Robert Sturt

By: Robert Sturt on October 18th, 2019

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Which vendors offer the top 10 best SD WAN solutions?

In 2019, we launched the Netify platform, our curated research database of UK, US & Global SD WAN providers & vendors which offers the ability to dynamically align your requirements to the best fit SD WAN solutions. In this article, we're leveraging the knowledge from Netify to outline 16 features across the 10 top software-defined WAN companies.
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We recognise that one of the major challenges for any IT team considering SD WAN services is to force transparency across the massive amount of hype and marketing currently generated by service providers. And, compounding the issue is the need to also identify niche and specialised software-defined WAN players you may not have considered. If you are conducting research you’ll find the 'lesser-known' solutions are essentially hidden behind the content-generating power of larger SD WAN companies.

And even with the base level of data-points, every Enterprise brings their own specific requirements across branch offices & HQ cloud-based mission-critical applications and their access, security policies, data centre, migration, budget, support, uptime and, well, you probably get the idea. It's kind of time-consuming and confusing. With digital transformation at the top of the IT Manager or CTO's agenda, which SD WAN features should you consider and which solution should you choose?

Who are the 9 top or best SD WAN providers & vendors?

We publish regular lists of providers & vendors for UK / US SME & Large Enterprise business. The following represents a good broad set of Netify capabilities, register for a free account to complete comprehensive analysis.

1. What is Versa's SD WAN solution?

Versa SD WAN Logo

The Versa solution is a relative newcomer to the SD WAN space, their solution is already listed as a Visionary within the Gartner magic quadrant. The Versa architecture is edge-based physical hardware with Cloud based management. Versa is perceived to be a simple solution to activate sites with mobile application support, next-generation Firewall security and WiFI access (WAP).

Versa employes approximately 300 employees with the majority of support provided out of the US. The market perception of Versa surrounds ease of deployment via their Titan product combined with a cost-effective price point. As you would expect, the solution is cloud managed from desktop or mobile including access to back end support.

Versa suggests their typical customer profile is: SME (Small to Medium Enterprise business), Up to 2Gbps connectivity, 1-500 site scaling and Carrier agnostic.

2. What is Aryaka's SD WAN solution?

Aryaka Logo

Aryaka is an interesting proposition as their network infrastructure is based on an MPLS PoP deployment. In a sense, the solution is a software WAN evolution of the MPLS VPN. As a Challenger on the Gartner magic quadrant, they offer 25+ Global POPs, physical hardware and Cloud-based SD WAN controller support. WAN optimisation is built in to the Aryaka solution.

Leading brands are using Aryaka such as Skullcandy, Air Chna and other notable partners including Microsoft Azure & AWS Cloud. The Aryaka capability is made up of Smart Connect (WAN optimisation), SmartCDN (IP and Web app acceleration) and Cloud VPN.

3. What is CATO's SD WAN solution?

CATO Logo

CATO is listed as a Gartner Visionary, formed in 2019. In a similar fashion to Aryaka, CATO offers 40+ Global PoP locations. Physical, virtualised and Cloud via AWS. CATO is viewed as a great solution for the SME or large Enterprise with a large number of remote users. With next-generation Firewall security included within the solution capability.

Interesting fact, CATO is led by Shlomo Kramer, co-founder of the security giant Check Point Software. Another SD WAN offering with 40 Worldwide PoP locations connected via multipe tier 1 providers. The CATO service offering spans One Network, a Global SLA-backed backbone which can carry Internet and WAN traffic. One Security and One Policy provide a unified cloud-based policy to protect traffic across users, HQ & branch office locations and applications.

4. What is CloudGenix's SD WAN solution?

CloudGenix SD WAN Logo

CloudGenix was formed in 2013 and are yet another provider listed as a Visionary by Gartner. An edge-based solution with physical, virtual and Cloud based solutions via AWS. An interesting feature of CloudGenix is their layer 7 application performance management regardless of where the app is hosted. Advanced Security is available from partners as the default hardware only proposition offers a basic capability.

Another San Jose based business, their service offerings consist of ION (Instant-On Network) which offers the capability to meet data centre and edge appliance/software demands. CloudGenix is a good option for hybrid Internet VPN, MPLS and Wireless connectivity aggregation. We note that CloudGenix approaches SD WAN via layer 7 application sessions through app-based SLA policies.

5. What is Oracle's (Talari) SD WAN solution?

Talari SD WAN Logo

As a well-known brand, Oracle (Talari) has been around for some time now. Viewed as a niche provider by Gartner, their solution is edge-based with physical, virtual (VMWare, Hyper-V, KVM), Cloud via AWS and Azure) with either on premises controller technology. Talari is offering WAN optimisation at no additional cost and granular network performance measurements  taken with every single packet. The security offered is basic with advanced offered by partners.

As of writing this article, Talari is on their 7th generation SD WAN platform with 500+ customers and 9000 site deployments worldwide. The pitch suggests their capability meets the demands for physical, virtual or cloud nodes. Alongside Talari Sofware-Defined WAN, their bandwidth liquidity capability offers an orchestrated solution that consolidates legacy equipment. A key takeaway is their ability to enable sub-second response when detecting network issues and intelligent link aggregation which will use all bandwidth across disparate links even for a single TCP application flow.

6. What is Cisco Meraki's SD WAN solution?

Cisco Meraki Logo

The Meraki platform offers significant benefits including CCTV, an edge-based Gartner leader with physical and Cloud via AWS or Azure. The inbuilt next-generation Firewall licence, single pane of glass management and WiFI switching mean Meraki is a great solution for a business requiring monitoring. Meraki is best suited to Internet-only rather than supporting private technologies such as MPLS. While MPLS can be supported, deployment does require expertise. Meraki is also known as a DIY technology vs some solutions which are part or fully managed.

We've recently worked on a large 300 site deployment using Cisco Meraki into MPLS primary with failover to Broadband / 4G. The complexity of delivering the solution surrounds working with MPLS routing rather than using the public Internet. With this said, the capability works well and is fit for purpose.

7. What is Citrix's SD WAN solution?

Citrix Logo

A 2013 SD WAN offering, Citrix are a challenger within the Gartner magic quadrant. As with most provider and vendors, Cirtix are offering edge-based connectivity with physical, Citrix HyperV, KVM, VMWare and Zen with Cloud-based using Alibaba, AWS, Azure, Google and Oracle. Citrix SD WAN is viewed by the market as a single WAN optimisation device with good network visibility. 

Citrix produce an SD WAN buyers checklist but this really revolves on an overview of their strengths which typically drives you down a path of selecting their services. With this said, the Citrix capability does compare well overall with every provider & vendor.

8. What is Masergy's SD WAN solution?

Masergy SD WAN Logo

Headquartered out of Dallas, Masergy also has a good UK & European sales presence with connectivity available across 85+ countries. In addition to SD WAN, Masergy also offer UCAAS, Cloud Contact Centre and Cyber Security.

In respect of services sold, Masergy offer Global Cloud Networking which genuinely offers a connectivity agnostic approach including Internet, MPLS, VPLS all supporting cloud-based access. More recently, Masergy has launched advanced managed security which offers detection, response with managed Firewall services. One of the key takeaway points of Masergy is their extremely well-engineered IP backbone with management tools which make bandwidth and configuration changes simple.

9. What is Silver Peak's SD WAN solution?

Silver Peak Logo

The value in Silver Peak is their WAN optimisation based on applications with the pitch that their technology improves the performance of low-cost Internet connectivity to the level of private line services. Unity Boost enables their customers to reduce bandwidth requirements which in turn increases application performance. EdgeConnect positions their customers to leverage multiple paths across the Internet with dynamic load balancing.

Silver Peak are a leader in the Gartner magic quadrant for WAN optimisation which backs up their marketing which leads with an application first approach.

About Robert Sturt

Robert is the Managing Director of Netify, a Network Union brand. With experience working across WAN services since 1998, Robert brings a wealth of experience based on hard won knowledge. A writer for Techtarget.com and an experienced business strategist, Robert can bring a tonne of value to your project.