG notes among its takeaways that SD-WAN vendors and service providers "will be managing repercussions due to the acquisitions of some SD-WAN, SSE, and SASE partners." That could be a subtle nod to Broadcom's landmark acquisition of VMware.

A November Channel Futures article ran the headline, "Will Broadcom 'Milk' VMware SD-WAN Post-Merger?" The story featured concerns from within VMware's carrier SD-WAN practice that marketing and training resources for many of VMware's service provider partners was waning. Reports surfaced that even AT&T, VMware's largest SD-WAN partner, was seeing less marketing support.

Broadcom's decision to not exclude certain VMware resellers from the Broadcom partner program only fueled some of that doubt.

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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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