WAN Optimization: Leading Global Providers of a Secure SD-WAN

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Using secure SD-WAN, users can transform the power of disruptive technologies into growth without the complexity and high cost of traditional wide area networks.

  1. VMware

Palo Alto, Calif.

Potential buyers' value proposition: The pioneer in virtualization has expanded its networking scope to include WAN and LAN through acquisitions and internal innovation

Key values/differentiators:

  • Has a strong presence in data centers and many channels and ecosystem partnerships reaching beyond the data center and into the cloud.
  • Added SD-WAN capabilities to its portfolio with the acquisition of VeloCloud in late 2017, adopting the name VMware's SD-WAN by VeloCloud. It also offers physical and virtual edge appliances, cloud gateways, and centralized orchestration, all of which are available on-premises as well as through MSPs and VMware.
  • VMware has a wide range of go-to-market partners, including multiple global NSPs, as well as VMware and Dell channels. This gives enterprises a variety of ways to consume the solution, and it has a proven record of allowing enterprise networks to scale to 1,000 sites or more. SD-WAN deployments in its network are among the largest in the world.
  • In 2020, VMware introduced its SASE platform, which combines SD-WAN gateways, a ZTNA service powered by WorkspaceONE, a cloud web security solution, and firewall capabilities to offer enterprises a comprehensive cloud networking and security stack to support their increasingly distributed employees.
  1. Juniper Networks

Sunnyvale, Calif.

It is Juniper's reputation for well-respected technology and a successful go-to-market strategy that enabled it to survive in the networking business. Having long been a network and security vendor, Cisco has developed a growing presence within enterprises. With the acquisition of Contrail Systems, the company entered the software-defined networking (SDN) space in 2012 and has since extended the Contrail technology to SD-WAN.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Contrail SD-WAN provides unified policy and security controls across a range of WAN connection types, including MPLS, broadband, 4G LTE, and more. Furthermore, it offers dynamic path selection to ensure the appropriate transport mode for the workload. The development of 5G is underway.
  • Juniper's CPE (customer premises equipment) features zero-touch provisioning, meaning the hardware can be readily deployed on-site, while branch devices and cloud endpoints can be managed centrally.
  • With Contrail Service Orchestration, you can integrate VPNs and third-party virtual-network functions such as WAN optimization, next-generation firewalls, wireless LAN controllers, and edge computing frameworks. These services are hosted on-premises by the NFX Series Network Services Platform.
  1. Silver Peak Systems

Santa Clara, Calif.

As a potential buyer, the company is advantaged by HPE's Aruba networking division's sales and marketing resources, as the company was acquired by HPE's networking department in July. During the past few years, it has aggressively embraced the SD-WAN market by making aggressive strategic moves in such areas as WAN optimization.

Key values/differentiators:

  • WAN optimization customers are one of a company's major customer bases when it comes to SD-WAN. Silver Peak reached 1,000 customers last year with its SD-WAN platform Unity EdgeConnect.
  • Separate versions for enterprises and service providers are available. Users can deploy the platform at remote and branch offices, in data centers, or in the cloud. A wide array of hypervisors can be used on physical, virtual, and cloud appliances.
  • Oracle Cloud offers Unity EdgeConnect on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Google Cloud Platform.
  • Silver Peak's Unity Orchestrator software manages both versions, and the Unity Boost WAN optimization product enables service providers to provide tiered services.