Software-defined WAN technology has helped make wide area networking more flexible and efficient, resulting in lower-cost network management. To help simplify the buying process, we compare the main features and functionality, available platforms, target users, and pricing and licensing information for products and services from these top 10 SD-WAN vendors, which are listed below alphabetically.
Aryaka SmartConnect is a managed, global SD-WAN product that provides organizations with secure, enterprise-grade connectivity. SmartConnect can be deployed within days anywhere in the world and increases performance for customers' on-premises, cloud or SaaS applications. It combines a cloud-native global private network, SD-WAN, WAN optimization and application acceleration techniques, connectivity to cloud platforms, content delivery network functionality and network visibility into a single product.
Aryaka, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., offers SD-WAN with a cloud-native private network that contains almost 30 worldwide points of presence, which enables it to deliver faster performance for mission-critical applications worldwide and provide 99.99% reliability for service-level agreements. Aryaka's global SD-WAN technology is offered as a service, which can help reduce WAN complexity by minimizing deployment and management hassles. Pricing is by monthly subscription.
Cisco provides two SD-WAN technology offerings: Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco Meraki MX.
Cisco SD-WAN, which comes from its Viptela acquisition, is positioned as Cisco's high-end product. It's a cloud-managed overlay WAN that offers comprehensive routing, security and policy capabilities, as well as advanced analytics support. Cisco SD-WAN is scalable and offers optimized integration with SaaS and cloud-based applications. Its analytics capabilities enable visibility, planning and intelligent policy recommendations. Cisco SD-WAN supports applications and software-based platforms, with pricing by appliance, software license or subscription.
The Cisco Meraki division supplies easy-to-use managed network offerings for SMBs. The Meraki MX appliance offers integrated SD-WAN technology as part of Cisco's Meraki suite of cloud-managed IT products. Cisco Meraki MX offers ease of management and monitoring for SD-WAN, as well as full-featured Cisco security capabilities, providing an all-in-one branch WAN and security appliance. Meraki users who invest in the full Meraki ecosystem can manage the entire branch office architecture from a single management console.
Meraki offers a software-defined branch with security, SD-WAN, switching, Wi-Fi, endpoint management and security cameras -- all managed in a single, easy-to-use cloud interface. Meraki targets distributed organizations with lean IT, including retail, healthcare, professional services, hospitality and other verticals. Cisco Meraki offers an application platform with subscription pricing.
Using extensive research into the SD-WAN market, TechTarget editors focused on 10 leading SD-WAN vendor offerings. This article does not include middleware or options offered by resellers or managed service providers. Research included data from recent TechTarget surveys and reports from other respected research firms.
Citrix, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., offers its NetScaler SD-WAN as a full-featured SD-WAN hardware, software and cloud platform. It offers advanced application delivery capabilities, including deep packet inspection application detection, WAN optimization, firewall and routing to deliver applications from the data center, cloud or internet via SaaS. The product can be used on premises or in the cloud, and it's capable of supporting single or multi-tenancy.
NetScaler offers an intelligent understanding of the underlying network and can make timely decisions on how to adapt traffic to even small degradations in network performance. This is particularly noticeable for real-time voice and unified communications applications. The platform is designed to deliver the Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop across the WAN. NetScaler supports physical and virtual appliances with versatile licensing, including subscription and perpetual licenses based on bandwidth.
The Cradlepoint NetCloud platform combines cloud-based management, orchestration and virtual overlays with software-defined edge routing and security software, and it's packaged with purpose-built edge devices. NetCloud-driven SD-WAN functionality is optimized for 4G Long Term Evolution connectivity, and it provides a pathway to gigabit LTE and 5G.
NetCloud features include support for up to four cellular carriers, automatic carrier selection, and policy-based traffic steering based on real-time LTE performance and usage data. Cradlepoint's SD-WAN platform can support wired and LTE connections. For in-branch IoT, NetCloud provides SD-WAN routing and software-defined perimeter IoT device isolation and device-to-cloud connectivity in the same product.
Cradlepoint, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, designs for organizations that have lean IT teams, demand nonstop WAN availability and have highly distributed, small-footprint branch offices. Cradlepoint appliances are available with one-, three- and five-year subscriptions.
Riverbed, based in San Francisco, helps organizations maximize digital performance with its unified Digital Experience, Cloud Networking and Cloud Edge products. Riverbed SteelConnect provides policy-based orchestration spanning the entire distributed network fabric -- LAN or wireless LAN, WAN, data center and private or public cloud -- with one-click connectivity and optimization into AWS and Microsoft Azure. SteelConnect enables zero-touch provisioning and ongoing network management, which lets users make network or policy changes with a few clicks of a mouse.
Riverbed SteelHead SD is a WAN edge platform that integrates SD-WAN, WAN optimization and perimeter firewall capabilities into a converged platform to ensure fast, secure delivery of all remote applications via centralized policies. Riverbed offers appliance, software and cloud-based platforms with flexible pricing options; the appliance and software are available by subscription.
Silver Peak Systems
Silver Peak, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is a privately owned, venture-backed WAN company. Its EdgeConnect SD-WAN product connects users to applications delivering predictable application performance over any combination of transport services, including MPLS, business and consumer-grade broadband, and 4G LTE wireless. Centralized orchestration of these network functions simplifies management, consolidates branch infrastructure and enables secure, direct connectivity to cloud-based applications directly from any branch office location. EdgeConnect SD-WAN supports a business intent-driven model, allowing IT to simplify and automate WAN configuration and to effectively respond and align the WAN to changing business requirements.
Silver Peak also offers the option to include a license for Unity Boost, Silver Peak's WAN optimization feature, along with EdgeConnect. Unity Boost supports application service-level agreements across any combination of WAN transport services, including consumer-grade broadband and 4G LTE wireless.
Available Silver Peak SD-WAN platforms include physical appliances, software and cloud-based platforms, with pricing via appliance, license software or by subscription.
Talari is a privately owned, venture-backed WAN company based in San Jose, Calif. Talari offers carrier-agnostic SD-WAN that delivers MPLS-class reliability for both hybrid and all-internet WANs. The Talari SD-WAN enables WAN managers to take advantage of cloud and internet economics without sacrificing performance.
Talari SD-WAN delivers a multinetwork product that reduces WAN costs and provides for improved reliability and application quality of experience. Talari's SD-WAN platforms deliver internet economics, reduced troubleshooting costs, superior cloud access and support for hybrid cloud IT infrastructures.
Talari's SD-WAN technology offers continuous unidirectional measurement of all traffic on all paths between any two locations. This enables subsecond response to network events, intelligent link aggregation using all bandwidth across disparate links and packet replication -- all of which deliver support for real-time applications that are sensitive to latency and jitter. Talari SD-WAN supports appliance, white box and cloud platforms, with a variety of pricing options, including perpetual and subscription licensing.
Versa Networks, based in San Jose, Calif., is a venture-backed SD-WAN startup. The company's mission is to address the primary operational and business challenges that enterprises and service providers face with legacy WANs and traditional networking hardware and to deliver software-based networking and security.
Versa Cloud IP Platform is a cloud-native, multi-tenant, multiservice software platform that integrates full-featured routing, SD-WAN and multilayered security functions. Versa's product is built on cloud principles to provide the automation, visibility, flexibility and elasticity for easy, highly scalable and secure deployments.
Versa provides an all-in-one software platform for connectivity, networking, SD-WAN, security, management, visibility and analytics. The vendor differentiates its SD-WAN offering with security integrated into a single software services platform. Secure SD-WAN is designed for distributed and cloud-first enterprise organizations. Versa supports appliance, white box and cloud platforms, with pricing by subscription in one-, three- and five-year terms.
VeloCloud, based in Palo Alto, Calif., was acquired by VMware in 2017, pushing VMware into the SD-WAN market. VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN delivers simple, secure and agile WANs, and it includes a distributed network of cloud-based gateways and management, as well as virtual edge software for branch offices.
VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN technology enables bandwidth expansion and provides direct optimal access to cloud-based applications. It also enables virtual services integration in cloud and on-premises environments, while improving operational automation. VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN has three primary differentiators: WAN simplification, assured application performance and a secure on-ramp to the cloud.
VMware-VeloCloud targets customers that have or consume both cloud and data center applications, and it allows customers to use commodity broadband to securely and reliably access cloud applications via VeloCloud's SD-WAN gateways. It supports appliance and software license models via annual subscription.
Each organization has individual business needs and network requirements, so each will have varying demands of its SD-WAN service. The SD-WAN market is ripe with vendors and providers to help organizations find SD-WAN products that align with those needs.