Who are the best Managed SD WAN Providers?

10 of the best UK, US & Global Managed SD WAN providers include Cato, Aryaka, Masergy, Fortinet, Versa, Meraki, GTT, Lumen and Palo Alto. Comparing UK, US & Global SD WAN requires comparison of cost, support, SLA, SASE & SSE security, network underlay, reporting, remote access and cloud.

Here's some of the best SD WAN providers and vendors you should consider:

  1. Cato Networks - Best for global companies requiring full SASE security capability.
  2. Aryaka - Best for global companies requiring fully managed services.
  3. Masergy - Best for global companies requiring an end to end fully managed solution.
  4. Fortinet - Best UK, US & Global SASE security requirements with SD WAN edge capability.
  5. Versa Networks - Best for both simple and complex UK, US & Global requirements, Versa SD WAN offers a low price point.
  6. Cisco Meraki - Best for UK, US & Global retail and simple branch office requirements.
  7. GTT - Best for fully managed UK & Global global requirements.
  8. Lumen - Best for large US & Global Enterprise managed SD WAN and SASE security.
  9. Palo Alto Networks - Best for companies requiring UK, US & Global FWaaS with SD WAN.
  10. Globalgig - Best for companies requiring UK, US & Global SD WAN and SASE with 4G and 5G failover.
UK, USA & Global SD WAN Providers Comparison Matrix
SD WAN Provider or Vendor Key features Cloud Access
Cato Networks Best for Global companies requiring SD WAN and SASE with Co-managed services. AWS, Azure, Google Cloud
Aryaka  Best for Global companies requiring fully managed services. Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Vodafone Fiji and Oracle Cloud
Masergy Good for Global metro based companies requiring fully managed services. Azure, SAP, IBM Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud
Fortinet Good for both Global and national requirements needing strong SASE security. Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud and Oracle Cloud
Versa Networks Good for companies requiring both simple and complex requirements with full SASE security. Azure, Dell, AWS and Google Cloud
Cisco Meraki Good for Global and national branch office requirements with strong WiFi and CCTV. AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud
GTT Good for Global companies requiring standard managed services across hybrid networking. AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud.
Lumen Good for Global companies requiring consulting services across voice and security. Oracle Cloud, AWS, Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud
Palo Alto Networks Good option for companies requiring strong security and SD WAN from a known brand. AWS, Azure, Google Cloud
Who is the best Global SD WAN provider?

Netify nominates Cato Networks as the best Global SD WAN provider. Cato Networks offers a cloud-native SD WAN-as-a-service solution with a complete set of networking and security features delivered from the cloud. Cato operates a private backbone spanning over 65 PoPs, across all industry verticals.

Please complete the Netify SD WAN assessment to learn whether Cato is a good fit for your business.

In order to create this list, we've used a subset of the 10 top/best UK, US & Global SD WAN providers from the Netify SD WAN comparison tool.

You'll learn which Software-WAN solution vs. your needs offers next generation security, WAN optimization, path selection, managed services (MSP), support for hybrid connectivity, DIY capability, comprehensive reporting statistics, Global services and more.

Over the last five years, the SASE and WAN edge infrastructure markets have experienced dramatic growth: new players entered the market offering SD-WAN and SASE solutions from top-tier vendors, Tier 1 telecommunications providers began delivering SD-WAN services over their backbones and pioneers in the SD-WAN and SASE space expanded their product and service lines with more capabilities to attract more customers and penetrate niche verticals. Evaluating and selecting the right SD-WAN and SASE solutions could prove challenging due to the many deployment types (on-premises, virtual, cloud, hybrid), consumption models (DIY, managed, co-managed) and security capabilities plaguing the market.

This article evaluates SD-WAN and SASE capabilities across 10 managed service providers and vendors.

1. Cato Networks Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Cato Networks' top-rated SD WAN features?

Edge SD WAN is Cato Networks' SD WAN solution delivered over a private global backbone (or customer MPLS), connecting Cato Socket SD WAN devices on branch offices to the closest Cato PoP via a customer-chosen last mile. Cato's private global backbone is self-healing and predictable, enabling cloud, WAN and global route optimization with dynamic carrier selection. 

What are Cato Networks' top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features?

Cato SASE Cloud is Cato's implementation of SASE, available in over 70 PoPs across Cato's private global backbone. The solution features FWaaS, SWG, IPS, next-generation malware protection, CASB and ZTNA.

What is Cato Networks' market standing?

Cato Networks is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, addressing the SD WAN and SASE markets worldwide. Through its global private backbone comprising over 65 geographically dispersed PoPs, Cato Networks converges cloud-based PoPs with security capabilities and support for all types of edges. In 2022, Cato Networks received an honorable mention in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE).

What is Cato Networks' managed services solution?

Cato Networks offers co-managed SD-WAN solutions, including complete management of the underlay network. 

What are Cato Networks' Cloud connectivity options?

Cato Networks integrates with the major public cloud providers, such as AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure, via site-to-cloud IPsec VPN tunnels. 

What is the latest Cato news? 

Cato DLP (Data Loss Prevention) is designed to protect data across enterprise applications. The product comes as part of Cato SSE 360, a Security Service Edge architecture, which offers full visibility, optimisation and traffic control and offers a path to a full SASE solution, without the need for poor performing DLP rules. Cato DLP's USP is that it addresses issues such as oversensitivity to blocking legitimate activity or authorising illegal users by accident. Instead, Cato DLP will scan all network traffic for sensitive files and data as defined by the client.

Cato Networks Pros Cato Networks Cons
Great management interface for DIY & Co-managed services No native cloud support for Azure, AWS and Google
Full SASE capability Cato does not manage underlay as standard
Recognised for reducing false positives across security threats WAN optimization is limited
Private global backbone Can be viewed as expensive

2. Aryaka Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Aryaka's top-rated SD WAN features?

Aryaka SmartConnect is an all-in-one managed SD WAN solution delivered over a private global network backbone. The solution addresses all aspects of network connectivity, from on-premises devices to first- and mid- miles, local Internet breakouts, multi-cloud connectivity and end-to-end visibility. With a global network fabric extending 6 continents, Aryaka can offer guaranteed SLAs and deterministic network performance with latency under 30 milliseconds. Furthermore, Aryaka extends the security stack to the branch office through stateful inspection firewalls built into the SmartConnect appliance. 

What are Aryaka's top-rated SASE/SSE cybersecurity features?

Prime E.Z. is Aryaka's cloud-based implementation of SASE, featuring VPNaaS, web content filtering, malware protection, SSL inspection, real-time threat intelligence and FWaaS. 

What is Aryaka's market standing?

Aryaka is a North American company with main offices in San Mateo, California, addressing the managed SD-WANaaS and SASE markets globally with over 40 Points of Presence (PoPs) distributed across 6 continents. Following the acquisition of Secucloud GmbH, Aryaka added SASE to its product line, delivering FWaaS, SWG and advanced threat protection from the cloud. In 2019, Gartner recognized Aryaka as a Visionary Player in the WAN Edge Infrastructure space, pulling the company out of the 2020 WAN Edge Infrastructure Magic Quadrant for not meeting the inclusion criteria. Nonetheless, Gartner has featured Aryaka's SD-WAN solution in its 2021 Voice of the Customer: WAN Edge Infrastructure report for receiving top marks from customers in various categories. 

What is Aryaka's managed service solution?

Aryaka offers single-vendor managed and co-managed (white glove) SD WANaaS (SD WAN-as-a-service) and SASE services with a single point of contact and 24x7 NOC services. 

What are Aryaka's Cloud connectivity options?

Aryaka's global network fabric powers its SmartConnect SD WAN service, integrating with major public cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, Alibaba Cloud and Oracle Cloud, via direct or dedicated connections (i.e., AWS Direct Connect, Microsoft ExpressRoute, GC Dedicated Interconnect) and IPsec VPN tunnels. Additionally, Aryaka supports integration with PaaS and SaaS providers via IPsec VPN tunnels.

What is the latest Aryaka news?

Aryaka has formed a strategic partnership with Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Security and Privacy Institute. The partnership aims to research into new threat and mitigation techniques and innovate new solutions for enterprise networking and security, through CyLab's FutureEnterprise initiative, of which Aryaka is a founding sponsor. 

CyLab itself was founded in 2003 as Carnegie Mellon's public/private collaborative computer security and privacy research institute - it went on to become one of the largest cybersecurity research centres in North America. 

The partnership between Aryaka and CyLab consists of providing funding and industry expertise from Aryaka to encourage research into improved security techniques that address current threats - these threats will be identified using Aryaka customer data.

Aryaka Pros Aryaka Cons
Global private backbone SASE security via integration but this is changing with an acquisition
Fully managed services North American customers receive support from outside of their region, possibly causing delays
Supports underlay connectivity and will source ISP services  
Good customer experience  

3. Masergy Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Masergy's top-rated SD WAN features?

Masergy delivers fully managed and co-managed SD WAN solutions from HPE Aruba (Silver Peak) and Fortinet. With its AI-based network intelligence service and AIOps, Masergy can significantly improve cloud application performance by evaluating network configurations and bandwidth usage in real-time by predicting and self-healing performance issues and outages.

What are Masergy's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features?

Masergy's managed SASE solution offers a collection of leading security products, including NGFW and SWG from Fortinet and CASB from Forcepoint, featuring Shadow IT discovery, branch IP security, EDR, network visibility, cloud workload protection and MDR. Masergy is soon bringing ZTNA capabilities to its SASE offering, which will include SSO, authentication and authorization and granular access control policies. 

What is Masergy's market standing? 

Masergy is a North American company with main offices in Plano, Texas, addressing the managed SD WAN and SASE markets globally. In 2021, Comcast acquired Masergy, but the company continues to operate independently. In 2022, Gartner recognized Masergy as a Visionary Player in the Global Network Services space.

What is Masergy's managed services solution?

Masergy offers fully managed SD WAN services through authorized channel partners. 

What are Masergy's Cloud connectivity options? 

Masergy integrates with major public cloud providers, such as AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure, and SaaS applications, such as Salesforce, Box and Zendesk, via direct connections.

What is the latest Masergy news?

Masergy has partnered with Fortinet to create a turnkey SD WAN solution, offering managed SD WAN as a security and networking converge with a built-in distribution route for channel partners. 

SD WAN will be provided by Fortinet, including NGFW, ZTNA proxy functions and advanced routing, whilst Masergy will manage the solution with it's Guardian Portfolio which allows resellers and MSPs to sell managed SD WAN. Masergy supervises the managed and co-managed services whilst the solution provider is required to undertake Tier-1 and Tier-2 client support. Finally, Ingram Micro will handle distribution.

Masergy Pros Masergy Cons
Net Promoter score one of the best across providers Network focus on global metro areas reducing regional reach
Well scaled global IP network Limited vendor support
Comprehensive SLA Connectivity often viewed as expensive vs competitors
Support for SD WAN, SASE, UCAAS and MS Teams  

4. Fortinet Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Fortinet's top-rated SD WAN features? 

Fortinet Secure SD WAN is powered by four core components: centralized management, security-driven networking, ASIC acceleration and Fortinet services. These components enable application visibility with real-time SSL inspection, proactive identification and self-correction of user experience issues, simplified operations and granular network and user analytics. Furthermore, Fortinet offers multiple SD WAN consumption and deployment models (on-premises, public cloud, private cloud), enabling growth through low TCO, increased user experience and proven built-in security.

What are Fortinet's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features? 

FortiSASE is Fortinet's implementation of SASE, covering all edges and merging FWaaS, SWG and ZTNA into a single-vendor, cloud-delivered platform. The solution's security capabilities include IPS, DLP, malware protection, SSL inspection, web content filtering, application control, advanced threat prevention, DNS security and micro-segmentation. The solution also offers organic threat intelligence through FortiGuard Labs. 

What is Fortinet's market standing?

Fortinet is a North American company with main offices in Sunnyvale, California, addressing the SD-WAN and SASE markets worldwide. Fortinet is well-known for its network security and infrastructure products. In 2021, Gartner recognized Fortinet as a Leader in the WAN Edge Infrastructure market. However, its FortiSASE solution has not yet made it into Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Security Services Edge (SSE).

What is Fortinet's managed services solution?

Fortinet offers managed SD WAN and SASE solutions through authorized Managed Services Providers (MSPs).

What are Fortinet's Cloud connectivity options?

Fortinet integrates with major public cloud providers via virtual SD WAN appliances, site-to-site IPsec tunnels and Equinix interconnects. Fortinet's Secure SD-WAN virtual appliance is available in Azure, AWS, GCP, VMware Cloud, Oracle and Alibaba marketplaces.

What is the latest Fortinet news? 

FortiCNP is Fortinet's built-in cloud offering, designed to correlate security findings across an organisation's cloud footprint. This includes Fortinet's patented cloud Resource Risk Insights (RRI) technology which provide context-rich and practical insights to assist teams in prioritising remediation and mitigation techniques. 

Further, Fortinet has been recognised as an AWS launch partner for Amazon GuardDuty Malware Protection, providing AWS data stores, disk volumes and workload images agentless malware detection capabilities.

Fortinet Pros Fortinet Cons
Security first vendor Not viewed as an SD WAN vendor
Complete support for SASE security Limited experience of complex WAN architecture
Expanding channel with reach across all verticals Typically associated with branch security
Uses their own WAN edge hardware with fast performance Cloud support is growing but behind competitors

5. Versa Networks Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Versa Networks' top-rated SD WAN features?

Versa Networks offers managed and DIY SD WAN solutions as part of its Versa SASE service delivered over public and private backbones, with flexible deployment models covering on-premises, cloud, or hybrid, support for many network topologies ranging from full to partial mesh and hub-and-spoke and multi-cloud connectivity, including IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.

What are Versa Networks' top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features?

Versa SASE is Versa Networks' implementation of SASE, merging SWG, ZTNA, CASB and FWaaS in a cloud-delivered, single-vendor platform. The solution's security capabilities cover remote browser isolation, IDS/IPS, application whitelisting, web application firewall, DNS security, network sandboxing and obfuscation, MFA and risk-based access control. 

What is Versa Networks' market standing? 

Versa Networks is a North American company headquartered in San Jose, California, addressing the SD WAN and SASE markets worldwide, extending over 90 PoP locations. In 2021, Gartner named Versa Networks a Leader in the WAN Edge Infrastructure market and recognized it as a Niche Player in the Security Services Edge (SSE) space in 2022.

What is Versa Networks' managed services solution?

Versa Networks offers managed SD WAN and SASE solutions through authorized MSPs.

What are Versa Networks' Cloud connectivity options? 

Versa Networks integrates with major public cloud providers, including GCP, Microsoft Azure, and AWS, via site-to-cloud IPsec VPN Tunnels and direct connections (AWS Transit Gateway Connect, Google Cloud Network Connectivity, Azure Virtual WAN).

What is the latest Versa Networks news? 

British telco COLT offer Versa Networks SASE to their clients. The Colt Gateway Solution has both SASE and SSE features which are provided by Versa, including Versa SWG. The product integrates with COLT's core SD WAN features and the two companies have worked together since 2016.

Versa Networks Pros Versa Networks Cons
Cost effective compared to other vendors Smaller vendor when compared with other leaders
Strong cloud integration Versa VOS remains complex and requires considerable expertise
Good support for built-in SASE security Broad range of capabilities may weaken some areas
Good growth which recognises their strengths  

6. Cisco Meraki Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Cisco Meraki's top-rated SD WAN features?

Cisco offers two SD WAN solutions, Cisco Viptela and Cisco Meraki, with flexible deployment models extending on-premises, cloud and multi-tenant solutions, delivered over any network transport, such as satellite, MPLS, Internet, or 5G/LTE. Cloud OnRamp, Cloud Hub and Cloud Interconnect make up the core elements of Cisco's SD WAN solution, enabling site-to-site, site-to-cloud, cloud-to-cloud connectivity.  

What are Cisco Meraki's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features? 

Umbrella is Cisco's single-vendor, cloud-delivered implementation of SASE, featuring DNS security, SWG, FWaaS, CASB, ZTNA, interactive threat intelligence through Cisco Talos Intelligence Group, XDR through Cisco SecureX, remote browser isolation and malware protection. Cisco is currently developing DLP and IPS capabilities to add to its SASE platform. 

What is Cisco Meraki's market standing? 

Cisco is a North American company with main offices in San Jose, California, addressing the network services, WAN edge infrastructure and security service edge markets worldwide. Cisco is well-known for its networking, infrastructure and security products and has received several mentions and recognitions from Gartner over the years. In 2021, Gartner named Cisco one of the Leaders in the WAN Edge Infrastructure space and a Challenger in the Security Services Edge (SSE) market in 2022. 

What is Cisco Meraki's managed services solution?

Cisco offers managed, white-label single-vendor SD-WAN and SASE solutions through authorized service providers.

What are Cisco Meraki's Cloud connectivity options? 

Cisco integrates with major public cloud providers, including Alibaba Cloud, AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure, via direct peering through colocation facilities and Cloud OnRamp via site-to-cloud IPsec tunnels. Additionally, Cisco extends Cloud OnRamp to select SaaS providers for direct connection to SaaS applications.

What is the latest Cisco Meraki news?

Meraki Go is aimed at small businesses looking for WiFi solutions. The product features Router Firewall Plus (GX50), with improved capabilities including enterprise-grade security, secure client VPN and throughput of 500+ Mbps.

Cisco Meraki Pros Cisco Meraki Cons
Good for retailers or businesses with numerous branch office locations Adding features requires buying the correct licence which often increases cost over contract term as your needs change
Strong WiFi reporting with simple configuration Not the best for customers with hybrid networking requirements which include technologies such as MPLS
The Cisco partner channel is one of the biggest and well serviced across almost all vendors Lacks some features which support large scale global complex Enterprise networks
Generally perceived as cost effective  

7. GTT Global SD WAN Solutions

What are GTT's top-rated SD WAN features?

GTT offers managed SD WAN solutions from leading vendors, including HPE Aruba, VMWare, and Fortinet, delivered over a Tier 1 global Internet backbone with integrated, secure SD WAN network gateways. 

What are GTT's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features?

As of November 2021, GTT offers Secure Connect, a managed SASE solution in partnership with Palo Alto Networks. Powered by Palo Alto's Prisma Access platform, Secure Connect is a cloud-delivered SASE platform transported via GTT's Tier-1 Global Backbone. Secure Connect offers CASB, SWG, ZTNA, FWaaS from Palo Alto and SD WAN from GTT. The solution is supported by GTT's Professional Services division, for solution design, deployment and ongoing policy management. 

What is GTT's market standing?

GTT is a North American company headquartered in McLean, Virginia, addressing the managed SD WAN and global network services markets worldwide, with over 600 PoPs across 6 continents. While Gartner has not yet recognized GTT as a player in the SD WAN space, the company was named a Niche Player in the 2022 Network Services Global Magic Quadrant, acclaiming its extensive worldwide Internet backbone. The future, however, could stand uncertain for GTT and its customers following the company's filing for bankruptcy protection under U.S. Chapter 11 in Q3 2021. 

What is GTT's managed services solution? 

GTT offers managed SD WAN solutions from leading SD WAN vendors and DIY SD WAN with GTT-managed circuits.

What are GTT's Cloud connectivity options? 

GTT integrates with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP via interconnects ranging from 100 Mbps to 2 Gbps. Additionally, GTT can provide the last mile dedicated connections into AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud.

What is the latest GTT news? 

GTT offer Palo Alto Networks (Prisma Access Technology) for SASE, with integrated network and security functions for efficient connectivity into GTT's global network. Further, ZTNA will be available for remote workers, as users access the network based on application, identity and device as opposed to IP address or a physical location.

GTT Pros GTT Cons
Global network service provider Large service providers often result in slow responses
Good support for high bandwidth 10Gbps+ circuits Not particularly well suited to the SME market
Tier 1 ISP backbone, 40+ NOCs Account managers often lack experience and knowledge
Managed SD WAN and Managed SASE Security Customer satisfaction is varied

8. Lumen Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Lumen's top-rated SD WAN features?

Lumen offers managed SD WAN services from top-tier providers, including VMware, Versa Networks, Cisco Meraki and Cisco Viptela, delivered over private and public backbones per customer's connectivity requirements.

What are Lumen's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features?

Lumen offers managed SASE via partnerships with Versa Networks, VMware, Cisco Meraki, Cisco Viptela, Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet. Their flexible service offerings include managed, co-managed and DIY options, with features including: SWG, ZTNA, URL Filtering, CASB, Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), NGFW, FWaaS, managed firewalls, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and DDoS Mitigation.  

What is Lumen's market standing?

Lumen is a North American company headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, addressing the network services market, including managed SD WAN, with a global reach extending to 41 countries. While Gartner has not yet recognized Lumen as a player in the SD WAN space, they were named a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Network Services, acclaiming its NOD capabilities and integrated SD WAN SLA, among other things.

What is Lumen's managed services solution?

Lumen offers a fully managed SD WAN solution through authorized channel partners and system integrators. 

What are Lumen's Cloud connectivity options? 

Lumen integrates with 6 major cloud providers in 33 cities via Cloud Connect, including:

  • AWS via Direct Connect
  • Microsoft Azure via ExpressRoute
  • GCP via Partner Interconnect and Carrier Peering
  • IBM Cloud via Resiliency Services, Managed Services and Direct Link
  • Oracle Cloud via Infrastructure FastConnect
What is the latest Lumen news? 

Lumen has extended the reach of it's edge services to Europe, with 100G MPLS and IP network connectivity as well as increasing power and cooling at Edge data centre locations. The extension is aimed at enterprise and public sector businesses, allowing them to deploy applications and workloads at the cloud edge. 

Lumen's existing EMEA network consists of over 42,000 route miles of fibre which connects more than 2,500 on-net buildings and 540 public and private third-party data centres. 

The solutions will give European customers access to products such as Lumen Edge Bare Metal, Lumen Edge Private Cloud, Lumen Network Storage and Lumen Edge Gateway. The products include network storage for ingesting and updating data, private cloud access via Lumen's global fibre network, a Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) platform for on-premises and pay as you go server hardware.

Lumen Pros Lumen Cons
Seriously experienced global telco Not ideally suited to the mid-market sector
Strong security portfolio Customers report slow change requests due to process
Recognised for their CDN (Content Delivery Network) Products are not as strong outside of North America
Managed services encompasses consolidation of products  

9. Palo Alto Networks Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Palo Alto's top-rated SD WAN features?

Prisma SD-WAN is Palo Alto Networks' SD-WAN product, offered in managed and DIY consumption models. Prisma SD-WAN provides Layer Seven application visibility through a single cloud-delivered Instant On-Network (ION) branch office appliance, employing AIOps and machine learning to identify and auto-correct user performance issues proactively. 

What are Palo Alto's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features?

Prisma SASE is Palo Alto Networks' implementation of SASE, converging ZTNA, SWG, next-generation CASB and FWaaS into a single, cloud-delivered platform. Among the security capabilities offered by Prisma SASE are encrypted application access, authentication, bi-directional SSL inspection, policy management, VPN, threat detection, DLP, Shadow IT visibility, sandbox, IoT security, DNS security and web content filtering.

What is Palo Alto's market standing?

Palo Alto Networks is a North American company with main offices in Santa Clara, California, addressing the SD-WAN and SASE markets worldwide, with over 100 PoPs geographically deployed in AWS and GCP to service customers of all sizes and across all verticals. Palo Alto Networks is well-known for its network security and infrastructure products. In 2021, Gartner recognized Palo Alto Networks as a Leader in the WAN Edge Infrastructure space and a Challenger in the Security Service Edge market in 2022. 

What is Palo Alto's managed services solution? 

Palo Alto Networks offers managed SD-WAN and SASE services through partnerships with authorized MSPs.

What are Palo Alto's Cloud connectivity options?

Palo Alto Networks integrates with major public cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, and GCP, through SD WAN ION software-based devices and site-to-cloud IPsec tunnels. Furthermore, Palo Alto Networks integrates with Microsoft 365 through a fiber-connected backbone and Tier 1 peering.

What is the latest Palo Alto news? 

Palo Alto Networks and HCL Technologies have collaborated to create combined solutions to secure digital and cloud transformations for global enterprise clients. The partnership will allow Palo Alto to bolster HCL's suite of cloud and managed security services with a portfolio of cybersecurity solutions designed to help organisations to become zero trust enterprises by adopting managed SASE, cloud and threat detection and response capabilities. 

The partnership will include HCL Cyber Defense for Cloud, which includes cloud security as a service and Cloud Workload Protection (CWP) for an end to end security service. Palo Alto bolster this with their Prisma Cloud product, for a unified solution that will secure infrastructure, applications, data and entitlements across large clouds. 

HCL Incident Response (IR) offers improved correlation and investigation with full signal visibility and fidelity. This creates faster detection, response and remediation times. 

Finally, HCL Managed Extended Detection and Response (XDR) leverages Palo Alto's Cortex Platform, which offers clients faster detection, response and containment of threats.

Palo Alto Networks Pros Palo Alto Networks Cons
One of the most complete SASE security solutions SD WAN features are not viewed as comprehensive
Good customer experience ratings No real WAN optimization capability
Expertise in the security sector due to history Limited form factors meaning certain verticals will not be a good fit
Management portal and statistics are rated highly Still some integration between Cloud Genix and Palo Alto

10. Globalgig Global SD WAN Solutions

What are Globalgig's top-rated SD WAN features?

Globalgig offers vendor-agnostic and carrier-independent SD WAN solutions, covering client requirements, gathering, SD WAN design, vendor and carrier selection and implementation. Globalgig tailors SD WAN solutions to each customer's unique needs through discovery, design and alignment workshops. 

What are Globalgig's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features?

Globalgig offer managed SASE services from Palo Alto Networks, Cisco Viptela Cisco Meraki, Cradlepoint, Fortinet and Peplink. The solution offers technology-agnostic SASE managed services, as their team will analyze a client's IT environment, including all applications and networks to build a bespoke SASE solution to fit customer needs. 

What is Globalgig's market standing?

Globalgig is a North American company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, addressing the managed SD WAN market globally through partnerships with leading SD WAN vendors, including Palo Alto, Cradlepoint, Fortinet, Peplink, Cisco Viptela and Cisco Meraki. As of March 2022, Globalgig's managed SD WAN solutions do not appear on any Gartner research. 

What is Globalgig's managed services solution? 

Globalgig offers managed SD WAN solutions with 3 flexible service tiers, all with a single point of contact. 

What are Globalgig's Cloud connectivity options? 

Globalgig does not offer a native SD WAN solution. Instead, it provides solutions from leading SD WAN vendors, offering different cloud connectivity options depending on the chosen vendor.

What is the latest Globalgig news?

Globalgig has partnered with Thales to enable global connectivity for large-scale IoT deployments. The IoT solution will feature service continuity for devices that are both at rest or in transit. The Thales Adaptive Connect allows remote IoT devices to automatically download local mobile subscriptions and automatically reconnect during a network outage. 

The solution also leverages flexibility offered by widely deployed eSIM (embedded SIM) based solutions for faster and more efficient roll-out of IoT use cases (such as smart metering, for example). Because eSIM allows any device to be connected regardless of location, it removes the need to preload mobile subscriptions on the product line, thus improving efficiency. This allows Globalgig to offer seamless remote connectivity to IoT service providers - whilst causing no impact to device manufacturing and logistics operations.

Globalgig Pros Globalgig Cons
Capable of creating SD WAN architectures based on a client's use cases Does not offer DIY or co-managed SD WAN solutions
Creates strong solutions for remote users, with 4G for hard to reach and temporary locations and wireless WAN for general remote connectivity No offering for cloud connectivity, however this can be sourced from a third party
  Globalgig SIM reviews appear to be negative but note this is not linked with their core SD WAN offering


11. VMware (VeloCloud) Global SD WAN Solutions

What are VeloCloud's top-rated SD WAN features? 

VMware offers managed and DIY cloud-delivered SD WAN as part of its SASE service, delivered through any transport over public and private backbones. Among the top-rated features offered by VMware are optimized dynamic path selection to boost user experience for SaaS applications, centralized management and zero-touch deployment, for rapid and simplified deployments.

What are VeloCloud's top-rated SASE/SSE Cybersecurity features? 

VMware SASE is cloud-delivered, merging their leading solutions, including:

  • VMware Secure Access, providing ZTNA to cloud applications
  • VMware Cloud Web Security, providing CASB capabilities
  • VMware Edge Network Intelligence, offering a vendor-agnostic AIOps solution

Together, these solutions provide NGFW, DLP, Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), malware protection, sandboxing, web content filtering and SSL inspection. Additionally, customers can implement Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) through VMware Workspace ONE and Carbon Black solutions.

What is VeloCloud's market standing?

VMware is a North American company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, addressing the SD WAN and SASE markets worldwide with over 150 SASE PoPs. While Gartner has not yet recognized VMware as a player in the SASE market, they are a Leader in the WAN Edge Infrastructure space in 2021, acclaiming the company's alignment with cloud-first and cloud-only customers. 

What is VeloCloud's managed services solution?

VMware offers managed SD WAN and SASE services via a single point of contact. 

What are VeloCloud's Cloud connectivity options?

VMware integrates with the major public cloud providers via globally distributed cloud gateways.

What is the latest VeloCloud news? 

VeloCloud have partnered with MSP Verizon, to offer a managed SD WAN solution. The service builds on VeloCloud's existing platform, offering a centralised SD WAN orchestrator, a number of edge applications for branch connectivity and a global network of more than 150 PoPs and SD WAN gateways.

VeloCloud SD WAN serves as a foundation for SASE architecture, which includes ZTNA, SWG and cloud firewalling with additional services from Zscaler.

VMware Pros VMware Cons
Offers solutions for SME's as well as large multinational corporations Not a single, inclusive solution -  in order to create an end-to-end solution, clients must use multiple VMware products
Good choice for global companies as VMware offers a network of public gateways with connections to multiple Tier-1 ISPs VMware SASE is offered via an OEM agreement, increasing complexity and costs
5G priority is available for applications  

Who are the top-rated Global SD WAN providers and vendors?

Masergy, Lumen and Verizon rank among the top-rated network services providers offering managed SD WAN solutions from leading SD WAN vendors on a global scale. Masergy's MPLS and Internet backbone extends to 18 countries, enabling customers to implement SD WAN solutions from HPE Aruba and Fortinet via Masergy-provisioned circuits or a BYONetwork model. Masergy integrates with major cloud services providers in 45 cities.

Lumen and Verizon are Tier 1 network services providers with worldwide coverage, offering managed SD WAN solutions from Versa Networks, Cisco Meraki and Cisco Viptela, with additional support for Fortinet and HPE Aruba from Verizon and VMware from Lumen. Both providers also offer connectivity to major cloud services providers in multiple cities, enabling customers' cloud journeys.

Among the top-rated SD WAN vendors are Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks and Versa Networks, serving customers worldwide. Fortinet's FortiGate Secure SD WAN gateways come in physical, virtual and cloud form factors, extending customers' networks to the cloud through IPsec tunnels and direct connections via Equinix co-location facilities. The cloud offering is available in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Alibaba Cloud, VMware Cloud and Oracle Cloud.

Palo Alto Networks' Prisma SD WAN Instant-On Network (ION) gateways come in physical and virtual form factors, enabling secure customer connectivity to the cloud through IPSec tunnels and software-based ION gateways deployed in AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure. As a Microsoft 365 Networking Partner, Palo Alto Networks' SD WAN solution can help customers optimize access to Microsoft 365 applications.

Versa Networks offers its Secure SD WAN solution mainly through managed service providers. The product is available as an on-premises branch solution, connecting customers' branch networks to the cloud via IPsec tunnels and direct connections over LTE, MPLS, or Internet transports. The product is also available as managed service hosted in AWS, Versa PoPs, or Equinix co-location facilities, with express connections and network on-ramp access to multiple cloud environments.

Who are the top-rated Global SD WAN-as-a-service providers?

According to Netify and Gartner Peer Insights, the top-rated SD WAN-as-a-service providers include Cato Networks, Aryaka, VMware and Versa Networks.

Aryaka is highly rated in product capabilities, sales experience and is supported by North American, EMEA and APAC customers, highlighting easy and quick site deployment and scalability. Similar to Aryaka, VMware also received top marks in product capabilities, with customers highlighting deployment flexibility and low administrative overhead as positives.

Versa Networks receives positive reviews in product capabilities and sales experience categories. Versa customers emphazise cost-effectiveness, flexibility, ease of deployment, suitability for small, mid-sized and large enterprises and a complete security stack as top-rated features.

Cato Networks is also highly rated by customers, with cost-effectiveness, ease of use, excellent support and solid security features at the top of the customers' list.

Who is the best Global SD WAN provider?

Cato operates globally with a private backbone spanning over 65 PoPs, addressing customers' needs across all industry verticals and over 1000 enterprise customers. Cato's architecture consists of edge devices connecting to cloud PoPs via encrypted tunnels, enabling customers to augment and ultimately replace MPLS networks.

Cato cloud PoPs consist of cloud-native software running on commodity hardware where all networking and security functions are performed, enabling the rapid commissioning of new PoPs to cover more locations and serve more customers. Cato PoPs guarantee 99.999% uptime SLA, with 24x7x365 global NOC and SOC services.

Cato Networks' SD WAN offers a complete single-vendor cloud-delivered feature set, including cloud, WAN and global route optimization, self-healing, NGFW, SWG, advanced threat prevention and cloud and mobile security.

What are SD WAN services?

An SD WAN managed service is outsourcing deployment, operation, management and support of SD WAN networks to Network Services Providers (NSPs), such as Verizon, Lumen, or GTT. In a managed SD WAN model, the service provider is responsible for providing network transport services and connecting customers' enterprise networks to the provider's network and cloud environments, guaranteeing specific network service and performance levels. On the contrary, an SD WAN Do-It-Yourself (DIY) model requires customers to purchase SD WAN products directly from a vendor or reseller. In this model, the customer is responsible for all aspects of the solution, from deployment to maintenance, troubleshooting, monitoring and support.

Regardless of the management model, SD WAN products generally deliver the following capabilities:

  • Application recognition with policy configuration, enabling optimal path selection based on application performance and latency requirements
  • Support for multiple carrier transports (i.e., MPLS, Internet, 4G/LTE) with dynamic path selection to increase application performance
  • Branch office gateway zero-touch deployment, allowing customers to commission new sites with minimal effort
  • Centralized management and orchestration
  • Application performance visibility and reporting
  • Basic security capabilities embedded in branch office gateways or delivered as a cloud service
  • VPN
  • WAN and SaaS application optimization
  • Cloud onramp for simplified cloud access, generally through cloud gateways available in the major cloud providers

What do SD WAN providers look for?

SD WAN providers generally look to incorporate core SD WAN capabilities with optional features to stand out from the competition. Core SD WAN capabilities cover typically:

  • Orchestration: orchestration is often available as an on-premises appliance (virtual or physical) or delivered as-a-service from the cloud, enabling customers to manage multiple sites and devices from a unified platform. Other critical capabilities of an orchestration layer include reporting, visibility and zero-touch deployment of edge devices.
  • Application performance: guaranteeing a certain level of performance is an essential element of a reliable SD WAN solution. Vendors use a combination of technologies to increase application performance over low-cost, residential-grade circuits, including dynamic application-aware path selection and channel bonding across multiple transport circuits for increased bandwidth, quality of service and quality of experience and optimized connectivity to major cloud and SaaS providers.
  • Security: aggregating security capabilities into a single-vendor, unified platform is compelling. With more companies looking to adopt SASE architectures, vendors are starting to offer a complete security feature set, either natively or through integration with technology partners, including SWG, NGFW, ZTNA and CASB.

Who is the Global market leader in SD WAN?

According to Gartner, the following vendors are market leaders in SD WAN:

  • Fortinet, offering FortiGate Secure SD WAN product
  • VMware, with VMware SD WAN
  • Versa Networks, offering Versa Operating System (VOS) delivered as a service or embedded in third-party hardware
  • Palo Alto Networks, offering Prisma SD WAN with Instant-On Network (ION) gateways
  • Cisco, including Cisco SD WAN Viptela and Cisco SD WAN Meraki
  • HPE Aruba, offering Aruba EdgeConnect SD WAN Edge Platform (Silver Peak) and Aruba SD-Branch

How to migrate from MPLS to SD WAN?

Companies should consider several factors before migrating from MPLS to SD WAN, including:

  • Transport network selection and procurement: companies should select the most appropriate last mile and middle mile transport networks based on latency, service availability, cost and application performance requirements for each site category, procuring the services directly from carriers and IPS or through a service provider.
  • SD-Branch office security model: SD WAN eliminates Internet and cloud application traffic backhaul, allowing direct access to the Internet and cloud from branch offices. Therefore, companies should decide whether to deploy a complete security stack at each branch office or centralize security services through a cloud-delivered platform.
  • Cloud access requirements: Companies should evaluate vendor support across multiple clouds, either through cloud-based SD WAN gateways, cloud PoPs, encrypted tunnels, direct peering connections via co-location facilities, or similar connectivity methods.
  • Management model: companies will need to choose the most suitable SD WAN management model, including DIY, fully managed, or co-managed (or hybrid)
  • Pilot phase: by conducting a pilot with a few locations, companies can validate the solution's capabilities and vendor's claims

Upon selecting an SD WAN vendor or service provider, companies should develop a cut-over plan that includes:

  • Equipment staging and configuration
  • Partial rollout and turn-up of a few non-critical locations to minimize unexpected issues
  • End-to-end testing, including performance, availability and security
  • Full rollout and turn-up of remaining sites
  • MPLS turn-down after running both solutions in parallel for some time to ensure no incompatibilities exist

What is the difference between SD WAN vendors and Managed SD WAN providers?

The main difference between SD WAN vendors and managed SD WAN providers is the degree of direct interaction with the customer. SD WAN vendors generally develop SD WAN technologies that they sell through authorized channel partners, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), resellers, integrators, or direct to consumers. Conversely, managed SD WAN providers offer end-to-end, hands-free management of SD WAN vendor technologies, including networking and security policies, the underlay, overlay and edge devices, allowing customers to outsource all aspects of network operations and services to a third party. However, a third category of providers offers a fully managed native SD WAN solution. Vendors in this category include Aryaka, Open Systems, VMware and Cato Networks.

Who are the top-rated UK SD WAN providers?

Among the top-rated UK SD WAN providers are:

  • BT Business
  • Colt
  • Fortinet
  • Virgin Media
  • Expereo
Top/Best UK SD WAN Providers and Vendors
Best UK SD WAN Vendor or Provider SD WAN capability SD WAN Pros and Cons
BT Business BT's network extends to 198 countries, with an Internet backbone and cloud connectivity to 8 major cloud providers. BT offers fully-managed SD WAN solutions from top-tier vendors, including Palo Alto, Versa, Nuage Networks, Cisco Viptela, Cisco Meraki and VMware. BT is one of the best known UK brands with one of highest performing IP networks available globally and within the UK. Managed services are offered with tiered flexible  service levels.
Colt Colt's Internet networks for SD WAN serve 32 and 28 countries, respectively. Like BT, Colt's SD WAN services are fully-managed, offering solutions from Versa. Colt offer extensive network options for their on-net customers but also for any customer within reach of their network. Pricing is good with a focus on Versa Networks as their predominant UK SD WAN solution offering.
Fortinet Strong, high performing SASE security solution with good UK SD WAN capability. Fortinet is served by a strong UK partner and integrator network. Fortinet offer good all round capability across all sectors from retail to finance. There is a need to carefully evaluate how to interact with Fortinet as their partner capability is varied.
Virgin Media Virgin are a UK provider of low cost UK connectivity underlay with managed services from Versa Networks.  Virgin is generally a good option for UK businesses but their customer service experience can be varied.
Expereo European service provider capable of offering aggregated SD WAN Internet underlay on a global basis with support for managed Meraki and Viptela. The Expereo brand is not as well known when compared to other SD WAN providers. Managed services are flexible and underlay is generally a low cost.

Who are the top-rated US SD WAN providers?

Among the top-rated US SD WAN providers and vendors are:

  • Aryaka
  • Fortinet
  • Palo Alto Networks

Aryaka is a US-based company headquartered in San Mateo, California, serving customers across many industry verticals, including manufacturing, technology, retail, e-commerce, finance, healthcare and professional services. The company has 9 points of presence in the US, all with direct peering to popular SaaS providers, such as Salesforce, Google G-suite and RingCentral and 6 with direct connections to major cloud providers.

Fortinet and Palo Alto are headquartered in California and serve customers across all industry verticals. Both vendors were recognized in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report published in 2022. Fortinet sells its SD WAN solution exclusively through channel partners, with a partner network of 44 US-based resellers and MSPs. Palo Alto Networks offers its SD WAN solution as a managed service through other US-based service providers, including AT&T and Globalgig.

Who are the top-rated SD WAN providers in Canada?

Among the top-rated SD WAN providers and vendors in Canada are:

  • Aryaka
  • Fortinet
  • Cisco

Aryaka has a single point of presence in Toronto, Canada, with 9 neighboring points of presence in the US, all with direct peering to popular SaaS providers, such as Salesforce, Google G-suite and RingCentral and 6 with direct connections to major cloud providers.

Fortinet and Palo Alto were recognized in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report published in 2022 for the North American region. Fortinet partners with 6 resellers, integrators and managed services providers in Canada to deliver managed SD WAN solutions. Palo Alto Networks offers its SD WAN solution as a managed service through US-based service providers, including AT&T and Globalgig.

Who are the top-rated SD WAN providers in Europe?

Among the top-rated UK SD WAN vendors and providers are:

  • Aryaka
  • BT
  • Colt
  • Vodafone
  • Deutsche Telekom

Aryaka has 5 points of presence in Europe, including London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris and Frankfurt, 3 with peer links to AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft 365 and Google G-suite. The company offers connectivity across and into the European Union to comply with and stay ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Deutsche Telekom is a Tier 1 telecommunications provider based in Germany, with extensive coverage in Europe. The company offers managed SD-WAN solutions from Cisco Viptela, Juniper Networks, Cisco Meraki, HPE Aruba, Fortinet, VMware, Aryaka and Versa Networks over its MPLS and Internet backbones that reach 54 and 30 countries, respectively.

Colt has over 500 data centers across 48 European cities, making it an excellent candidate for companies with heavy connectivity requirements within Europe seeking managed SD WAN services.

Which providers and vendors offer low-cost SD WAN solutions?

Among the SD WAN vendors offering low-cost solutions are:

  • Cisco Meraki
  • Versa Networks
  • Peplink

Cisco Meraki is an ideal solution for small to midsized WANs connecting a relatively large number of small branch offices, for example, restaurants, service stations, stores and offices. Customers highly rated the solution across customer experience and product capabilities categories. While the solution may be cost-effective for relatively simple WAN deployments, it may not be suited for complex needs requiring more flexibility and advanced capabilities. Additionally, the product ships with some features disabled by default, requiring customers to submit support tickets to enable the desired capabilities.

Versa Networks offers two SD WAN solutions: VOS and Titan. Versa VOS is available for commodity hardware and the Versa Branch Cloud Service Gateways and it's best suited for large global WANs with cloud connectivity and heavy security requirements. While Versa's customers highly rate Versa VOS, some highlight issues related to scalability, bugs and complex upgrades.

Peplink focuses on the mobility market in niche areas such as maritime, transportation and robotics. The company's products have received top reviews from customers across customer experience and product capabilities categories.

How to compare SD WAN devices from multiple vendors?

When evaluating and comparing SD WAN vendors and providers, some of the key aspects to consider are:

  • Support for application-aware, packet or session-based, path selection, channel bonding across multiple transport types and VPNs, quality of service, quality of experience and WAN optimization
  • SD WAN architecture, including device form factors, Internet and cloud access breakouts at the branch office, hosted PoPs, cloud-based SD WAN gateways
  • Management, orchestration and analytics
  • Any networking and security capabilities that may not be included in core packages, requiring purchasing and add-ons
  • Transport agnostic or support for multiple transport types
  • Service chaining or integration with third-party technology providers
  • SaaS traffic acceleration via direct peering with major cloud and SaaS providers
  • For SD WAN-as-a-service, geographical coverage with the option to choose the storage location
  • Roadmap to SASE
  • Degree of integration with existing infrastructure
  • Pricing and support model

In place of selecting a single, "all-in-one" SD WAN vendor or provider, customers may choose to create a custom-built SD WAN architecture overlaying a virtual WAN on top of existing network infrastructure from multiple vendors. With this approach, customers are responsible for managing all aspects of the solution, including ongoing monitoring of the SD WAN and the underlying network. While this approach gives customers increased control over their network, it requires significant internal IT resources with deep networking and security knowledge to design, deploy and manage the solution, with increased turnaround times to deploy new and change existing sites. Additionally, customers may create unforeseen compatibility issues by using multiple vendor devices, potentially resulting in suboptimal results or un-flexible deployments.

Why use SD WAN?

SD WAN enables businesses to connect users to on-premises and cloud-based applications through flexible virtual WANs that overlay any private or public backbones, such as MPLS, Internet, 4G LTE/5G, or broadband. With SD WAN, businesses can commission branch offices much more quickly than traditional networks by eliminating the long lead times required to deliver carrier circuits and enabling central management, orchestration and zero-touch deployment of gateways. Furthermore, SD WAN allows businesses to realize better application performance, predictability and network availability through application-aware routing policies, traffic prioritization and dynamic path selection.

In general, businesses that migrate to SD WAN from traditional hub-and-spoke networks can realize the following benefits:

  • An overall lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by eliminating costly data circuits (i.e., MPLS, point-to-point) and reducing site turn-up lead times. The cost benefits may be higher for businesses shifting to SD WAN-as-a-service, significantly reducing or eliminating hardware costs.
  • Enhanced security at the edge, either by embedding security capabilities into branch office gateways or integrating with a cloud-delivered security stack
  • Simplified access to cloud applications, including IaaS and SaaS, through cloud gateways available in the major public cloud marketplaces, direct peering via co-location facilities and encrypted tunnels.

Why is SD WAN important?

Businesses' data access needs have changed dramatically since the inception of conventional WANs. With cloud adoption and remote working at an all-time high, coupled with the prevalence of low-cost, high-performance end-user devices, businesses demand quicker access to internal and cloud applications from any location and device without sacrificing performance. The traditional hub-and-spoke network architecture, which connects branch offices to data centers via private backbones, backhauling Internet and cloud-based traffic to a hub site, no longer meets modern-day technological needs at reasonable costs. Many companies attempt to alleviate application performance issues arising from increased cloud usage by delivering direct Internet access to branch offices. But doing so comes at the expense of potentially exposing users to Internet-borne threats or the additional capital investment in expensive security hardware for every branch office. While traditional WAN networks will continue to meet distinctive communication needs across specific industry sectors, SD WAN can help organizations deliver more predictable, flexible, secure and cost-effective user access to applications, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Who are the top-rated SD WAN cloud providers?

Top-rated SD WAN cloud providers include Aryaka, Cato Networks, Barracuda, VMware, Versa Networks and Palo Alto.

Aryaka's SD WAN solution is built on a multi-cloud PoP-based architecture with direct peering to major cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud. Cato Networks' SD WAN product, part of Cato SASE, is a cloud-native service with over 70 cloud PoPs, enabling integration with AWS and Microsoft Azure via IPsec tunnels and Cato vSocket. Barracuda Networks' SD WAN solution offers cloud-based SD WAN gateways (CloudGen WAN) available in AWS and GCP. The solution leverages the Microsoft Global Network as its primary backbone, integrating well with Microsoft Azure. Versa Networks' VOS is cloud-native and multi-tenant, available in AWS Marketplace. The solution also integrates with GCP and Microsoft Azure through encrypted tunnels. VMware's VeloCloud SD WAN also offers cloud-native PoPs in AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure. Palo Alto Networks' SD WAN Instant-On Network (ION) appliances are available in virtual form factor in GCP, AWS and Microsoft Azure.

How do I download a list of SD WAN providers and vendors?

Netify provides a list of SD WAN providers and vendors here.

Which hybrid WAN providers offer SD WAN?

Vendors providing global corporate hybrid WAN transport and SD WAN solutions include GTT, Verizon and Lumen. GTT and Verizon operate Tier 1 IP networks, connecting customers' sites via MPLS, VPLS/VLL and point-to-point leased lines. Additionally, GTT and Verizon offer managed SD WAN services from leading vendors, including:

  • Verizon: Versa, Cisco Viptela, Cisco Meraki, HPE Aruba (Silver Peak), Fortinet
  • GTT: HPE Aruba (Silver Peak), VMware, and Fortinet.

Lumen operates a Tier 1 global WAN network with coverage across 6 continents. The company connects customers' networks via VPLS, MPLS and point-to-point private lines, with managed SD WAN service offerings from top vendors, including VMware, Versa Networks, Cisco Meraki and Cisco Viptela.

You can view over 100 leading vendors and managed service providers by using the Netify marketplace.

How to compare SD WAN Security

SD WAN is often implemented with a SASE (secure access service edge) approach. This brings together many of the latest security product types and features such as secure web gateways (SWG), zero trust network access (ZTNA), cloud access security brokers (CASB) and next-generation firewalls (NGFW) to secure organizations in the new threat landscape where perimeters are no longer present and organizational access must be secured no matter the location of its users. With the right solution an organization can protect their information and their networks and reliably deliver content to whomever needs it, wherever they are.

Looking a little closer at the components that are often used to secure SD WAN infrastructure we can see that they all play their part. For instance, the SWG components protect devices connected to the internet from inadvertently accessing, downloading, or running malicious content or applications through URL filtering, code analysis and protection for commonly used web applications (forums, social media sites, etc…). This allows organizations to protect their users’ devices by enforcing policies while still allowing users the freedom to use the web as they need. The CASB component adds security around cloud services and cloud access. It relies on monitoring cloud activity and enforcing policies set by the cloud security administrator. This protects data stored in the cloud as well as threats originating or propagating through the cloud.

There are components that some solutions are hyper-focused on and leading the way in those areas of protection. This includes, for example, ZTNA and Extended Detection and Response (XDR). XDR solutions provide platform that combines security event data from all relevant sources, correlates and uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) as well as human analysis to find even the most sophisticated and hidden attacks/vulnerabilities in a proactive manner. ZTNA solutions provide an encrypted tunnel for each application or service. But this is not filtered or analyzed unless it is part of a larger security solution like a SASE implementation. This then adds layer of security on access to important organizational data and applications. Next-generation firewalls provide traditional firewall protection including traffic analysis and rule-based traffic control along with integrated intrusion preventions system (IPS), threat intelligence and application layer analysis and protections.

Each solution offered in the market today is a combination of these and some other security products to provide a complete solution for an organization’s needs. This means that there will be some solutions that work better for certain types of organizations based on their business model, network, and infrastructure needs, as well as access needs. If an organization has on-premises security needs only, but wants to cover their cloud, network, and users from today's threats a solution with an SWG, a CASB and/or NGFW should be the most important things the solution provides. As opposed to organizations that are looking to protect and enforce policy on a large remote workforce, ZTNA and/or XDR will play large roles in the solution’s viability. It is important to choose the right approach for business needs.

Along the same lines of the business needs, it is important to consider initial setup and out-of-the-box configurations. For example, with web filtering, specifically, the solutions come with a dashboard and some categories that are managed by the provider to keep up to date with their filtering. For instance, there can be categories for legal liabilities, adult content, social media, etc...and the sites that will be filtered based on these rules and categorizations are managed externally and updated and delivered regularly. AI is quickly taking its place in the process of determining what category new sites belong n and speed the process of identifying new threats and sharing that information quicker than ever before. Administrators can add to these lists and to turn categories on and off but cannot change the categories in most cases. It is important to align with the right provider that is focused on what is important to your organization.

How to conduct SD WAN Comparison?

When comparing solutions, it is important to think about all the different components and how they will benefit the organization and maybe more importantly, how it will get fit in the organization’s infrastructure and workflow. For instance, does the organization use cloud services or plan to use cloud services in the future. If so, then it’s time to think about how they integrate. Is it a prebuilt solution or there some copying and pasting of files and sending back and forth emails with support or something in between? It could be different for different cloud providers, so that needs to be known while making any comparisons. There will be solutions that provide global private backbones and there will be solutions that provide public backbones shared with others and there are trade-offs with these, reliability, availability, cost and more. Investigating this detail can save major headaches if done at the comparison stage of the solution designing process. These are just some of the features that need to be compared, but whether an organization needs focused attention on WAN optimization, application visibility and control, or some other feature this is the time to investigate which ones are most important for the proposed solution.

As WAN edge gets replaced and integrated into broader security-based offerings such as those provided with WAN and SASE solutions the priority placed on features, implementation methods, strengths and weaknesses become more and more critical. Ease of management and implementation are also vital points of functionality to consider while designing a solution. Some solution will sacrifice ease of implementation for affordability but then requires an organization to implement the solution on their own. While other solutions offer to fully or co-manage the solution, implementation is also important to consider. Another point to note is the use of multiple ISPs. Some solutions may not be able to handle this as effectively and intuitively as others. Organizations must look at this when choosing a solution path.

What SD WAN Platform and Products should you compare?

There are many different implementation methods that solution providers offer when it comes to SD WAN. Some of these solutions will include universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) which is a software defined version of a traditional CPE that resides at the branch or office-level physical locations. Others will offer virtualization technology or solution-embedded routers or other hardware that provides necessary access and control of aspects of the organization’s network. When considering these solution types, it is important thoroughly understand how the solution under investigation will be distributed throughout an organization.

How to compare SD WAN appliances

If an organization is looking to procure their own services and is looking to acquire appliances to distribute the service, there are many things to consider, not the least of which is where it will be deployed (cloud, virtual machine, on-premises physical). It is not necessarily that easy to purchase an SD WAN appliance as usually they will be provided as part of another solution. In the case that that is the way an organization should chose to go, they will be limited to the few options available, i.e., Meaki, Fortinet and some other less-known name brands. These aren’t going to be the easiest to deploy though as they will require deep knowledge and planning into the network type and distribution as well as programming of the design itself. They may have a lot of features but that means the organization needs to know what they should choose and how to configure it. There are pros and cons to going this route, but it is possible.

How to compare SD WAN Cost

One of the most common reasons organizations go with SD WAN solutions is for the cost-effectiveness. The cost of an SD WAN solution is dependent on many variables including but not limited to the ISP connectivity, the hardware, the software, the data, the monitoring, the implementation, and the maintenance. As we can see, there are many cost areas to consider when it comes to implementing SD WAN security solutions and it is important to figure the nuances out before making a choice based on price point.

SD WAN cost table

Leader

SD WAN cost notes

Fortinet

Fortinet offers a comprehensive solution that is reliable and provides significant “performance optimization” and a “well-rounded” set of features.

VMware

As a large global vendor VMware has strong product offerings and financial resources pointing to VMware as a long-term solution provider. Their offering also approaches the SASE implementation from an intelligent, cloud-first approach.

Versa Networks

Versa is one of the most significant product vendors with their huge offering and highly effective solutions. It is “one of the most complete, single-vendor SASE solutions on the market.”

Palo Alto Networks

Pal Alto Networks has a very strong security posture and is a driving towards offering a single vendor SASE solution. They have great customer experience reports and are at the edge of technology with AI and ML approaches to their offerings.

Cisco

Cisco offers two brands and both brands offer both hardware and software with management and orchestration. This also ties into a greater Cisco offering, providing an all-in-one provider for SASE offerings. They also have strong vision in the space.

HPE (Aruba and Silver Peak)

The solutions provided by HPE cover large swaths of use cases and organization size and configuration. They have a comprehensive plan for the future and target organizations of all types.


How to compare SD WAN Routers?

SD-WAN is sometimes offered and implemented with standard routers with security solutions embedded, enabling quick and easy deployment for smaller organizations ans organizations with less sophisticated needs. When looking at these types of solutions it is important to note the limitations, especially when it comes to future-proofing a solution. If the organization grows this is not something to build on to, but instead to replace.

How to compare Cloud based SD WAN?

Cloud WAN, or cloud-based SD-WAN, is for those organizations looking for protection across their entire cloud infrastructure. Not every organization can use this, or should, solution as it will not add security to on-premises hardware other when it is accessing cloud networks, data, applications, and services. If an organization is entirely migrated to the cloud, then it is important to know that these types of offerings exist and to be sure to consider them. On that note, some of the vendors will offer more complete integration with the cloud than other vendors. For instance, Barracuda offers a full cloud integration.

There are multiple types of cloud solutions to SD-WAN, including NFV (network function visualization) which separates the functionality of hardware security appliances and distributes that functionality, virtually across an organization using cloud delivery. Another implementation type is through WAN edge, which is an abstraction and management of cloud application traffic connecting users everywhere with secure access to data, applications, and other networks. Some organizations will benefit from a multi-cloud approach when there are different solutions in place for specific reasons. There are vendors that will have solutions to address this specific use case and those should be considered when thinking multi-cloud may be the appropriate approach.

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