SD-WAN Roundup: The Battle Among CloudGenix, Talari, InSpeed, Bigleaf, Versa


… security and go-to-market strategies.

Here’s what they had to say in a “lightning round” during the Thunderdome.

Q: What makes your SD-WAN solution unique?

  • Bigleaf: Site-to-cloud architecture that targets SaaS applications with onsite hardware and a nationwide backbone of PoPs.
  • InSpeed: It is an autonomous plug-n-play option.
  • CloudGenix: “Application-aware” architecture that does not use PoPs and is “compliance-driven.”
  • Versa: Built-in security capabilities married with an emphasis on networking and cloud.
  • Talari: “Fail-safe” governing that does preemptive failover before customers notice a problem.

It became clear as the conversation progressed that security is the new battleground for SD-WAN companies. As multiple studies have noted, security is both a driver for deployment and a chief concern. There are three main security approaches. The first is to create an SD-WAN solution that fits underneath a company’s existing firewall — the plug ‘n’ play method. The second has an embedded firewall – potentially a “next-gen firewall” –and the third is opening up the SD-WAN platform for integration with security vendors.

SD-WAN providers in most cases combine one or more of those approaches.

Q: How do you do security?

  • Bigleaf: Completely “transparent” to and separate from the customer’s security preference.
  • InSpeed: There is a plug-in version with an automatic firewall, and another version for site-to-site with native IPsec or an encrypted path.
  • CloudGenix: The company has evolved to create zone-based firewall at the edge and offers integrations with Zscaler, Palo Alto and Symantec.
  • Versa: A next-gen firewall is directly embedded, but it is open for integrations.
  • Talari: The company has a built-in firewall but can host a next-gen firewall.

Lastly, probably the third biggest point of nuance, is go-to-market strategies. Yes, most SD-WAN vendors call themselves partner-driven, but that looks different for every company. Some vendors – VeloCloud and Versa in particular – are well known for their widespread success partnering with carriers. But Ryan Williams, CloudGenix’s director of channel sales, said his company “cut its teeth” selling through channel partners.

CloudGenix's Ryan Williams

CloudGenix’s Ryan Williams

“We’ve now built scale, and we did it through feet on the street and grunt work with our customers,” Williams said.

Q: How can a customer acquire your solution?

  • Bigleaf: “Born of” the agent channel.
  • InSpeed: Its biggest partner demographic is voice systems resellers, but it is expanding to the MSP channel.
  • CloudGenix: A “sell-with” that began by targeting the midmarket and adding a managed service in the last two months.
  • Talari: VARs can sell a traditional router model, and customers can access a capex or op-ex from the agent channel, and the solution is available as a managed service.
  • Versa: Its strategy was initially to partner with service providers. It now has built a partner program to deliver a managed model.

The most memorable moment of the Thunderdome came when the “inquisitors” asked the vendors how they would describe vendors to a six-year-old. Ed Basart from InSpeed drew laughs when he related how SD-WAN makes workloads more efficient.

InSpeed Network's Ed Basart

InSpeed Network’s Ed Basart

“You know when you’re trying to watch your favorite video and it’s [buffering]? We fix that so you can see Barney,” he said.

None of the vendors came off any worse for wear when the panel concluded, despite a stringent line of questioning. If anything, it was a strong reminder that the use case is critical when determining the best SD-WAN vendor.

Oh, and you’ve got to love George Just’s homage to Mad Max.

Australian Adoption

A Frost & Sullivan survey found that more than one-half (51 percent) of Australian enterprises will launch SD-WAN in the upcoming 12 to 24 months.

One of the most interesting finds is the three main drivers of Australian SD-WAN adoption.

While spinning up branch sites and running their WAN and applications more efficiently are critical reasons for adopting, another driver is …

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One comment

  1. Avatar Matthew Toth October 16, 2018 @ 9:11 pm

    80%+ of MPLS customers don’t need MPLS when SD WAN is implemented correctly with diverse ISPs. I can only hope and pray that our competition pitches SD WAN + MPLS. SD WAN vendors – you know dual internet works quite well and that MPLS is rarely needed Be brave, announce it, and don’t worry about angering the old guard.

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