About This ShortList

The growth of cloud applications, remote workforces, and bandwidth-hungry demands is putting immense strain on traditional Wide Area Networks (WANs). Mired in inflexible connections and costly operations, they simply cannot keep pace with the dynamic needs of modern businesses. Traditional MPLS circuits can be expensive and have limited bandwidth, impacting application performance, especially for bandwidth-intensive tasks. On top of that, high latency and jitter can negatively impact user experience and application performance.

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) is a revolutionary approach to network management that promises agility, cost savings, and enhanced performance. SD-WAN utilizes various internet connections (MPLS, broadband, cellular) simultaneously, optimizing overall bandwidth and potentially reducing costs. It intelligently directs data across multiple connections, including MPLS, broadband, and even LTE, based on real-time performance, cost, and application needs. No longer are you confined to a single, expensive provider, but empowered to choose the most efficient path for each data packet.

The SD-WAN market is expected to reach $10+ billion by 2027. This explosive growth underscores the need for agile, adaptable networks that cater to the demands of cloud-based applications, distributed workforces, and ever-evolving business needs.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these solutions:

  • Multi-Path Connectivity: The core of SD-WAN lies in its ability to utilize multiple connections simultaneously. This includes MPLS, broadband internet, cellular networks, and even satellite connections.
  • Dynamic Path Selection: The solution should intelligently route traffic across these diverse connections based on pre-defined policies and real-time network conditions. This ensures optimal performance by dynamically choosing the best path for different types of traffic, considering factors like latency, bandwidth, and cost.
  • Application-Aware Routing: Recognizing the criticality of different applications, an SD-WAN solution should prioritize traffic based on application requirements. This ensures business-critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and low latency for optimal performance.
  • Zero-Touch Deployment: Seamless and automated deployment across multiple branches reduces manual configuration and streamlines network setup.
  • Centralized Management: Manage and monitor your entire SD-WAN network from a single, intuitive dashboard. This simplifies administration and provides an overall view of network health and performance.
  • Security Features: Integrated security features like encryption, firewalls, and intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS) safeguard your network and data against cyber threats.
  • Quality of Service (QoS): Prioritize different types of traffic based on importance and ensure critical applications experience consistent performance even during network congestion.
  • Traffic Shaping: Control and manage inbound and outbound network traffic to optimize bandwidth usage and prioritize critical business needs.
  • Visibility and Analytics: Gain real-time insights into network performance, application behavior, and potential issues through detailed dashboards and reporting.
  • Scalability: As the business grows and needs evolve, the SD-WAN solution should be easily scalable to accommodate new branches, users, and applications.
  • Integration with existing infrastructure: The solution should seamlessly integrate with an existing network infrastructure, including firewalls, routers, and other security tools.

The Constellation ShortList™

Constellation evaluates more than 20 solutions categorized in this market. This Constellation ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects market share and internal research.

  • Barracuda Networks
  • Cisco
  • Forcepoint
  • Fortinet
  • HPE
  • Huawei
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Versa
  • Vmware

Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList is updated at least once per year. Updates may occur after six months if deemed necessary.

Evaluation Services

Constellation clients can work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this Constellation ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.

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