The SD-WAN vendor landscape is vast and varied. A good way to categorize them is on the basis of their business model. There are three broad variety of SD-WAN vendors – the traditional box vendors (Cisco and Juniper), traditional managed service providers (large Telecom Service Providers) and SD-WAN as-as-service vendors like Aryaka.
These are traditional networking box vendors like Cisco, Juniper and others who sell SD-WAN hardware along with some installation and maintenance services. Typically customers buy various hardware elements from multiple vendors and stitch the solution together in a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) model. This model requires huge in-house or contract teams to deploy the solution. Though it offers flexibility in terms of choice of equipment, a price is paid in terms of cost and complexity. This model is most suitable for customers with large in-house networking teams.
SD-WAN managed service providers generally build their network using hardware from multiple hardware providers and provide a network management layer. Though it take away some of the deployment and maintenance issues associated with hardware vendors, it introduces a new set of challenges.
Consumers Vs Creators
SD-WAN is not a single-box, plug and play solution. A comprehensive SD-WAN solution requires interworking between various elements. As consumers rather than creators of the technology, carriers are limited in their ability to offer best-in-class service.
Carriers networks involve agreements between multiple service providers. As a result, their pricing model is designed to compensate every player in the value chain, thus making them inflexible and expensive.
Last Mile Lock-in
Carriers tend to lock customers into their last-mile solution., rather than let them choose the best available option.
Carriers typically operate within their service area. Thus, International connectivity is achieved through agreements with multiple service providers, making it impossible to guarantee end-to-end SLAs. As a result, the service offered is with the least common denominator set of features.
Not Cloud Ready and Agile
Digital Enterprises operate in an environment that requires agility. Rolling out new cloud applications, ramping down or migrating from legacy applications, the opening of new branches or closing of non-performing ones all need changes to the WAN. A legacy WAN is incapable of keeping pace with rapid changes.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) using hardware vendors’ SD-WAN isn’t suitable for global deployments, doesn’t give you ownership of the end-to-end user experience, and is full of complexity. Traditional telco-managed wide area networks (WANs) offer connectivity but lack the agility and user experience that modern businesses need.
Gartner's new Voice of the Customer for WAN Edge Infrastructure identifies those vendors that have both a critical mass of reviews and a high overall rating. Aryaka is recognized as a Customers' Choice, both globally as well as one of only two companies recognized for NA, EMEA, and APAC.
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