A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)is a virtual WAN infrastructure that integrates networking and security functions to simplify the deployment and management of data.
Companies are relying on SD-WAN, with a total of 77% of global businesses adopting the software. The global SD-WAN market is expected to grow from an estimated value of $1.9 billion in 2020 to $8.4 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.5%, according to Markets and Markets.
“Organizations’ IT environments are becoming more complex with the expanding network traffic across on-premises, public cloud, and branch locations. In such instances, secure SD-WAN offers organizations an efficient and cost-effective approach to manage their networks across multiple locations, while retaining the security functionality,” said Vivien Pua, security senior analyst, Frost and Sullivan.
See below to learn all about SD-WAN technologies and the top software in the SD-WAN market:
For more market research: The SD-WAN Market
Choosing the right SD-WAN software
- Top SD-WAN software
- Cisco SD-WAN
- Cato Edge SD-WAN
- Aruba EdgeConnect
- Aryaka SmartConnect
- VMware SD-WAN
- Citrix SD-WAN
- Juniper Networks
- Palo Alto
- Oracle SD-WAN
- SD-WAN features
- SD-WAN benefits
- SD-WAN use cases
- What to look for in SD-WAN software
Top SD-WAN software
Cisco SD-WAN is SD-WAN software that branches from Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms family. San Jose, California-based Cisco is a technology company and networking leader.
Cisco SD-WAN’s analytics capabilities deliver the visibility and insights necessary to isolate problems as they occur and resolve those issues. The software then receives the data analysis of the problem and plans ahead in case these problems happen again.
The company highlights their ability to help organizations connect any user to any application needed, with capabilities for multicloud, security, unified communications, and application optimization. Cisco SD-WAN also offers full-stack multilayer security capabilities to protect companies’ applications.
“As we expand our intent-based network, the Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms check all the boxes for an agile SD-WAN solution that can deliver the performance, security, and visibility needed to deliver these real-time connected experiences,” says Ed Vanderpool, IT technical manager at Adventist Health, a user of Cisco SD-WAN.
Cisco SD-WAN won the 2019 Product of the Year Award and 2020 Product of the Year Award by CRN.
- Cloud ops platform
- Workload optimization
- Cisco Intersight services
- Application performance monitoring
To get pricing information, contact sales here.
Cato Edge SD-WAN
Cato Edge SD-WAN is is part of Cato SASE Cloud. The software has two models, X1500 for branch offices and X1700 for data centers, which are being “monitored and updated” by Cato’s network operations center. Cato Networks is an Israel-based network security company that develops secure access service edge (SASE) technology on a cloud platform.
Cato Edge SD-WAN can also balance traffic across different applications. If the software sees a problem with traffic, Cato shifts traffic to the safest link. The platform’s portal provides visibility into the SD-WAN and also allows companies to configure, manage, and troubleshoot their networks.
“Cato has demonstrated true innovation and is leading the way for software-defined wide area network,” says Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC, a user of Cato Edge SD-WAN.
Cato Edge SD-WAN was awarded the 2020 Internet Telephony SD-WAN Product of the Year Award by TMC and included in Gartner’s “Market Guide” for managed SD-WAN services.”
- Global private backbone
- Event discovery
- Border gateway protocol (BGP) integration
- Meshed topologies
Contact Cato Networks here to see about pricing.
Aruba EdgeConnect is a SD-WAN platform that allows companies to build a wide area network through broadband to connect users to the applications they need. Aruba Networks is a Santa Clara, California-based technology company that works to provide networking solutions and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate networks. There are three parts of the platform: Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise, Aruba WAN Orchestrator, and Aruba WAN Boost.
Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise helps businesses move to a broadband WAN at the speed they need. Aruba WAN Orchestrator provides visibility into legacy and cloud applications and the ability to centrally assign policies based on business needs to control all WAN traffic.
Aruba WAN Boost is an optional WAN software that allows companies to accelerate performance on applications that need to react quickly and minimize transmission of repetitive data across the WAN and SD-WAN edge platform.
“If you are looking for network automation, scalability, redundancy, and insight into what’s going on in your network, our suggestion is to consider deploying SD-WAN, as it has the answer to all of your concerns,” says a five-star reviewer of Aruba EdgeConnect at G2.
Aruba EdgeConnect won the 2021 Global SD-WAN Vender Competitive Strategy Leadership Award by Frost & Sullivan.
- Business intent overlays
- First-packet iQ application classification
- Tunnel bonding
For a demo, go to Aruba’s contact form.
Aryaka SmartConnect is an SD-WAN product that uses Aryaka’s FlexCore to provide a combination of application, cloud, and user control. San Mateo, California-based Aryaka is a cloud-first WAN company that offers SD-WAN delivered as a service. Aryaka FlexCore has the ability to move traffic into one of two infrastructures: Layer 2 Private Core and Layer 3 Private Core. Aryaka’s Layer 2 Private Core offers MPLS-like performance and is the foundation for Aryaka’s SmartConnect Pro service.
The Layer 3 Private Core is built on a multi-provider “backbone” and has enhanced internet performance combined with Aryaka’s Silver life cycle services. Aryaka’s Layer 3 Private Core lowers risk, as enterprises are replacing MPLS with internet connectivity.
“From a network performance standpoint, I view the benefits in two areas: one is redundancy. We could never have the level of redundancy with MPLS that we now have with Aryaka.
“The second is the amount of incidents. We’ve seen a 90% reduction in incidents since deploying Aryaka,” says Walter Aragon, senior manager of global networks at World Fuel Services, a user of Aryaka SmartConnect.
Araka SmartServices won the TMCnet Teleworking Solutions Excellence Award for ecure remote access in 2020 and the 2017 SD-WAN Excellence Award by TMC.
- Zone with managed customer premise equipment (CPE)
- Aryaka Network Access Point (ANAP)
To get pricing information for Aryaka SmartConnect, go to this page for details.
VMware SD-WAN has three parts: VMware SD-WAN Gateways, VMware SD-WAN Edge, and VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator. VMware is a provider of multicloud services for apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control.
VMware SD-WAN Gateways offers data paths for a company’s applications, branches, and data centers. VMware SD-WAN Edge is a group of zero-touch appliances that can connect to private, public, and hybrid applications as well as provide deep application recognition and performance metrics. VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator provides enterprise-wide installation, configuration and controls data flow through the cloud.
“VMware SD-WAN is a godsend. It was incredibly easy to set up and seamless to use. It’s probably saved me about an hour of time today alone in time wasted logging into the VPN. I think as we consider remote work for our division, this item should be considered mandatory for optimal business performance,” says Tim Swenson, COO, office of the division head, MD Anderson, a user of VMware SD-WAN.
VMware SD-WAN won the 2021 Global SD-WAN Vendor Market Leadership Award by Frost & Sullivan and was recognized as a key SD-WAN provider in the GigaOm “Radar for SD-WAN Platforms” report.
- Multipath optimization
- Choices in edge security
- Quality of service (QoS)
VMware has a page for pricing details here.
Citrix SD-WAN can deploy security capabilities where a company needs them, with the ability to choose a unified security service and integration with third-party firewalls. Citrix is a technology company that provides server, application, and desktop virtualization as well as networking and cloud computing.
A single cloud-based user interface makes using the SD-WAN more straightforward. The platform can manage a WAN, configure security policies, and monitor and prioritize applications. Citrix SD-WAN can be deployed in public or private clouds, data centers, office branches, and home offices.
“With Citrix Cloud, Citrix SD-WAN … we can create a new office anywhere in hours, not weeks or months. All we need is an internet connection and a laptop,” says Anders Nygren, CEO Malux, a user of Citrix SD-WAN.
Citrix SD-WAN was recognized as the “No. 1 SD-WAN Provider to explore” in 2021 by EM360.
- Microsoft Office 365 optimization
- Citrix Workspace integrations
- Malware prevention
Pricing can be found on Citrix’s store site.
Juniper Networks’ SD-WAN is an AI-driven SD-WAN. Juniper Networks offers network infrastructure solutions for a range of customers, including internet service providers and telecommunications service providers.
One component of Juniper’s SD-WAN is its client-to-cloud networking approach; their SD-WAN solution uses Session Smart Routers and the Juniper Mist Cloud to deliver WAN connectivity, insights, and automation. The AI-driven SD-WAN is designed for improved WAN performance with root-cause discovery, event correlation, and automated troubleshooting.
“Truly an amazing purebred SD-WAN offering. Key focus on the S of SD-WAN … software-focused and delivers what it says it will. Packed with next-generation SD-WAN features,” says a five-star reviewer and user of Juniper Networks’ SD-WAN at Gartner Peer Insights.
The SD-WAN software was named Leading Light’s “Most Innovative SD-WAN Product/Service Evolution” and won the 2022 Internet Telephony SD-WAN Product of the Year Award by Momentum Telecom.
- URL filtering
- Focus on rapid mean time to repair (MTTR)
For pricing, go to Juniper Networks’ pricing page.
Palo Alto Network’s Prisma SD-WAN has two main components: Prisma SD-WAN Instant-On Network (ION) and Prisma SD-WAN Controller. Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity company with headquarters in Santa Clara, California.
Prisma SD-WAN ION is a physical or virtual offering that is typically in an office or branch, while Prisma SD-WAN Controller is hosted in a public cloud by Palo Alto. Palo Alto’s Prisma SD-WAN provides application SLAs as well as network SLAs. The company says Prisma SD-WAN also can eliminate “up to 99% of WAN and application access trouble tickets,” which decreases the time to problem resolution.”
“Palo Alto Networks … SD-WAN is being used company-wide to improve our network resiliency and provide us with application analytics to improve performance. We have a concentrator in our main data center that is connected to routers in each of our larger remote locations. The devices allow us to get the most out of each of our ISP connections,” says a 10-star reviewer of Prisma SD-WAN at TrustRadius.
Prisma SD-WAN is recognized as a “Customers’ Choice” by Gartner in 2022.”.
- Bandwidth on-demand
- Autonomous digital experience management (ADEM)
To get a free trial or demo, go to Palo Alto’s get started page.
Fortinet SD-WAN uses an ASIC-accelerated platform, next-generation firewall (NGFW), and advanced routing for a solution that uses one operating system and one centralized management console. Fortinet is a cybersecurity solutions company based in Sunnyvale, California.
Fortinet’s SD-WAN can automate the design, deployment, and operation of large-scale environments. The platform can also provide network-wide visibility, analytics, reporting, and orchestration.
“Our Fortinet branch office firewalls have software-defined wide-area networking functionality built in to enable us to dynamically distribute traffic across multiple WAN links and provide secure and cost-efficient branch connectivity to resources in the data center,” says Dao Van Ngoc, vice director of service management and operation center and head of IT security at ABBANK, a user of Fortinet SD-WAN.
Fortinet SD-WAN was recognized for its product leadership in the SD-WAN vendor industry category for “Excellence in Best Practices” by Frost & Sullivan in 2021. Fortinet was also awarded the MEF 3.0 Proof of Concept Award for security assurance in SD-WAN and cloud service implementation by MEF in 2019.
- Application resilience
- Integrated NAC, WLAN, LAN
- Automated overlay orchestration
To request a Fortinet SD-WAN quote, go to their website here.
Versa’s SD-WAN is a part of Versa SASE. Versa is a software company that works in the security, networking, cloud, and analytics sectors.
The SD-WAN connects different network circuits: broadband, dedicated internet access (DIA), and LTE. The circuits can be added to existing MPLS to create a hybrid network. The platform can also be an alternative to MPLS using wired and wireless internet connections.
“Versa is indeed positioned to be the strongest remaining independent SD-WAN and SASE player in a market that is rapidly consolidating,” says R. Scott Raynovich, founder and chief analyst at Futuriom, a user of Versa’s SD-WAN.
Versa’s SD-WAN was named the 2022 “SD-WAN Product of the Year” by Internet Telephony and featured in the 2021 CyberRatings.com “Report for SD-WAN” as the highest-rated product.
- Hub-spoke topology
- IPSec overlays
- Delivers network circuit and carrier independence
For pricing, go to Versa Networks SASE ROI calculator.
Oracle SD-WAN supports internet transport technologies, from MPLS and broadband internet, satellite communication, 3G/4G, and point-to-point circuits.
Oracle is a leader in both the database management systems and cloud computing sectors.
Companies can deploy the SD-WAN at the physical edge, virtual edge, or in the cloud. . Oracle SD-WAN is designed to provide increased network capacity, higher traffic reliability, and deliver applications and services.
“One of the best SD-WAN in the market, its fail-safe feature is not just in the writing and presentations, but also in reality. I’ve used, tried, and tested it, which is … the only in the market of SD-WAN which provides seamless flow and network optimization product. Also, last but now the least, it’s carrier-agnostic,” says a five-star reviewer of Oracle SD-WAN at Gartner Peer Insights.
Oracle SD-WAN was named spring 2021 “Market Leader” and a spring 2021 “Best Support” by G2.
- SLA enforcement
- Transition from configuration to monitoring
- Interoperability between MPLS connections and commodity internet
For Oracle SD-WAN pricing, go to Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
- Application-aware routing (AAR)
- Traffic more efficiently balanced
- Automation of traffic steering
- Ensures application experience parameters are met
- Zero-touch provisioning (ZTP)
- Prevents downtime
- Simple deployment
- Limit provisioning errors
- Encryption key rotation
- Provides security
- Rotates old to new key
- Prevents algorithmic vulnerability
- Fixed wireless connectivity
- Fast, reliable connection
- Wider availability
- Remote access
- Cost savings
- Less need for equipment
- Less network admin cost
- More time for an IT team to work
- Cost savings
- Increased provisioning times
- Flexible to diverse bandwidth access
- Add new sites quickly
- Application performance
- High availability
- Routed traffic for improved user experience
- Consistency at all touch points
- Built-in security protocols
- Encryption capabilities
SD-WAN use cases
Malux, a company in Sweden, supplies technical solutions, such as lighting, communications, and electrical equipment.
The company evolved over time as its IT infrastructure became a mixed environment of PCs and thin clients. The legacy technology made it difficult for employees to access important information and do any remote work.
Their business needed to be more secure, mobile, and scalable, so Jörgen Norman, CIO of Malux, worked with Citrix to develop a better IT infrastructure with Citrix SD-WAN and Workspace. Their data center was moved to Microsoft Azure, and they ran all their apps and data from the cloud.
With Citrix SD-WAN and Workspace, Malux is more agile and has better scalability. The company increased business security and sped up decision-making processes.
“When we turned on the Citrix SD-WAN VPX in Azure for Office 365, our traffic started going to the Office 365 front door in Amsterdam, latency went to under 10 milliseconds, a decrease of over 80%, and there was a significant improvement in the user experience,” Norman says.
MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson, an extension of the University of Texas, is both a degree-granting institution and a cancer treatment and research center.
MD Anderson began working with VMware networking solutions early in production. They began creating a new site to improve their processes, but it was a lengthy and time-consuming process. Many sites struggled initially, causing delays in their production.
The delay was a reason they needed the update. Their applications held radiology images that had to be transported quickly and accurately, or the files may have to be sent again, causing further delay. Due to faulty and slow applications, radiologists could not keep up with analyzing image files fast, a key part of their job. MD Anderson needed an SD-WAN technology to fix their issues.
“We partnered with VMware specifically for its SD-WAN solution to extend the same level of user experience to the home as if our employees were working onsite,” says Emil Patel, director, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center.
With VMware SD-WAN, physicians were able to increase their production level, increasing diagnostic efficiency for their patients. MD Anderson now sees more security with a flexible network infrastructure that allows hundreds of radiologists across the country to communicate and collaborate.
For more: How SD-WAN is Used by Brooks Brothers, Riedel Networks, Lush, Thailand Government Savings Bank, and Plusnet: Case Studies
What to look for in SD-WAN software
While most companies are using some kind of SD-WAN software, only some of the top players in the space will cover everything a business needs. Many of the SD-WAN software offer application-aware routing, zero-touch provisioning, and fixed wireless connectivity. However, cost savings, agility, and how applications perform are all useful tools that not every SD-WAN solution contains. These are the types of features that a company should consider when evaluating SD-WAN software in the market.
For more: Cisco DNA Center Review