SD-WAN is a relatively new technology, but it is quickly gaining popularity both among small and large businesses. Best SD-WAN vendors provide inclusive and autonomous network solutions, so it is very easy for companies to incorporate them.
In 2017, an SD-WAN Gartner survey examined the key drivers and business incentives for the rise of managed SD-WAN, compared to non-carrier providers. Their main findings include:
- Increased network reliability and availability.
- Increased security and time-efficiency.
- Lack of familiarity with the technology.
- Presales and postsales support.
- Decreased maintenance costs.
As SD-WAN is becoming more and more popular and widespread, so are SD-WAN vendors. Their numbers are growing exponentially, and it is becoming increasingly more difficult for businesses to choose the best one for their networking environment.
SD-WAN Vendor Review:
Here’s our review of the best SD-WAN vendors available right now. But, first of all, let’s see which questions to ask when choosing and what makes one SD-WAN solution better than the other:
- Is it competitive or not to the traditional connectivity?
- Is it more cost-efficient than the current solution?
- Does it provide a complete overall solution that’s easy to implement and monitor?
- Can it be integrated with existing circuits, adding additional components?
- Does it allow access to the cloud?
Many SD-WAN vendors will fit into one of two of these categories. However, only top SD-WAN vendors will provide a cutting-edge SD-WAN solution that ticks all of these boxes. These are our top picks.
Riverbed was founded in 2002, so it has age and experience working in its favor. According to Jerry Kennelly, the founder, its mission is to eliminate location and distance constraints when delivering applications.
One of the key facts that show why Riverbed is one of the best SD-WAN vendors is that its SteelHead appliance was chosen as the winner in the Gartner Magic Quadrant nine years consecutively.
Riverbed has an application-driven approach to SD-WAN and is business-intent-based. Their goals when implementing an SD-WAN solution are to automate, optimize, secure, and control apps both on private and public networks.
Riverbed SD-WAN is best for:
- Business networks with a high-latency environment.
- Businesses where application speed is paramount.
- Businesses that aim to increase productivity by managing redundant traffic.
- Large-scale businesses.
- Businesses concerned about safety standards and protocols.
Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances will increase the application speed 100 times, which optimizes and boosts production. Moreover, redundancies in traffic are eliminated, which frees more bandwidth for crucial data.
The SteelHead solution is very easy to deploy, so your IT technicians can do it without obstructing the end users. More importantly, the Riverbed solution can be scaled to a company’s specific workload. However, Riverbed is best suited for large companies that need to maintain application performance and keep traffic organized at all times.
Cisco Meraki MX
Initially, Cisco Meraki MX was a branch security platform, focusing on malware prevention, DPI, advanced firewalling, and so on. However, to stay competitive, they began offering WAN connectivity, as well as SD-WAN solutions.
Due to their prior experience with WANs, it didn’t take them too long to sit among the best SD-WAN vendors in the industry. Their main target clientele is businesses that desire security but also aim to make branch operations as simple as possible.
Cisco Meraki SD-WAN provides dual-connected WAN solutions. The most common deployments it uses are broadband + 4G, broadband + MPLS, and twin-broadband circuits.
Cisco has a transport-independent design which allows you to combine providers and connections and choose which sites can talk to others.
Cisco Meraki also offers Performance Routing. This feature allows you to change how traffic travels across your network. You can send the social media traffic to travel through the internet, and send more sensitive data through VPN, to ensure privacy.
In case you have a hybrid SD-WAN solution, this will save you money because useless data will not clog your MPLS.
What we like the most about Cisco Meraki SD-WAN is that it has a long history (est. 1984) and has plenty of experience. It’s one of the best SD-WAN vendors for those businesses which are expecting growth because it allows customers to customize their network solution to fit their infrastructure fully.
As Viptela say themselves, the reason why they are SD-WAN leaders is the fact they provide 10x more bandwidth, 50% lower costs, and 5x better cloud performance, compared to a traditional WAN environment.
Viptela does not have the experience the former two veterans on this list can boast of. It exists since 2012, so it is still a newcomer in the SD-WAN industry. However, this does not take away from its quality since they invest more and more money each year in funding and development. They rose quickly to the forefront and are now one of the top SD-WAN vendors.
However, Viptela is not as easy to incorporate into an existing networking infrastructure. It requires a larger amount of software and hardware to run your WAN, but that has its benefits.
Therefore, it is the best solution for companies who are starting from scratch, or for companies that do not mind the extra requirements set by Viptela. Moreover, businesses that work with a lot of sensitive data and need a way to store it and protect it will benefit greatly from Viptela. Their segmentation approach to network protects data and keep it safe from attacks.
As their name implies, VeloCloud’s main focus is to optimize the end user’s experience as it communicates with cloud-based applications. VeloCloud is one of the pioneers in the SD-WAN business, which means they have appliances spread globally and can ensure your LAN-Cloud traffic travels at highest speeds.
VeloCloud can boast with the fact that more than 1,000 large businesses have adopted their technology. Some of the most notable names include AT&T, MetTel, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, Mitel, Windstream, and many others.
According to VeloCloud themselves, they are the first company in the industry to offer software-defined automation and control, a cloud network for enterprise-level connection, and delivery of virtual services. This is what keeps them among the best SD-WAN vendors even today.
In our opinion, VeloCloud SD-WAN solution is best for those companies that intend to rely greatly on cloud applications. Moreover, businesses that are dispersed geographically can also benefit from Velocloud’s global appliances.
Service providers, enterprises, and start-up companies are also some of the most common Velocloud’s customers. They offer innovation, which is crucial for new businesses that are growing and have big plans for the future.
Spooster’s motto is to offer SD-WAN technology to those who need it the most. That is why our criteria when choosing SD-WAN vendors to work with are very strict.
Riverbed, Cisco Meraki, Viptela, and Velocloud have proved to be the best SD-WAN vendors in the industry today, providing networking solutions to many of the largest and most successful companies in the world.
Spooster offers managed SD-WAN services, partnered with these leading vendors, to lower your costs of networking, increase speed, decrease maintenance and ensure security and accessibility of your data. Get in touch to start growing your business.