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AT&T, Silver Peak Lead Diverse SD-WAN Honorees

Blue Ribbon

A wide variety of vendors are bringing home awards for their software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) products.

“Pure-play” companies that focus solely on SD-WAN have been waging a heated battle for supremacy in the market, but telecom industry observers are lumping carriers into the conversation.

AT&T, for example, earned a big boost this week. The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) doled out recognition to the telco in its SD-WAN Managed Service category. Ma Bell won not only the award for network-based SD-WAN, but also over-the-top. AT&T beat out a list of service providers – such as Verizon and CenturyLink – that succeeded in some of the other categories.

That’s not to say the “pure-play” vendors are fading into the crowd. The readers of Network World Asia voted Silver Peak Systems as the SD-WAN vendor of the year. It’s the third consecutive victory in this category for the Santa Clara, California-based company.

And if we’re talking about honors, we might as well mention Gartner. The market research company unveiled its Magic Quadrant for the SD-WAN industry a couple of weeks ago, and the results aren’t terribly surprising. The report named Silver Peak, Cisco and VMware (VeloCloud) as relatively clearly leaders. That matches with data we’ve seen this year. Although one study called the market a “two-horse race” between Cisco and VMware late in 2017, Silver Peak has steadily moved its way up in the IHS Markit rankings to the point where it is giving Cisco a run for its money.

Gartner SD-WAN

Courtesy of Gartner

Note the the three security vendors – Forcepoint, Barracuda and Fortinet – that sneaked into the quadrant. It’s good reminder of what a Dell’Oro analyst told us in September: Expect a massive influx of industries to continue adopting SD-WAN as their own.

Although Gartner identifies a few main players, it’s quite likely that the top five will change in 2018.

SpendEdge’s global SD-WAN study lists the same top three (VMware, Cisco, Silver Peak), but Citrix and Talari rounded out the expanded podium.

Some of the aforementioned companies have been making a strong channel play. Talari’s recently hired channel chief gave a confident message to the agent community at last month’s Channel Partners Evolution, and Silver Peak announced a new deployment partner program in August.


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