Top 11 Best SD-WAN Vendors And Companies [2021 RANKINGS]

This tutorial explains what is SD-WAN. Review and compare the top SD-WAN Vendors to select the best as per your requirement:

Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) is a software approach to manage a wide area network. These solutions help with improving connectivity to branch offices and the cloud. These solutions will give ease of deployment and central manageability. It will reduce costs.

Understanding SD-WAN

It is a virtual WAN architecture that gives enterprises the flexibility to take maximum advantage of any combination of transport services for securely connecting users to applications. The top five advantages of SD-WAN technology include improved performance, boosting security, lowering complexity, enabling cloud usage, and reduced cost.

Cato SASE

Fact Check: According to MarkersAndMarkets, the market size of SD-WAN was $1.9 billion in 2020. It is growing at a CAGR of 34.5% from 2020 to 2025. It is expected to reach $8.4 billion by 2025. The below image shows this research data.
Citrix research says that 60% of the businesses are installing, trying out, and actively researching the SD-WAN solutions.

Citrix research data

Pro Tip: While choosing the managed SD-WAN provider, consider the factors like ease of deployment, availability of hybrid WAN solution, price, and security.

The below image shows some more factors to consider while choosing the SD-WAN vendor:

SD-WAN vendor selection factors

[image source]

WAN Transformation Requirements

Here are some foundational WAN transformation requirements:

  • To run the entire enterprise on any transport such as shared and public broadband voice and video.
  • To retire the legacy infrastructure and eliminate the requirements of legacy routers, firewalls, etc.
  • It provides security, performance, and the highest quality of experience for the huge number of cloud applications and services.
  • It will let you automate everything from auto-deploying applications & policies to centrally orchestrating change that is helpful for the changing requirements.
  • It will provide advanced security and help you switch from hardware-centric perimeter firewalls to cloud-delivered security services.

SD-WAN vs. MPLS vs. Public Internet

Enterprise can use the public Internet for routing the internal traffic. It is quick to set up and available at an affordable price. The disadvantages of this solution are unstable performance, volatile latency, and the lack of end-to-end management features.

Another solution is MPLS. It is a solution made for providing high-performance and reliable network connections with SLAs that will guarantee packet delivery, availability, and latency. These solutions are expensive and have a very slow deployment process. It could take around a few weeks or months to deploy the solution.

SD-WAN provides the solution by combining the best features of both of the above-mentioned solutions. It chooses the optimal route from the public Internet connections and MPLS links. With this solution, the performance & the cost is balanced on a per-application basis.

There are additional benefits of integrated security, mobile & cloud-users support, and predictable latency & packet loss with the cloud-based SD-WAN.

SASE

SASE is an acronym for Secure Access Service Edge. This new enterprise networking technology category will give you a unified and global cloud-native service that has functionalities for network and security point solutions. It facilitates an architectural transformation of enterprise networking and security.

Suggested reading =>> Top SASE Vendors

These solutions will let the IT businesses offer a holistic, agile, and adaptable service to the digital business. SASE’s transformational impact across multiple IT domains makes it a unique technology.

SD-WAN And SASE

SD-WAN plays an important role in the SASE platform. This key component of the SASE platform plays the role of connecting locations and datacenters to the SASE cloud service. SASE is important for IT teams as it provides a solution that has converged the network and security into a cloud-native service.

It has functionalities for connecting and securing all business locations and users in a cost-effective way.

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List Of Top SD-WAN Vendors

Here is the list of the most popular SD-WAN Vendors:

  1. Cato SASE (Recommended)
  2. Cisco SD-WAN
  3. VeloCloud
  4. Silver Peak
  5. Citrix SD-WAN
  6. Open Systems
  7. Aryaka
  8. Fortinet
  9. Palo Alto Networks
  10. 128 Technology
  11. Barracuda Networks

Comparison Of Some Best SD-WAN Companies

SD-WAN VendorsOur RatingsBest forArchitectureFree Trial
Cato SASE

Cato_Logo
Star_rating_5_of_5A full set of networking and security capabilities.Identity-driven, Cloud-native, Supports all-edges, & globally distributed.Free trial available on request.
Cisco SD-WAN

Cisco_Logo
Star_rating_5_of_5Providing control over the WAN, edge, & cloud as one network.Cloud-scale architecture, open, programmable, & scalable.No.
VeloCloud

Vmware_Logo
Star_rating_4.5_of_5Tight integration with the NSX Data Center & NSX Cloud.Built on SDN principles.Free trial available.
Silver Peak

Silverpeak_Logo
Star_rating_4.5_of_5Cloud-first enterprises.Supports deploying hybrid & all-broadband WANs through multiple types of connectivity.Available to download.
Citrix SD-WAN

Citrix_Logo
Star_rating_4.5_of_5Simplifying digital transformation for enterprises.Supports several deployment modes. Flexible to integrate with physical & virtual appliances.Free trial available for the Standard edition.

Let us review the above-listed SD-WAN vendors below.

#1) Cato SASE (Recommended)

Cato SASE is best for a full set of networking and security capabilities.

Cato SASE

Cato SASE cloud is a global converged cloud-native service. It provides a secure solution to connect all branches, clouds, people, and data centers. It can replace or augment network services as well as security point solutions. It has a self-healing architecture and capabilities for Cloud optimization, WAN optimization, and Global Route Optimization.

Features:

  • It has a global private backbone of more than 65 PoPs that are connected through multiple SLA-backed network providers and Cato SASE Cloud runs on it.
  • The physical location gets connected to the nearest Cato PoP by the Cato Socket SD-WAN.
  • It will let the customer choose a combination of fiber, cable, xDSL, and 4G/LTE connections.
  • It has capabilities to route site-to-site traffic over MPLS and the internet and hence can address regional and application-specific requirements.

Verdict: Cato SASE Cloud can provide Security as a Service, secure Remote access, Cloud Datacenter Integration, and a Cato Management Application. Cato Management Application is a self-service management platform and provides full visibility in the network.

Price: You can get a quote for pricing details. A free trial is available.


#2) Cisco SD-WAN

Best for providing control over the WAN, edge, & cloud as one network.

Cisco

Cisco SD-WAN platform will let you connect any user to any application. It has capabilities integrated with it for multi-cloud, security, unified communications, and application optimization. Its architecture is SASE enabled. It has a secure and cloud-scale architecture.

Cisco vManage Console will help you quickly establish an SD-WAN overlay fabric. This will let you connect to data centers and branches, etc.

Features:

  • Cisco SD-WAN is an open, programmable, and scalable solution.
  • It provides real-time analytics, visibility, and control.
  • There will be centralized cloud management and hence easy to deploy SD-WAN and security.
  • It offers Cisco vManage console for quickly connecting data centers, branches, campuses, colocation facilities, etc. This feature will improve efficiency, security, network speed, etc.

Verdict: You will get the benefits of cloud-first architecture. It offers flexibility. You will connect to any user to any application across the cloud.

Price: You can get a quote for pricing details. As per reviews, Cisco SD-WAN price is in the range of $100 to $200 per month per location.

Website: Cisco SD-WAN


#3) VeloCloud

Best for tight integration with the NSX Data Center & NSX Cloud that will let the clients expand consistent networking & security policies across data center, branch, cloud, etc.

VeloCloud

VMware SD-WAN is a platform with capabilities of SmartQos, Application Performance Monitoring, Dynamic Path Selection, etc. It can assess the performance of critical data applications at any given time by continuously computing the quality score. VMware SD-WAN will intelligently add the application to the cloud-based application database by learning them.

Features:

  • VMware SD-WAN Dynamic Multipath OptimizationTM has deep application recognition, automatic link monitoring, etc.
  • For the application performance monitoring, VMware SD-WAN Quality Score will get continuously computed.
  • Virtual Service Platform has capabilities of Virtual Network Function, Security Service Chaining, and Flexibility.
  • Cloud Network offers Zero-Touch Deployment, Cloud VPN, and Security.
  • It has the capability of recognizing and classifying more than 2500 applications and sub-applications. There will not be a need for separate hardware and software.

Verdict: VMware SD-WAN enterprise solution can be used for multiple use cases such as Hybrid WAN, Unified communications, PCI Compliance, and Outcome-Driven Networking. It is suitable for small to large businesses.

Price: A free trial is available for the platform. You can get a quote for pricing details.

Website: VeloCloud


#4) Silver Peak

Best for cloud-first enterprises.

SilverPeak

Silver Peak provides the unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN Edge Platform that has capabilities to deliver the highest quality of experience and continuous adaption. It is a single unified platform that has converged SD-WAN, firewall, segmentation, routing, WAN optimization, and application visibility & control.

EdgeConnect provides more advanced functionalities than router-centric and basic SD-WAN vendors. It provides the features for a business-first networking model.

Features:

  • Silver Peak offers a Unity EdgeConnect™ for delivering physical or virtual appliances.
  • Unity Orchestrator™ is for the rapid and central defining of application quality of service & security policies to a lot of sites and a simplified service to change to third-party network & security services.
  • Unity Boost™ is a pack for WAN optimization. It is an optional tool and will help you by improving the performance of latency-sensitive applications.
  • Also, the transmission of repetitive data will get reduced by Unity Boost™.

Verdict: Unity EdgeConnect is a business-driven SD-WAN Edge Platform. With this platform, end-users will get the always-consistent and always-available application performance. There will be fully automated traffic handling, real-time learning & adaptation to network changes, and continuous compliance.

Price: Silver Peak NX-700 is available for $1995. A free trial of the platform is available to download.

Website: Silver Peak


#5) Citrix SD-WAN

Best for simplifying digital transformation for enterprises.

Citrix

Citrix SD-WAN provides a fully unified approach to SASE. It can integrate comprehensive & cloud-delivered security along with ZTNA, SD-WAN, analytics, and secure Internet access. Various deployment options are available such as getting a partner with a good Citrix SD-WAN MSP, DIY, and hybrid cloud.

Features:

  • Citrix SD-WAN will give you comprehensive protection against all threats.
  • It is a consolidated SD-WAN solution that has strong security at the WAN Edge. Its fully integrated edge security stack will let you adopt local Internet breakout and provide protection for branch-to-branch propagation of threats.
  • Citrix Secure Internet Access is unified cloud-delivered security & network service.
  • Citrix Cloud On-Ramps provides flexible On-Ramp options for any cloud access. It simplifies the multi-cloud transition.

Verdict: Citrix SD-WAN is a secure and reliable SD-WAN solution that will provide an exceptional experience and seamless business. SD-WAN Edge Security will help you with ensuring security compliance.

Price: You can get a quote for pricing details. A free trial is available for the Standard edition.

Website: Citrix SD-WAN


#6) Open Systems

Best for comprehensive functionality and high performance.

OpenSystems

Open Systems provides a SASE platform as a service. Its 24*7 support is available. Open Systems can provide tailored solutions according to your networking and security needs. It has solutions for various use cases such as cloud enablement, cyber risk mitigations, network operations, and threat protection.

Open Systems offers the SASE platform with three service plans, Business, Enterprise, and Enterprise+.

Features:

  • Open Systems can provide Network and Security Analytics.
  • For the flexible network solutions to be run on diverse connectivity stack, the Business plan is there.
  • Enterprise Plan is the all-in-one package for network and security, along with the features of the Business Plan.
  • Enterprise+ Plan has the capabilities of detecting and responding to network threats.

Verdict: Open Systems offer the solution for various verticals such as Chemical, Finance, Insurance, Healthcare, and Manufacturing. Enterprise+ Plan is for secure and agile networks, Enterprise plan is for secure networks, and the Business plan is for performant networks.

Price: You can get a quote for pricing details.

Website: Open Systems


#7) Aryaka

Best for a rich set of managed services.

Aryaka

Aryaka offers the Enterprise platform that has capabilities for various use cases such as migrating from MPLS, adopting cloud architectures, boosting application performance, driving operational simplicity, and accelerating digital transformation. Aryaka’s SmartServices platform is rich in features for managed services.

Aryaka Cloud-First SD-WAN has converged on the capabilities of the global network and integrated SD-WAN technology. This gives the best application experience.

Features:

  • SmartInsights platform can provide insightful analytics-as-a-service.
  • SmartSecure is a Security as-a-service platform.
  • SmartCloud platform offers multi-cloud networking as-a-service.
  • SmartOptimize is for application acceleration as-a-service.
  • SmartConnect is a connectivity-as-a-service platform.

Verdict: Aryaka is a fully managed service that provides 24*7 support and global NOCs. It has a multi-cloud architecture with direct connectivity. Its built-in WAN Optimization will provide guaranteed application performance. This platform will provide the benefits of speed, simplicity, choice, and visibility.

Price: You can get a quote for pricing details.

Website: Aryaka


#8) Fortinet

Best for security-driven networking.

Fortinet

Fortinet offers an ASIC Accelerated SD-WAN solution. It has the capabilities of identifying more than 5K applications with SSL inspection. FortiGate NGFW is a solution for integrated SD-WAN networking and security features in a single device. It provides enhanced multi-cloud application performance through application identification, multi-path control, and application steering.

Features:

  • Fortinet SD-WAN has self-healing capabilities.
  • For the efficient SaaS adoption, it provides Cloud-On-Ramp.
  • SD-WAN Orchestrator will simplify the operations.
  • For orchestration and analytics, it has features of zero-touch provisioning, intuitive workflow, and granular application.

Verdict: FortiGate SD-WAN solution has various form factors with multiple models to select. For the WAN Edge transformation, it will let you choose the models according to your requirement ranging from hardware, VM appliances to six different cloud marketplaces.

Price: You can get a quote for pricing details.

Website: Fortinet


#9) Palo Alto Networks

Best for deep application visibility plus intelligent Layer 7 network policies.

PaloAlto

Palo Alto Networks Prisma SD-WAN provides security and networking in one platform. It is for various use cases such as router modernization, cloud migration, and automated networking operations. Prisma™ Access is a SASE platform for the network and network security services from the cloud.

Features:

  • Palo Alto SD-WAN provides deep application visibility.
  • You will be able to leverage the intelligent Layer 7 network policies.
  • Machine learning and data science support will help you with automating operations and problem avoidance.

Verdict: Palo Alto SD-WAN solution is powered by ML and Automation. It simplifies the management and will let you enable app-defined SD-WAN policies.

Price: A free trial is available. You can get a quote for pricing details.

Website: Palo Alto Networks


#10) 128 Technology

Best for enhanced security, performance, agility, & cost savings.

128Tech

Session Smart™ Routing is an SD-WAN platform by 128 Technology. It is built on its revolutionary Secure Vector Routing Standard. It offers the benefits of security, agility, performance, and cost savings. It helps you with bringing in the new platforms quickly, and this improves operational efficiency and reduces errors.

Features:

  • Session Smart™ Routing is a powerful and unified management platform that has capabilities for administration, provisioning, monitoring, and analytics.
  • Dynamic Hybrid WAN will reduce the connectivity costs required for branch locations by supporting MPLS, Internet, LTE, and satellite, and that too without compromising reliability.
  • It provides transport agnostic networking and dynamic multi-path routing.
  • It provides secure virtual networks by allowing you to establish routing and security policies across the Firewall or NAT boundaries.

Verdict: Session Smart™ Routing can be integrated seamlessly with orchestration and automation tools. The platform provides various benefits, including security and performance. It will reduce the cost through multiple measures such as cheaper data transfer to the cloud, lower operational expenses, etc.

Price: You can get a quote for pricing details.

Website: 128 Technology


#11) Barracuda Networks

Best for a combined solution of the best connectivity features of SD-WAN platforms and security features of advanced firewalls.

Barracuda

Barracuda Networks offer a secure SD-WAN solution that will boost application performance and reduce costs. It provides the best connectivity features of stand-alone SD-WAN tools and the security features of next-generation firewalls.

Features:

  • Barracuda Networks SD-WAN has a rich set of features and can be an alternative to various separate solutions such as link balancing, WAN Optimization, SD-WAN, etc.
  • It provides deep integration into all the popular cloud ecosystems that will enable you to use cloud workloads simultaneously, regardless of the cloud infrastructure providers.
  • You will be able to optimize branch-to-branch, branch-to-cloud, and cloud-to-cloud connectivity.
  • It provides multi-layered, next-generation security.

Verdict: Barracuda Networks SD-WAN is easy to deploy and manage. It provides the benefits of keeping users connected & productive, saving time & money, achieving cloud scalability, and security. It can protect from advanced threats and zero hour-attacks.

Price: A free trial is available for the platform. You can get a quote for pricing details.

Website: Barracuda Networks


Conclusion

The first step of the WAN transformation journey is the SD-WAN, but some features such as global connectivity capabilities, key security functions, and support for cloud resources and mobile users can be absent from it.

A full SASE platform like Cato SASE has the capabilities to support the complete WAN transformation journey, and hence it is our top recommended solution. Such SASE platforms will be cost-effective and agile solutions. They will help IT, teams, by providing network and security functions.

We hope this detailed review article of SD-WAN vendors will guide you in choosing the right solution for your business.

Research Process

  • Time is taken to research and write this article: 28 Hours.
  • Total tools researched online: 32
  • Top tools shortlisted for review: 11
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