C3 Analysis: 2019 SDWAN Magic Quadrant

Two weeks ago, Gartner released their 2019 SD WAN Magic Quadrant.  While we believe that this document serves as a good data point for IT decision makers, C3 has different views on several fronts that are worthy of presenting.  Since our consulting firm is on the front lines in the analysis of vendor platforms and technologies, we’re in a unique position to provide these the following views.  Here are some of our organization’s comments, findings, and Gartner counterpoints. 

  • Cisco dropped dramatically.
    • We believe that Cisco’s approach to SD WAN has proven to be (or “is”) a bit confusing.  Offering Cisco WAN (Viptela) and Meraki MX appliances tends to cause confusion on which platform to implement. With other platforms offering the same capabilities, without the price tag and cumbersome implementation, there are typically better solutions available than what Cisco has to offer. 

"Meraki is most often SOLD as the product that Viptela IS, which is true SD WAN"

  • Viptela can be deployed on vEdge routers or on a Cisco iOS router.
    • When asked about installing on iOS, one major Cisco Partner that we spoke to said “…dual encryption is lost, limited interfaces work, and the list goes on. It is a complete clusterThey continued to say that because of this they will notinstall Viptela on an iOS router, only as an appliance or virtual machine.
  • CloudGenix moved up in the rankings and deservedly so.
    • We’ve seen CloudGenix execute on large implementations with a well-engineered solution. With this said, CloudGenix has had much workforce turnover which has made for an uneven experience.
  • Juniper graded higher than Oracle? 
    • Oracle’s platform, through their acquisition of Talari, is mature, full featured, and can easily be deployed globally.  Oracle is absolutely underrated in the MQ. 
  • There are some providers that get left off because they focus on a niche. 
    • For instance, Bigleaf Networks is a solid, simple, and inexpensive SD WAN solution that doesn’t want to be everything to everyone. C3 customers report high satisfaction with their Bigleaf’s solution.
  • Cato Networks were left off this year due to the fact they failed to meet the inclusion criteria. 
    • We don’t know what Cato failed to do, but C3 feels they should still be considered as a Visionary as they were in 2018 because Cato has done nothing but grow and add functionality since the 2018 Gartner MQ report. 
  • True proof that Gartner never gets it right more than 75% of the time - 
    • There is one SD WAN company that resells another SD WAN’s platform.  The reseller is ranked HIGHER than the company who is being resold. The fact that Gartner doesn’t point this out means that Gartner is a company who doesn’t truly put their hands on any technology and whose viewpoints strictly come from data aggregation.
  • Interestingly the two leaders this year are either heavily leveraged by Managed Service Providers (MSP) or are making significant strides in the MSP arena. 
  • VeloCloud by VMware continues to be the leader in the quadrant. 
    • With so many Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) choosing VeloCloud as their platform for SD-WAN, there are a lot of options out there.  If you like VeloCloud, focus mainly on what the provider can offer.
  • Silver Peak stayed in the Leader quadrant and has become more popular as a platform for MSP’s to offer.  Their edge to edge style of SD-WAN is a direct contrast to the private (on-net) solution provided by VMWare VeloCloud.
  • Versa continued to be strong in this year’s MQ.
    • They just announced a partnership with Riverbed to provide SD-WAN functionality on Riverbed’s SteelConnect WAN Optimization platform.  This should increase their penetration into larger enterprise businesses.  Versa should be considered for its feature rich offering, but only if you plan to have an MSP, or CSP manage the solution for you.  We don’t believe this platform is geared toward the DIY’er. 

Many vendors in the space are presenting their solutions as SD-WAN by continuing to sell a legacy product with SD-WAN enhancements to their platform.  We find this similar to what Avaya did 20 years ago in claiming VoIP industry leadership by providing mild upgrades to digital phone systems and referring to all future phone shipments as “VoIP phones.  Exercise caution in selecting vendors without a proven SD-WAN track record.  

Click here to learn more about how C3 can help you find the right SD-WAN platform for your organization. 

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