Sorry. There are no results for ""

Return to Blog

Who are the 10 top/best SD WAN Providers & Vendors?

Who are the top/best SD WAN providers and vendors?

The best SD WAN vendors are: Fortinet, Cato Networks, Aryaka, Open Systems, Versa, Meraki, HPE, Palo Alto, Oracle and Citrix

The best SD WAN providers are: Masergy, Expereo, Globalgig, BT, NTT, Lumen, COLT, Cogent, Verizon and GTT.

SD WAN provider & vendor comparison features should include include: Overlay & underlay, Managed services, Path selection, Reporting, Optimisation, SASE security, Cloud vendor support and Orchestration.

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.

Get personalised SD WAN & SASE recommendations

Complete a short quiz about your needs, and we'll give you a customised list of SD WAN vendors and service providers for your business. Instantly compare vendors now →

Table of contents:

List of the best SD WAN providers:
  1. Masergy
  2. Expereo
  3. Globalgig
  4. BT
  5. NTT
  6. Lumen
  7. Colt
  8. Cogent
  9. Verizon
  10. GTT

Comparison of SD WAN providers and vendors with overview and features.

Need to learn more about how Fortinet compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

1. Fortinet SD WAN

Previously only functioning as a security vendor, Fortinet has now added SD WAN functions to their appliances list. Founded in 2000, this SD WAN provider caters to customers interested in consolidating their physical appliances and branch operations into one vendor flag. Fortinet monitors their SD WAN links for packet loss, jitter, and latency by using several techniques, such as HTTP, TWAP, and ping. They support hub and spoke, full mesh, on-demand VPN and partial mesh. Plus, there are up to 4,000 administrative domains and virtual domains that can be supported. 

Fortinet continues to invest in application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which ensures their price point is competitive together with fully featured SD WAN.

What are the PROS of Fortinet SD WAN?
  • Security first vendor
  • Complete support for SASE security
  • Expanding channel with reach across all verticals
  • Uses their own WAN edge hardware with fast performance
What are the CONs of Fortinet SD WAN?
  • Not viewed as an SD WAN vendor
  • Limited experience of complex WAN architecture
  • Typically associated with branch security
  • Cloud support is growing but behind competitors

Need to learn more about how Cato compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

2. Cato Networks SD WAN

Cato Networks was founded in 2015 and provided customers with cloud-based SD WAN services. Cato Cloud, Cato Network's SD WAN solution, attaches all business network elements. From mobile workforces to cloud data centre, to branch locations, the Cato Cloud secures all of your company's information into an encrypted cloud.

This SD WAN solution is interconnected by several Tier-1 carriers, made up of two layers, the Cato Cloud Network and Cato Security Services. This network also provides a secure web gateway, mobile access protection, secure web gateway, network forensics and cloud access protection. If you're looking to protect your company's traffic, you should look further into Cato Networks.

What are the PROS of Cato SD WAN?
  • Great management interface for DIY & Co-managed services
  • Full SASE capability
  • Recognised for reducing false positives across security threats
  • Private global backbone
What are the CONs of Cato SD WAN?
  • No native cloud support for Azure, AWS and Google
  • Vendor does not manage underlay
  • WAN optimisation is limited
  • Not the lowest cost vendor

Cato SD WAN Providers Netify article


Need to learn more about how Aryaka compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

3. Aryaka SD WAN

Aryaka is a fully managed overlay and underlay vendor with value based on the best of both worlds. The underlying network is a well-engineered private MPLS core resulting in end-to-end traffic prioritisation and better SLAs when compared to general Internet connectivity. The SD WAN functions are broadly in line with other vendors, resulting in software flexibility/management with MPLS privacy.

The cost and proportion from Aryaka place their business in alignment with large global Enterprise business sending traffic over long distances. The connectivity offering is based on a tail circuit into their closest Point of Presence. Aryaka offers accelerated delivery for CDN, which again plays into the global WAN customer. The Aryaka SmartCONNECT product is suited to organisations with a desire to outsource more complex elements of the WAN. Where more detailed configuration changes are required, Aryaka previously required involvement from their support team. However, as of writing this article, a self-service portal achieves end to end management. In 2021, Aryaka have acquired Secucloud GmbH which will eventually position the solution as fully SASE security enabled.

What are the PROS of Aryaka SD WAN?
    • Global private backbone
    • Fully managed services
    • Supports underlay connectivity and will source ISP services
    • Good customer experience
What are the CONs of Aryaka SD WAN?
  • SASE security via integration but this is changing with an acquisition
  • Not ideal for DIY or Co-managed, Aryaka lean toward fully managed SD WAN
  • North American customers are supported outside of their region

Need to learn more about how Open Systems compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

4. Open Systems SD WAN

Open Systems are leading with SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) as their predominant focus technology. SASE is essentially a group of technologies which include: SD WAN SWG (Secure Web Gateway) CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access) FWaaS (Firewall as a Service) Open Systems is a mature company with a complete technology stack designed for the Enterprise WAN.

Their pitch is based on maturity and their offering which is designed to provide the complete unified SD WAN experience. In business for over 20 years, their platform has integrated dozens of security, routing and performance features into a simple to deploy and administer service, backed by 24x7 Monitoring and Support. Open Systems is available as DIY, co-managed or fully managed service including networking, Security and 24*7 support with monitoring portal. Due to the Open Systems history of Security across every layer of the network, the SD WAN capability secures at the edge and in the cloud. By delivering next generation security architecture, Open Systems reduce the need for orchestration and management of third-party solutions that stretch IT resources and increase enterprise risk.

What are the PROS of Open Systems SD WAN?
  • Recognised for security expertise
  • Full support for SASE
  • Designed for simplicity
  • Good option for DIY and co-managed services
What are the CONs of Open Systems SD WAN?
  • Open Systems does not have the brand recognition vs other vendors
  • Portal can be complicated
  • Long term logs may not be available

Need to learn more about how Versa compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

5. Versa SD WAN

The Versa SD WAN solution was traditionally associated with large complex requirements and, therefore, not particularly suited to mid-market or simpler needs. Versa recognised the need to create a more off-the-shelf product and have since released their Titan solution which offers SD WAN with SASE security at a cost-effective price point.

Versa Titan delivers the enterprise-grade capabilities of the Versa classic platform in a more compact package intended to be simpler and faster to deploy for the midmarket enterprise.

With Versa Titan, the solution is far better suited to DIY (self-manage), enabling their customers to buy SD-WAN and Security independent of transport and carrier. Versa Titan is completely cloud-managed with ZTP (Zero Touch Provisioning) and support for Wi-Fi/cellular, full SASE security, Next-generation Firewall and UTM (Unified Threat Management). Netify rate Versa statistics and reporting, which provides extensive insights into application visibility. It is worth noting that Versa's Security solution is NSS Labs recommended for enterprise-class software-defined security features like NGFW and UTM.

What are the PROS of Versa SD WAN?
  • Cost effective compared to other vendors
  • Strong cloud integration
  • Good support for built-in SASE security
  • Good growth which recognises their strengths
What are the CONs of Versa SD WAN?
  • Smaller vendor when compared with other leaders
  • Versa VOS remains complex and requires considerable expertise
  • Broad range of capability may weaken some areas

Need to learn more about how Meraki compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

6. Cisco Meraki SD WAN

Meraki is without a doubt the most popular vendor when discussing initial requirements with prospective buyers. The products are initially cost-effective (options will increase cost) and feature-rich, offering functions such as endpoint management, positioning IT teams to share intelligence and enforce policies across the network based on the device status and where the services are located or installed, Software and/or users.

One of the newer features is device enrolment which means policy is enforced without even handling the actual hardware. WiFi access can be delivered based on device type, users and security compliance. In short, Cisco Meraki is feature-rich with the ability to support/deliver a full stack of connectivity from Security, Switching, WAN and Wireless via a single interface. It is important to note, and perhaps obvious, but to take advantage of the Meraki capability, your network 'needs' to be Meraki end to end. (Not necessary but advised). Cisco Umbrella can optionally be deployed for enhanced cloud security capabilities. Lastly, Meraki offers support for CCTV which represents an ideal use case for retail, warehousing and manufacturing.

What are the PROS of Meraki SD WAN?
  • Strong support for WiFi with reporting 
  • Support for CCTV with high penetration into retail branch sites
  • Massive channel support from Authorised Cisco partners
  • Cisco is a well resourced company with vast technical documentation
What are the CONs of Meraki SD WAN?
  • Often viewed as SD WAN lite when compared to other vendors
  • Cost of licensing can be high with feature creep
  • Cisco Umbrella is available for enhanced cloud security capabilities
  • Simplicity of Meraki means advanced options are limited

Need to learn more about how Silver Peak compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

7. Silver Peak (HPE) SD WAN

The Silver Peak HPE proposition looks to be based on cost savings by removing 'expensive private MPLS' with their SD WAN solution and Internet. While there is the capability to save money, the question at the core of their approach surrounds the service level agreements from low cost Internet providers. The overall Silver Peak proposition is feature-rich and capable of supporting applications, user security and intelligent data flow.

However, their marketing appears to push SD WAN as an Internet based service rather than a connectivity agnostic vendor. And while their tests show significant benefits when using Silver Peak across Broadband, this is only one part of the story. If your low-cost Broadband provider suffers an outage, the general SLA is often nowhere near as robust vs private based networks. We take the stance that connectivity should be based on specific requirements when everything else is equal. If your sites are not mission critical, Internet Broadband is a great way to save money and deploy cost-effective services. Where a circuit with an end-to-end SLA is required, technologies such as MPLS are not going away. Silver Peak offers some interesting features, such as Forward Error Correction designed to essentially reconstruct packets with faulty data. A further key area of interest is their ability to form an overlay, making the transition from MPLS to Internet a less complicated process. As we mentioned earlier, be aware that replacing MPLS with Internet may save money but there is more to consider.

What are the PROS of Silver Peak SD WAN?
  • Built-in WAN optimisation
  • Powerful orchestration and management interface
  • Recognition for thousands of apps to support QoS
  • Strong path selection and support for Voice over Broadband
What are the CONs of Silver Peak SD WAN?
  • Typically requires a partner even for simple re-sale of services
  • No built-in SASE, integration is required
  • Management interface and features are powerful but require learning
  • Limited large Enterprise experience

Need to learn more about how Palo Alto compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

8. Palo Alto SD WAN

CloudGenix (acquired by Palo Alto) was founded in San Jose back in 2013 with backing by Charles River Ventures, Mayfield, Intel Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. The Palo Alto solution offers a true Software-based WAN solution via their ION (Instant-On Network) centralised control platform.

The SD WAN solution offers the capability to support both Internet and MPLS which meets the demands of network migration (from MPLS) and hybrid networking (where private MPLS is retained at certain sites or complements the solution). Palo Alto app fabric is designed to operate across all connectivity types (we've mentioned MPLS but also 4G, 5G and Broadband). Regardless of the circuit type, intelligent traffic steering, high availability and direct access to Cloud-based services all come together to create a rich Software-based WAN capability.

What are the PROS of Palo Alto SD WAN?
  • One of the most complete SASE security solutions
  • Good customer experience ratings
  • Good knowledge and history of security
  • Management portal and statistics are rated highly
What are the CONs of Palo Alto SD WAN?
  • SD WAN features are not viewed as comprehensive
  • No real WAN optimisation capability
  • Limited form factors meaning certain verticals will not be a good fit
  • Still some integration between Cloud Genix and Palo Alto

Need to learn more about how Oracle compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

9. Oracle SD WAN

There's a large focus on the ability for Oracle to control WAN path access via on-premises or cloud management. The capability to aggregate links offering seamless failover even for Voice and UCaas has always been a strong proposition even in the early days of SD WAN. With this said, Oracle does not have the experience of dealing with large WAN deployments - as of writing this article, their global telco provider relationships are limited.

Oracle offers path selection techniques which measure every single packet across performance attributes. Traffic is automatically classified resulting in automatic QoS allocation. Cloud integration is primarily offered with Azure as Virtual WAN access but SASE security achieved via partnerships (Zscaler, Palo Alto and Checkpoint). Remote access users benefit from the Oracle E50 which is easily shipped directly via their logistics process.

What are the PROS of Oracle SD WAN?
  • Strong brand recognition 
  • Measurements taken with every single packet
  • Automatic classification of traffic
  • Good remote user support
What are the CONs of Oracle SD WAN?
  • Customer experience not rated the highest
  • Not ideal for DIY or Co-managed as expertise is required
  • Simple tasks require good knowledge of the Oracle portal

Need to learn more about how Citrix compares with other vendors? Request a consultation or demo. View the marketplace →

10. Citrix SD WAN

Citrix brand application, the Netscaler SD WAN appliance, is perhaps one of the best-known products when discussing software WAN services with IT Management and their teams. NetScaler offers physical, virtual and cloud products with their management and analytics system - MAS. The Citrix offering includes both WAN optimisation and a stateful packet inspection Firewall. With such a large market share from their core Citrix product, the market for SD WAN across existing customers is significant. The same UI (User Interface) platform manages the actual SD WAN product (i.e. Citrix Workspace, which is a key driver behind existing customer adoption). 

Citrix SD WAN offers comprehensive Software-WAN features which include application performance and optimisation, cloud vendor access and security.

What are the PROS of Citrix SD WAN?
  • Integrates well with the full stack of Citrix products
  • Use the same Citrix management interface for SD WAN and other services
  • Good application performance and cloud access features
What are the CONs of Citrix SD WAN?
  • Limited experience as a network vendor
  • Not available (for the most part) from service providers
  • Not often considered outside of their own customer base


UK & Global SD WAN Service Provider comparison list.

View Masergy SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View Masergy now →

1. Masergy SD WAN

Coverage in over 102 countries with their own high performing backbone which offers some of the best latency and jitter performance of any service provider. Masergy is not just another service provider with an SD WAN vendor portfolio, the company has their intellectual property in software-defined networking, machine learning and advanced analytics.

As a fully-managed IT provider, the portfolio includes support for SD WAN, managed SASE security, Microsoft Teams, Unified Communications and Contact Centre. Where Masergy cannot deliver their backbone connectivity, the company offers their 'over the top' capability which adds an SLA over 3rd party Internet services to complete the solution.

What are the PROS of Masergy SD WAN?
  • Great global backbone recognised by Fortune 100 companies
  • Innovative security and voice solutions
  • SLA wrap on 3rd party connectivity
  • Net Promotor score of 71
What are the CONs of Masergy SD WAN?
  • Backbone reach is aligned only with metro global locations
  • Sometimes viewed as expensive
  • Cloud access is limited
  • Predominantly fully managed only 

View Expereo SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View Expereo now →

2. Expereo SD WAN

Expereo is a known entity with a significant history of providing global Internet connectivity solutions using overlay from Cisco Viptela, Silver Peak, Aryaka, Open Systems, and VeloCloud. Typically used by Netify as an underlay service provider in combination with direct SD WAN vendor relationships.

As an aggregator, Internet is available in 200+ countries across 3000+ suppliers with support for Ethernet, 4G, 5G and Broadband services. Expereo customers span 200 countries with five NOC (Network Operation Centre) locations speaking 45 different languages.

What are the PROS of Expereo SD WAN?
  • Global aggregation for SD WAN underlay 
  • Support for managed Meraki, Viptela and Silver Peak
  • 3000+ service providers
  • 200+ countries
What are the CONs of Expereo SD WAN?
  • Global only, Expereo do not suit national deployments
  • No real history as a significant MSP
  • Limited customers across their Viptela partnership
  • Acquisition strategy may cause frustration across processes

View Globalgig SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View Globalgig now →

3. Globalgig

A worldwide aggregator of Internet connectivity with the capability to offer Meraki, Cisco Viptela, Fortinet and Peplink. With their network application intelligence process, the Globalgig team leverages network, application and operating data to solve optimal path performance.

Offices are located in the US, EMEA and APAC, offering both DIY, co-managed and fully managed SD WAN services with billing across all currencies. Shipping of hardware and services is available across 195 countries worldwide. Globalgig also specialise in Wireless cellular services as part of their telecoms history.

What are the PROS of Globalgig SD WAN?
  • Great support for customers considering cellular connectivity 
  • Global Coverage for Wired & Wireless Services
  • Global Support: install, support and manage complex, multi-carrier solutions
What are the CONs of Globalgig SD WAN?
  • Focus is on cellular services
  • Wide partnerships which may mean lack of expertise focus
  • Brand not as well recognised
  • SASE is based on vendor partnership capability

View BT SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View BT now →

4. BT Business SD WAN

BT Business offer access to over 198 countries via their Global Services IP backbone with Internet and MPLS access. BT is leveraging their Cisco buying power to offer Meraki and Viptela based solutions with professional services, co-managed and fully managed services.

There are multiple points of entry into the BT sales team, via Partners (see Netify page), Corporate or Global Services. The overall BT connectivity portfolio and extensive backbone offers quite a powerful combination. For example, the current BT Broadband service is offered with 4G Assure failover to further increase SD WAN capability diversity. In addition, the acquisition of EE (Everything Everywhere) means their mobile services are strong, think 5G in the future. BT is typical of the large service provider approach where products and services are not flexible and surrounded by slow process.

What are the PROS of BT Business SD WAN?
  • Recognised UK brand with Global reach
  • Strong global backbone with vast UK coverage
  • EE supporting strategy to deliver cellular
  • One of the most robust Broadband offerings across all providers
What are the CONs of BT Business SD WAN?
  • Typical telco with restrictive processes
  • Slow to respond and mobilise for tight timescales
  • Often expensive in certain regions for no good reason
  • Limited flexibility across Meraki and Viptela

View NTT SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View NTT now →

5. NTT SD WAN

NTT owns and operates their own global tier 1 backbone which is available across 196 countries with access to 140 data centres. Whilst NTT is known for the international capability, the company has a particular focus on the Asia regions. Netify note that NTT offers robust managed services which encompasses IT, security, application services and lifecycle management. NTT offer Cisco SD WAN Viptela, Cisco Meraki, Silver Peak, Versa and VeloCloud which are combined with their own network underlay to ensure global traffic remains mostly within their AS (Autonomous System).

Due to the way in which NTT have architected their core backbone, 50+ cloud gateways are available to orchestrate SD WAN configuration and deployment. Cloud vendors include Microsoft Azure with Direct Connect, AWS with advanced consulting) and Google Cloud premier status.

What are the PROS of NTT?
  • Strong managed services with tier 1 network underlay
  • Cloud integration with Azure, AWS and Google
  • Large portfolio of SD WAN vendors
What are the CONs of NTT?
  • Limited coverage of Latin America
  • Brand awareness outside of Asia is growing but viewed as limited
  • Can be viewed as expensive

View Lumen SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View Lumen now →

6. Lumen SD WAN

One of the oldest North American telcos with $23.44 billion in revenue and International capability in all regions. Lumen is a good choice for the larger Enterprise looking to consolidate their global managed WAN with connectivity underlay all in one invoice and support team.

Aside from managed SD WAN, connectivity and IP telephony, Lumen have 4,000 IT professionals all working across network security, premises security, content service (CDN) and public/private cloud access. The Lumen IP backbone is expansive which results in truly global solutions.

What are the PROS of Lumen SD WAN?
  • Seriously experienced global telco
  • Strong security portfolio 
  • Recognised for their CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Managed services encompasses consolidation of products
What are the CONs of Lumen SD WAN?
  • Not ideally suited to the mid-market sector
  • Customers report slow change requests due to process
  • Products are not as strong outside of North America

View COLT SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View Colt now →

7. Colt SD WAN

Colt offers significant access to over 24,000 on-net buildings and 500 data centres with a focus on Europe, North America (less coverage) and Asia with less ability to deliver in Latin America, Middle East and Africa. Services sold include managed networks which include SD WAN overlay, DIA and private WAN with SIP trunking and UC (Contact centre, Unified Communications Collaboration, Audio conferencing).

Colt have formed a partnership with Versa to deliver SD WAN and SASE security services via their secure Cloud.  Via their customer portal, customers can orchestrate and deliver their SD WAN services with analytics and support for remote access. The value from Colt is typically derived from proximity to their network together with their own version of managed Versa SD WAN. Colt are recognised by Gartner and have been awarded visionary status.

What are the PROS of COLT?
  • Significant metro area connectivity across Europe and Asia
  • Good hybrid network connectivity offerings
  • Strong in the financial sector
What are the CONs of COLT?
  • Middle East and Latin America are weaker areas for Colt
  • Only one SD WAN vendor option but could be viewed as a positive for expertise
  • Not particularly strong virtualisation product offerings

View Cogent SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View Cogent now →

8. Cogent SD WAN

Cogent are known for their capability to deliver on-net Ethernet connectivity within a 17 business day SLA with access to global data centres. SD WAN from Cisco Meraki is connected to their hybrid WAN architecture which includes DIA, point to point/multipoint private lines, MPLS and DIA. The Cogent business servers customers with access to 3000 POP’s with 100% port availability. Cogent is a good choice for global organisations with the majority of their locations in Europe, US and Asia due to significant network deployment within North America and Europe.

The Cogent network is one of the 13 DNS root servers which recognises their significant global IP presence. With a large percentage of the US and Europe businesses connected to their network, which includes universities and research institutions.

What are the PROS of Cogent?
  • Fast delivery if your business is lit with Cogent fibre
  • Great tier 1 network which performs well in North America and Europe
What are the CONs of Cogent?
  • One of Cogent's strengths is their data centre offering but less so with Azure, AWS and Google
  • Focus on Meraki means Cogent do not fit for large global Enterprise

View Verizon SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View Verizon now →

9. Verizon SD WAN

Verizon are known for their status as one of the preeminent tier 1 North American telcos. With their capability of providing global hybrid network networks which include MPLS, SD WAN, DIA, Broadband and 4G/5G, Verizon remains a good option for international businesses requiring connectivity from one of the largest service providers in the world (Est 1983). Verizon customers (which exist within 150+ countries) are served by 9 NOC’s (Network Operation Centres) which support 1000 global POP’s. 

The Verizon product portfolio offers managed security, UCAAS (Unified Communications as a Service) and CDN (Content Delivery Networking) which are supported via SD WAN and SASE partnerships with Cisco SD WAN Viptela, Versa Classic, Versa Titan and Silver Peak. Customers that leverage the Verizon network receive threat Intel, forensics expertise with advice from their team responsible for detect and respond and their network security. 

What are the PROS of Verizon?
  • Verizon offer a broad portfolio which includes NFV/vCPE with managed services, data centre access, CDN and managed SD WAN
  • Good hybrid options which include Ethernet through to 5G
  • Recognised as one of the best tier 1 networks in the world
What are the CONs of Verizon?
  • Verizon is not particularly strong in Middle East and Africa
  • SME customers may find Verizon's process too involved
  • Broad based SD WAN may mean their overall expertise is weakened

View GTT SD WAN strengths and focus areas on the vendor marketplace. View GTT now →

10. GTT SD WAN

Truly Global Tier-1 IP network provider with 550 PoPs worldwide, 2,500+ local access providers for diverse, secure global access. GTT is known for their ability across large 10Gbps+ bandwidth requirements between data centres and between branch office sites.

GTT have grown their business via an acquisition strategy which almost certainly impacted customers as each company took time to integrate in respect of process. Support for GTT customers is provided by their NOCs (Network Operation Centres) which span 600+ POP locations within 140 countries. Pricing is competitive due to their relationship with 700+ last mile providers.

What are the PROS of GTT SD WAN?
  • Global network service provider
  • Good support for high bandwidth 10Gbps+ circuits
  • Tier 1 ISP backbone, 40+ NOCs
  • Managed SD-WAN and Managed Security
What are the CONs of GTT SD WAN?
  • Large service providers often result in slow responses
  • Not particularly well suited to the SME market
  • Account managers often lack experience and knowledge
  • Customer satisfaction is varied


SD WAN vendor matrix 1-5. SD WAN providers and vendors feature table.

Vendor Meraki Viptela Silver Peak Versa Cato Networks
WAN architecture Edge based Edge based Edge based Edge based 60+ Global PoP gateways
Gartner status Leaders Leaders Leaders Leaders Not listed
Form factor Physical, cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical (vEdge, ISR, ASR), virtual, Hyper-V, KVM), Cloud AWS, Azure, Google) Physical, virtual (VMware, KVM, Cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical, Virtual (VMware), Cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical, virtual (VMware, KVM, Xen), Cloud (AWS, Azure)
Firewall Advanced Basic on Viptela hardware, advanced on Cisco hardware Basic, advanced via partners Full SASE security Full SASE security
WAN optimisation Limited Yes (add-on to Cisco hardware, not available on vEdge) Yes, add-on Yes No
Application path selection None Yes (add-on to Cisco hardware, not available on vEdge) SaaS optimisation chooses optimal egress point (via data centre or hub site) Partnered with AWS & Azure, can manually configure for other cloud/SaaS apps Yes, Cato has 60+ shared gateways for path optimisation
Elevator pitch Rich history of networking, value adds such as CCTV Customisable solution for the larger Enterprise Good traffic path selection and Broadband treatment MPLS alternative with VPN access to private PoP locations Leading SASE first vendor with great easy to use management interface

 

SD WAN vendor matrix 6-10. SD WAN providers and vendors feature table.

Vendor Palo Alto Fortinet Aryaka VeloCloud Open Systems
WAN architecture Edge based Edge based 40+ Global PoP locations 100+ Global PoP gateways Edge based
Gartner status Leaders Leaders Not listed Leaders Not listed
Form factor Physical, virtual (VMware, KVM), Cloud (AWS) Physical Physical, Virtual (VMware), Cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical, virtual (VMware, KVM, Xen), Cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical 
Firewall Advanced Full SASE security Basic, SASE incoming via acquisition Basic, advanced via partners Full SASE security
WAN optimisation No Yes, 60E and above Yes No No
Application path selection Policy based path selection None AWS, AZURE, Oracle, Alibaba, Google, SaaS acceleration/optimization (esp UCaaS) Yes, VeloCloud has 100+ shared gateways for path optimisation. Providers can build out their own gateways as well Policy based path selection
Elevator pitch Layer 7 measurements track application performance Strong history of security MPLS alternative with VPN access to private PoP locations Cloud-based service delivery, orchestration and analytics to create a flexible architecture Highly experienced across security

 

SD WAN vendor matrix 11-15.SD WAN providers and vendors feature table.

Vendor Huawei Citrix Oracle Barracuda BT Business
WAN architecture Edge based Edge based Edge based Edge based Edge based
Gartner status Challengers Challengers Not listed Niche Leader for connectivity
Form factor Physical, virtual (VMware), Cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical, virtual (VMware, Hyper-V), Cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical Physical, virtual (VMWare, Hyper-V), Cloud (AWS, Azure) Physical
Firewall Basic Basic, advanced via partners Advanced Full SASE SASE elements depending on partner
WAN optimisation No Yes, add-on Yes, 60E and above  Yes No
Application path selection Application awareness across latency and jitter Yes via 14 global gateways No No Yes, varies across partners
Elevator pitch Service provider proposition with good cost effective capability Experience for SaaS, Cloud, and virtual applications Forwarding is unique for real time application delivery with good failsafe technology Native marketplace integration with Azure Strong choice for fully managed UK and Global services

 

SD WAN vendor matrix 16-20. SD WAN providers and vendors feature table.

Vendor Masergy Lumen Expereo Globalgig GTT
WAN architecture Edge based Edge based Edge based Edge based Edge based
Gartner status Visionaries Leader Visionaries Not ranked Not ranked
Form factor Physical Physical Physical Not applicable Not applicable
Firewall Full SASE via partners Full SASE via partners Basic, advanced via partners Not applicable Not applicable
WAN optimisation No No No Not applicable Not applicable
Application path selection Varies across partners Varies across partners Varies across partners Varies across partners Varies across partners
Elevator pitch Strong net promotor score with good global metro coverage True global provider with good hosting, voice and CDN capability Global aggregation of ISP connectivity Expereo provide Internet aggregation across 3000+ providers Good choice for high bandwidth connectivity with Global SD WAN

FAQ

Please find our most commonly asked questions:

Is there a tool to shortlist SD WAN vendors and providers?

Click here to take our short quiz, answer 10 questions to received your SD WAN recommendations.

Is there a list and guide to SD WAN vendors and providers?

Click here to download the latest version of the SD WAN playbook which lists vendors and service providers.

How do I research SD WAN vendors?

Visit the Netify marketplace to view our curated list of SD WAN vendors and solutions.

Who are the top/best SD WAN vendors?

As of August 2021, the top/best SD WAN vendors are Aryaka, Cato, Cisco SD WAN Viptela, Meraki, Fortinet, Globalgig, Open Systems, Palo Alto, Versa and VeloCloud.

Who are the top/best SD WAN service providers?

As of August 2021, the top/best SD WAN providers are Masergy, Expereo, Globalgig, BT, NTT, Lumen, Colt, Cogent, Verizon and GTT.

Who provides SD-WAN?

SD WAN is provided by vendors but is typically purchased via authorised partners which consist of integrators, IT companies and value added resellers.

What are SD-WAN services?

SD WAN services can vary across each vendor solution but typically provide secure connectivity between customers sites with features which include WAN optimisation, SASE security, Zero touch deployment, access to public cloud vendors and path selection.

How do I choose a SD-WAN vendor?

Comparing SD WAN vendor solutions requires careful analysis of which SD WAN features solve and meet your specific business needs. IT teams need to understand managed service requirements, application performance needs, cloud access and SASE security.

Is SD-WAN better than MPLS?

MPLS (VPRn - Virtual Private Routed Network) can be supported by SD WAN vendor solutions. SD WAN over the Internetis better than pure private MPLS services because users have adopted public cloud and IT teams require a more agile WAN capability.

Is SD-WAN a VPN?

SD WAN can be classed as a VPN because traffic encryption using IPSec is how users and sites connect to each other.

What problems does SD-WAN solve?

One of the main problems SD WAN solves is the need to connect users to their public cloud resources from any location and any device. SD WAN also offers major benefits such as zero-touch deployment, fast installation, comprehensive reporting and SASE security which solves multiple IT problems.

What are two major weaknesses of SD-WAN?
  1. SD WAN typically operates over the public Internet so end to end Quality of Service cannot be applied.
  2. SD WAN is often very feature rich but significant expertise is require to manage solutions when compared to legacy WAN services.
Does SD-WAN require MPLS?

No, SD WAN does not require MPLS. In some instances, SD WAN will be used to terminate MPLS connections depending on network architecture. There are SD WAN vendors which offer SD WAN access into their private MPLS core networks via local DIA (Dedicated Internet Access VPN).

Can SD-WAN replace firewall?

Yes, SD WAN vendors offer NGFW (Next Generation Firewall) services with full SASE security in one device or virtual instance.

Is SDP better than VPN?

Yes, SDP (Software Defined Permitter) uses VPN with (ZTNA) Zero Trust Network Access which differs from a vanilla VPN.

What are the benefits of SD-WAN?

SD WAN benefits include the ability to leverage low cost Internet with public cloud access and Firewall security with comprehensive reporting, Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and the capability to support multiple underlay access types including 4G, Broadband and DIA leased lines.

Is Meraki an SD-WAN?

Yes, Meraki is an SD WAN solution offered by Cisco Systems. Meraki is software defined and offers the typical features associated with Software Defined WAN.

Is SD-WAN software?

Yes, SD WAN is setup as software which runs on a cloud based management server. Devices and virtual instances connect to the management interface to download their software configuration.

Is SD-WAN secure?

SD WAN offers comprehensive security, often supporting full SASE with NGFW (Next Generation Security). While some IT teams doubt SD WAN is secure, solutions undoubtedly offer the most secure method of connecting users and devices to resources.

How much does SD-WAN cost?

On average SD WAN can begin from around £300 per month to well over £1000 depending on features and underlay costs.

How is SD-WAN implemented?

SD WAN is implemented using zero touch deployment. Devices and instances are pre-configured and do not make ‘connection’ until Internet connectivity is achieved. Security services with zero trust are used to ensure end points and devices are protected.

Gartner estimate that by 2024, 60% of enterprises will have adopted SD WAN with SASE security as the enabler to cloud access across Azure, AWS and Google. Perhaps more startling is their prediction that by 2024, AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistants will create a touchless environment for troubleshooting and orchestration.

The market has undergone massive change over the last few years as almost all companies look to public cloud with support from SASE network security as the enabler to productivity with their business. As the office becomes ever less critical to completing work, collaboration with colleagues and customers is typically conducted using Internet services by leveraging cloud applications. The change has therefore happened.

And while private WAN services remain a component of hybrid WAN architecture, SD WAN with SASE security is the only way to adopt your cloud-first network architecture truly. It's also important to note that while there is always room for improvement in any type of technology, one should not neglect other factors such as innovation or customer service when evaluating replacement solutions.

How do I learn more about the best SD WAN vendors?

Readers can learn more information about each vendor using the data below which provides an overview of top 20 SD WAN solutions. Please also take a look at our vendor matrix which contains features and benefits.


“Researching SD WAN vendors and service providers requires significant time investment. With over 50 solutions to compare, there is now an easier way.”

Use the Netify marketplace to compare vendors, book demos and retrieve your local sales contact.


 

Author

Robert Sturt insider@netify.co.uk Last Updated: 22.10.2021
Forbes Netify Business Council

Written by Netify's Techtarget.com and Forbes.com writer

Download the SD WAN Playbook

Download our in-depth comparison of SD WAN vendors & providers. Need to compare the SD WAN market? Learn more about of free tool to help create your own solution shortlist.