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How to compare Gartner SD WAN vendors with Netify

Written by Robert Sturt

Robert Sturt is Managing Director of Netify, an SD-WAN, SASE security & connectivity market network where you can login free to compare and shortlist vendors.

Which SD WAN vendors are listed on the Gartner magic quadrant? The current listed vendors are Barracuda, Cisco (Meraki & Viptela), Citrix, Cradlepoint, FatPipe, Fortinet, HPE Aruba, Huawei, Juniper, Nuage, Palo Alto, Peplink, Riverbed, Silver Peak, Teldat, Versa and VeloCloud powered by VMWare.

The Gartner magic quadrant is recognised research for companies considering SD WAN vendors. In this article, we discuss the current listed Gartner WAN edge vendors added to the Netify research SD WAN comparison database.

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In addition to Gartner rated vendors, Netify is on a mission to add market leading SD WAN solution & SASE security vendors, Service Providers, Integrators and professional services companies.


“Netify is on a mission to add market leading SD WAN solution & SASE security vendors, Service Providers, Integrators and professional services companies.”

In 2021, Netify is on a mission to add over 100 vendors, integrators, VARs and Professional Services companies.



Gartner states that the future is firmly based on the adoption of Internet-based WAN services, driving the reduction in MPLS deployments. The move to Internet requires evaluation and selection of SD WAN & SASE vendors capable of meeting the challenges of public cloud adoption over the next 3 to 5 years.

Why use Netify vs Gartner for SD WAN research?

Firstly, Gartner is a world-renown consultancy servicing some of the worlds largest Enterprise businesses. Becoming a Gartner clientwill offer your business significant expertise across vendor selection, decision making, contractual elements and Gartner research publications.



SD WAN Vendor Comparison-1

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“Create your Gartner vendor shortlist using the Netify platform. Choose our comparison tool or our AI logic quiz.

Netify is free from the start, our marketplace platform is free to use.



SD WAN Vendor Comparison-1

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Netify is not a competitor to Gartner; our platform is designed to help businesses shortlist and compare WAN edge infrastructure across SD WAN, SASE and Service Providers together with the integrators and partners to deliver solutions. Netify is designed to operate as an early stage research tool that saves time by only engaging with the best-fit solutions.

What challenges do IT teams face when selecting SD WAN & SASE?

The shift from traditional MPLS dedicated routing, Firewalls and WAN optimisation to feature-rich SD WAN is happening across the majority of Enterprise businesses. The challenge for IT teams is to understand how solution features map to their specific requirements.

Netify also solves another challenge. The majority of SD WAN and SASE security vendors only sell via the channel. While on the surface, this does not appear insurmountable, the issue does mean further research is required. We typically find an IT team select a vendor and expect to contract directly.


“The majority of SD WAN and SASE security vendors only sell via the channel.”

One of the key challenged of vendor selection is to understand which vendor partner fits your specific needs.



Once the team find out a partner or integrator is required, they simply ask for the vendors recommendation - there is an issue with this approach. The vendor account manager will undoubtedly have their own opinion and relationships regarding recommendations. In other words, you could end up with an integrator or partner, which is essentially an unknown quantity. Netify is listing integrators, partners and professional services companies during 2021.

Which SD WAN features are essential?
  • How easy is the solution to use, i.e. out of the box performance and management interface.
  • Application optimisation and performance, i.e. WAN, SaaS and Voice optimisation, voice optimisation with QoE (Quality of Experience)
  • Inclusion of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)
  • The pricing and cost-effectiveness of SD WAN solutions
  • Cloud access across AWS, Azure and Google Cloud
  • 4G/5G cellular wireless
  • How does the solution integrate with 3rd party services?
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for future SD WAN deployments
Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure vendors

Gartner evaluate these vendors based on their ability to execute, completeness of vision together with the vendor routing, wan optimisation and security, deployment options and how was solution is consumed (Consumption Models for WAN Edge Infrastructure).

Which SD WAN vendors are listed on the Gartner magic quadrant?
Vendor name Gartner status
Barracuda Niche player
Cisco SD WAN Leader
Citrix Challenger
Cradlepoint Niche
FatPipe Niche
Fortinet Leader
Aruba Visionary
Huawei Challenger
Juniper Visionary
Nuage Niche
Palo Alto Citrix
Peplink Niche
Riverbed Niche
Silver Peak Leader
Teldat Niche
Versa Leader
VeloCloud Leader

Note: Netify will also identify vendors, partners and integrators which fit your specific location, e.g. UK or North America.


Barracuda

What is the Netify view of Barracuda? While their product set is fit for purpose, perhaps the most exciting aspect surrounds the launch of Microsoft Azure as their backbone. Based in North America, the brand is not well known in other regions when compared to similar vendors. We note that the Barracuda interface requires knowledge and experience to make the most of their service offering.

What is the Gartner status of Barracuda? Barrcacuda is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Cisco SD WAN powered by Meraki and Viptela

Cisco What is the Netify view of Cisco? We often hear IT teams describe Meraki as SD WAN lite when compared to other vendors. This view is perpetuated by their lack of integration across the product range. The feedback suggests there is often the need to bolt on other Cisco products to achieve the desired outcome. Where requirements are simple (i.e. branch retail), Meraki is a fantastic low-cost option, but where requirements become involved, putting everything together often results in feature creep (which requires more expense). Our view of Viptela is a little more limited since the Netify SD WAN comparison tool is not often used to compare Viptela solutions. Products include Cisco SD-WAN powered by Viptela, which covers Viptela OS or IOS XE software with vManage orchestration. Cisco SD-WAN, powered by Meraki, covering MX appliances and software with orchestration.

What is the Gartner status of Cisco? Cisco is listed by Gartner as a Leader.


Citrix

What is the Netify view of Citrix? Citrix is clearly a strong brand across the globe, giving their products an initial advantage when IT teams begin their SD WAN & SASE investigation. Available as WAN edge or virtualised, their product group is expected to release further feature enhancements across SD WAN and SASE. The Citrix SD WAN management interface uses the same UI as Citrix Workspace. We note that Citrix is not a network vendor, which means their experiences are lacking compared to traditional vendors.

What is the Gartner status of Citrix? Citrix is listed by Gartner as a Challenger.


Cradlepoint

What is the Netify view of Cradlepoint? Cradlepoint is focused on North America; their sales operations are not particularly well known in Europe. Certain vendors are noted for their expertise across SD WAN technology features - Cradlepoint is respected for their work across cellular services within verticals such as education. If your organisation requires the capability to deliver against smaller branch office sites and remote users, their NetCloud service should be on your shortlist. We note that application optimisation and QoS is not currently a powerful offering.

What is the Gartner status of Cradlepoint? Cradlepoint is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


FatPipe Networks

What is the Netify view of FatPipe? Although FatPipe focuses on North America, they are growing their presence in Asia and South America. Their USP is firmly based around a history of application optimisation alongside significant deployment of performance enhancements for their customer base of around 2000 WAN edge devices. FatPipe is very good at path selection and route redundancy across multiple circuit links.

What is the Gartner status of FatPipe Networks? FatPoint is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Fortinet

What is the Netify view of Fortinet? Fortinet are currently a Gartner leader, recognised for their ability within the WAN edge arena and comprehensive SASE security. Fortinet now has a large customer base estimated at 30K+ WAN edge devices and consists of global Enterprise medium to large organisations mainly in the finance and manufacturing sectors. Fortinet is a security led company with a strong reputation alongside other market leaders such as Checkpoint. Security has driven Fortinet to create their own ASIC (Application-specific integrated circuit), which ensures hardened security architecture in respect of hardware and allows the devices to perform better as the circuits are optimised to the Fortinet overlay software.

At this point, you might be forgiven for thinking Fortinet should be included on every IT teams shortlist. Readers should remember that Fortinet does not have huge experience within the complex networking arena. It is also the case that Fortinet security is very focussed on the WAN edge and not so advanced when using their services for cloud security.

What is the Gartner status of Fortinet? Fortinet is listed by Gartner as a Leader.


HPE (Aruba)

What is the Netify view of Aruba? Similarly to Cisco, Aruba is capable of delivering seamless LAN, WLAN and WAN capability across SD-Branch, (with the Aruba Central Cloud Platform), Aruba Headend Gateways, Virtual Gateways, ClearPass Policy Manager and ClearPass Device Insight. We know from Gartner that the customer experience of Aruba is rated high. When examining the Aruba SD WAN feature capability, it should be noted that failover and optimisation are not as sophisticated when compared to other vendor solutions.

What is the Gartner status of Aruba? Aruba is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Huawei

What is the Netify view of Huawei? One vendor which isn't focussed on North America. Huawei is strong within the AsiaPac region (China is a clear leading location) and LATAM. Their SD WAN proposition is focussed on the growth of 5G which is designed to actually solve the issues faced by companies today, i.e. fast start, failover, remote users, IoT. The service provider market has adopted Huawei due to their broad based capability within the SD WAN arena and their ability to scale to large network deployments. The weakness of their overall capability is directly opposite to their Asia and LATAM strengths - they have weak coverage across the western world.

What is the Gartner status of Huawei? Huawei is listed by Gartner as a Challenger.


Juniper Networks

What is the Netify view of Juniper? Juniper is another service provider offering (in the same way as Huawei) with experience within the WAN edge market. In many ways, Juniper have always attempted to become a Cisco and respect. With SD WAN, Juniper follows their own unique take on SD WAN with their Mist Marvis AI/ML engine (conversational AI to networking). Medium and large Enterprise businesses procure the Juniper proposition due to strong SD WAN and security capability. Similar to Meraki, Juniper has a strong branch offering . Overall, the Juniper solution is not particularly strong in respect to Cloud access and WAN optimisation.

What is the Gartner status of Juniper? Juniper is listed by Gartner as a Visionary.


Nuage Networks

What is the Netify view of Nuage? Nuage primarily operates again through service provider channels using their X series and E series gateways. We understand their product marketing team are investing in 5G and SD LAN. Netify note there is significant take-up of Nuage across large telcos as the platform is designed to integrate well from the perspective of service provider configuration and end-users with a great, simple to use management interface.

With experience in both WAN edge and virtualisation, Nuage provides large Enterprise business with architecture flexibility. The product capability lacks SaaS application optimisation which is viewed as very limited by reviews. Nuage is not particularly well known in the SD WAN vendor arena and is not generally considered by Netify researchers as one of the 'typical' vendors.

What is the Gartner status of Nuage? Nuage is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Palo Alto Networks (CloudGenix)

What is the Netify view of Palo Alto? Palo Alto acquired CloudGenix to complement their security offering, which is highly advanced and capable of delivering SASE. As an SD WAN and SASE proposition, their solution is offered across most verticals and business sizes. Customer experience says it all with one of the highest satisfaction ratings in the industry. When combined with highly capable network visualisation reporting and statistics, Palo Alto is a vendor that should make most IT teams' shortlist. They are perhaps not such a good fit for retail or wherever there's a requirement to service multiple branch office locations. This is due to a lack of an all in one device to meet the needs of SD WAN and Security at a low cost. Palo Alto are also not known for their WAN optimisation capability which is viewed as limited.

What is the Gartner status of Palo Alto? Palo Alto is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Peplink

What is the Netify view of Peplink? We are often asked by manufacturing businesses whether there are any vendors which support ruggedised appliances. Peplink offers their Balance and Max devices which is mainly sold by VARs (Value Added Resellers) and Managed Services Providers. The ruggedised SD WAN support has resulted in strong sales within the transportation, public safety and broadcasting sectors.

Peplink does lack other product capabilities, specifically around SD WAN, which is viewed as basic, particularly around WAN optimisation features. We know reporting is lacking when to other market-leading options with poor GUI management.

What is the Gartner status of Peplink? Peplink is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Riverbed

What is the Netify view of Riverbed? Riverbed is a well-known player within the WAN optimisation and acceleration space. The SteelConnect EX platform is actually based on integration with Versa so is not an end to end Riverbed solution. This enables the Riverbed device to deliver an edge hardware appliance with Software WAN orchestrator for their global customer base. Existing clients of Riverbed are the natural progression for their SD WAN platform. The decision to opt for a Versa partnership does limit the control Riverbed is able to apply to their solution.

What is the Gartner status of Riverbed? Riverbed is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Silver Peak

What is the Netify view of Silver Peak? Silver Peak (part of HPE) is known for their application and voice WAN optimisation capability with EdgeConnect SD-WAN Edge Platform, Unity Orchestrator EdgeConnect appliances, and their Unity Boost capability feature. Although Silver Peak is a North American-based company, they are increasing their focus on UK and Europe with significant sales resources. Silver Peak is clearly a very capable product, Netify believes that the capability is a good fit for large Global organisations with complex needs and requirements.

Silver Peak offers good support for failover, analytics and out of the box recognition of applications but is lacking SASE security capability.

What is the Gartner status of Silver Peak? Silver Peak is listed by Gartner as a Leader..


Teldat

What is the Netify view of Teldat? Teldat is not well known to Netify, their products, including M8Smart, Cloud Net Manager, CNM Provisioner, CNM Controller, and CNM Visualiser. The Teldat SD WAN product is focused on the service provider market with customers based in Western Europe, their HQ is in Madrid, Spain. Their product focus is firmly on the managed services front with limited experience serving DIY customers. We note that their SD WAN offering is not particularly strong when compared to other vendors, especially companies considering optimisation and cloud support. 

What is the Gartner status of Teldat? Teldat is listed by Gartner as a Niche Player.


Versa Networks

What is the Netify view of Versa? Versa were known as an SD WAN vendor which typically supported large complex Enterprise requirements. However, with their release of Titan, Versa are now positioned to support both more straightforward SME requirements alongside large global Enterprise businesses via Versa VOS. The Titan product offers cloud-based orchestration with good analytics and SASE security.

Versa product pricing is particularly cost-effective when compared to other vendors but readers should note that the product is often deployed by service providers and managed service providers.

What is the Gartner status of Versa? Versa is listed by Gartner as a Leader.


VeloCloud by VMware

What is the Netify view of VMware? VMware SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud has a considerable advantage due to their brand presence and existing customer base. SD-WAN edge (VCE) appliances, gateways (VCG) and an SD-WAN orchestrator (VCO) are currently implemented across thousands of customers generated by their highly effective channel sales teams.

Although VeloCloud does offer SASE, their capability is viewed as limited when compared to other vendors. With the size of VMWare, some smaller clients may find they do not experience the customer service and may prefer to procure via a smaller integrator or reseller.

What is the Gartner status of VeloCloud? VeloCloud is listed by Gartner as a Leader.

Author

Robert Sturt insider@netify.co.uk Last Updated: 17.05.2021
Forbes Netify Business Council

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