Cisco

SD-WAN Vendor Comparison

Test Author | Dec 24, 2020

The world of SD-WAN technology is continually changing over the last few years. Many new players with advanced technology have entered the market while the older ones are making continuous upgrades to keep a hold of the leader’s position. So, as you can understand, the SD-WAB global market, currently, is brimming with innovation and inventiveness. 

However, due to this very reason, it has become pretty difficult for the industries to find out the vendor that is perfect for their cause. With so many options out there, most of the needy organizations get confused and choose the wrong one instead. It both harms their working stratagem and affects their relationship with the vendor. 

Thus, here, we will be talking about some of the world’s most popular vendors and offers some insights on their offerings, features-to-look-for, and disadvantages. It, in turn, will make it easier for you to draw a comparison between them and find out the one that’s best for your business.   

So, are you ready? Then, let’s get started with it. 

  1. Cisco Meraki

When talking about the best SD-WAN vendor options for medium and small businesses, the first name that comes to mind is Meraki. It is essentially a Cisco offering, which provides feature-rich and cost-effective solutions for needy enterprises.

Advantages 

  • One of the best things about Meraki is its high-end security system. If applied correctly, it can easily find out the malware programs and anomalies and eradicate them from the core. Moreover, it can also alarm you if any hacker is trying to enter your cloud system. 
  • Meraki comes with a lone cloud-based management module. Hence, it becomes quite easy for you to manage it all alone. Additionally, it can also reduce storage-related errors and confusion to some extent.  
  • Lastly, the offerings of Meraki are extremely easy to use and employ. Therefore, you would not have to hire any experts and additional personnel to handle them. You can either manage them all by yourself or ask any of your employees to do the same.  

Disadvantages   

  • Meraki usually features almost all the newer SD-WAN systems. Therefore, with it, you won’t be able to employ the older systems in any way. 
  • In addition, you will have to purchase the newer version of the system whenever it comes out. Otherwise, the hardware, which was being operated by the older technology, will become unusable. 

So, if you do own a small business, then Meraki would be a perfect option for you. The only hitch, in this case, will be the recurring purchase of the new subscription model. Nevertheless, the upgrades generally are not too expensive. Therefore, it is not going to be a problem for you. 

  1. Riverbed

One of the most prominent vendors in the SD-WAN market, Riverbed, offers mature technologies with excellent upgrades. The organization is a close competitor of Cisco and has been performing almost perfectly for the last few years.

Advantages 

  • Contrary to popular belief, the technologies and offerings of Riverbed are actually pretty easy to use and deploy. However, if you were to manage everything all alone, then you will have to learn some basics of the programming languages. 
  • The cloud computing system of Riverbed is highly scalable. So, even if you have more than two branches of your organization, you can still manage everything through a single system.
  • Most of the technologies of Riverbed are perfectly compatible with Oracle and SQL databases. It, in turn, makes them superiorly versatile and handy. 
  • Finally, the Riverbed SD-WAN system can enable you to use the coveted real-time sharing application with both your clients and employees. It can be a perfect solution for network-based latency issues.

Disadvantages 

  • However, unlike Meraki, the technologies of Riverbed are not affordable at all. They, as well as their system upgrades, are quite expensive, which, in turn, does not make it a good option for smaller businesses. 
  • Besides, the security system of the Riverbed offerings is also pretty basic. Therefore, if you are someone who really worries about the company's information and data, then we would suggest you to get a separate security system.

To be honest, Riverbed can be a perfect solution for bigger companies. Yes, it probably does not have a sound security system like Meraki, but it is definitely much more efficient than its competitor.   

  1. Juniper 

Even though it is somewhat new in the world of SD-WAN, Juniper has developed quite extravagantly since the last few years. While the organization currently is miles away from replacing Cisco from the leader position, it still has gained a decent reputation over the years, which is likely to grow even more. 

Advantages 

  • Unlike Riverbed, Juniper puts almost all of its focus on the security system. It is pretty advanced, high-end, and can take down the anomalies within only a few seconds. 
  • The offerings of Juniper do not contain a plethora of features. Instead, it only comprises of those things that are duly needed to work faster and more efficiently. Besides, even if one of the programs crashes down, it does not necessarily affect the whole network system.  
  • The Junos operating system of Juniper features an open architectural system. Hence, if you want to, then you can make various changes in it to make your working procedures even easier. 

Disadvantages  

  • One of the worst things about Juniper is its lack of optimization. Yes, you’ve seen it right. The offerings of Juniper require cannot fit with any system. They require a proper environment to do so. 
  • Furthermore, as the organization is a late entry in the market, it still does not have the capability of offering so many products like Cisco. So, if you are looking for an all-in-one solution for your business, then Juniper probably isn’t the right option for you. 

Unlike Cisco or Riverbed, Juniper is fast and more reliable in some cases. Hence, they can be an ideal alternative for those who can’t afford the top-notch Cisco-based SD-WAN solutions. 

  1. Citrix 

Citrix, the inventors of the VDI system, has been making things difficult for the other SD-WAN vendors since its inception. The offerings of the organization are almost perfect in almost every sense. But, will it be the right option for your business? Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages to know more in this context. 

Advantages 

  • Unlike Juniper, the network solutions of Citrix are perfectly optimized the WAN system. Therefore, they can fit almost anywhere you want to use them. 
  • The offerings of the organization come with an integrated security system, which rivals the technologies of Cisco. Moreover, as a cherry on the top, you can also operate them through a single interface.
  • In addition, Citrix also provides its buyers with both virtual and physical SD-WAN appliances to satisfy their wide range of requirements. Hence, in this case, they are definitely better than Juniper. 
  • Also, the network solutions of Citrix can work well in accordance with other vendors' offerings. Thus, if you want to, then you can always use a combination of them to boost your company’s efficiency to a massive extent. 

Disadvantages

  • Nonetheless, most of the Citrix products do not support the multi-tenant operation. This, in turn, makes it a not-so-good option for the management-based service providers. 
  • The products and solutions of Citrix are expensive. 

Yes, unlike a few others here, Citrix is probably a more luxurious option. But, it can cater to almost all of your needs quite efficiently. 

  1. Silver Peak 

If you do search on the internet, you may find a lot of remarkable SD-WAN vendors. However, in terms of speed and effectiveness, only a few of them are better than Silver Peak. Moreover, the offerings of the company are also pretty cost-effective. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? 

Advantages 

  • To begin with, the propositions of Silver Peak are extremely versatile. You can use them almost in any situation or environment without worrying even a little bit. In addition, they are also pretty much capable of supporting other third-party applications and solutions. 
  • Furthermore, the applications of Silver Peak are highly optimized. So, you will not face any lags or crashing issues while using them. Also, even if any of the systems get affected for any reason, it will not affect the whole network environment in any way. 
  • With Silver Peak, you will also be able to employ the coveted Unity EdgeConnect technology in your system. It is said to be ideal for both DIY deployment and managed services.  

Disadvantages  

  • The security system of Silver Peak is not really that efficient. It, sometimes, tend to fail in some cases. However, the system can work and integrate perfectly with almost all third-party applications. So, you can always use them to do your bidding.   

In comparison to Cisco, we think that Silver Peak still has a long way to go to reach their level. However, the organization has been doing a pretty nice job in almost every aspect. Moreover, as their offerings are somewhat inexpensive, they can also be an ideal option for medium businesses.

  1. Aryaka

Like Juniper, Aryaka, too, is one of the newer additions of the SD-WAN market. However, they are, in some aspects, better than former ones. Here are some pointers that can help you to understand it. 

Advantages 

  • With Aryaka, you can employ SmartCONNECT technology to your network system. It, in turn, can make the management-based tasks a lot easier. Moreover, it can also help your employees to stay connected with each other. 
  • Furthermore, Aryaka also comes with several SaaS services and getaways. It is one of those things that Juniper generally lacks. Moreover, it also comes with a wide variety of features, which you won’t get with Juniper. Additionally, the optimization level of Aryaka’s products is quite high as well.
  • The network-based products of Aryaka are remarkably efficient in reducing the network load from the backbone of your system. It, in turn, can save you from the issues of network latency and helps you to work in a perfectly-balanced and maintained environment. 

Disadvantages 

  • However, the security system of Aryaka has several flaws and issues. So, you will have to use the solutions of other third-party vendors to bolster it. On the other hand, Juniper pretty much thrives in this aspect. 
  • The pricing system of Aryaka is not really ideal for smaller organizations. 

Like the others, Aryaka, too, excels in some cases while lacking in the others. But, they are still pretty decent and can be a good choice for mid-sized organizations.

Conclusion   

So, as you can understand, none of the vendors of the SD-WAN world are picture-perfect. Each of them has its own benefits and disadvantages. Hence, now, it is your job to evaluate them as closely as possible and find out the one that suits your requirements.


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