A growing market
Multiple vendors are taking up space in the rapidly growing SD-WAN market. Although the technology has been commercially available for only a few years, research firm IDC estimates global SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and reach $8.05 billion in 2021. As various startups seemingly jump on board the SD-WAN bandwagon every day, it can be difficult to choose a provider. To offer some familiarity to the industry, the following highlights some of the major contenders in the market.
Originally founded in 2009, Aryaka boasts a global private network with its purchase of layer 2 capacity from tier-1 and tier-2 service providers, which the company uses to distinguish its cloud-based SD-WAN services. Its global private network includes 26 points of presence (PoPs), spanning six continents. Launching an Aryaka solution at a customer site takes hours rather than months as is the case with MPLS. Its leading brands include Skullcandy, Air China, Freescale Semiconductor and ThoughtWorks.
Cisco offers multiple SD-WAN services, including Intelligent WAN (IWAN) and Meraki SD-WAN. IWAN consists of traffic control and security features for WAN, which gives IT professionals visibility and control over the network from a seven layer view point. Cisco Meraki networking products are made for cloud management, which include hardware to manage contemporary devices and applications. Cisco also acquired Viptela for $610 million last year, along with a SD-WAN solution that can be deployed either as an on-premises workload or in the cloud.
Citrix Netscaler SD-WAN is gaining momentum as well. The technology abstracts traffic management and monitoring from network hardware, applying it to specific applications. It combines packet-level, real-time path selection, WAN optimization, firewall, routing and application analytics into one comprehensive solution, according to the company. Among the major benefits of the technology include treating multiple WAN circuits as an unified pool of bandwidth, overcoming lossy circuits, link quality monitoring, centralized reporting and integrated WAN optimization.
VeloCloud is another startup making a splash in the market, which was acquired by VMware last year. VeloCloud reports over 1,000 customers have adopted its technology, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Macquarie Telecom, MetTel, Mitel, Sprint, TelePacific, Telstra, Vonage and Windstream. According to VeloCloud, it is the first company to provide cloud-delivered SD-WAN leveraging three components: a cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to a cloud; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery.
Versa Networks was founded by brothers Kumar and Apurva Mehta, two former Juniper Networks executives. The brothers aided the development of Juniper’s MX series of routers. While Versa Networks has taken up space within the realm of network functions virtualization (NFV), it has also made strides with respect to the SD-WAN industry. Among its customers include Colt, Orange and CenturyLink. Recently, Virgin Media Business partnered with Versa Networks to provide its customers with various SD-WAN services made to integrate with the cloud, and improve automation, security and connectivity.