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Research Firm Lists Best WAN Edge Infrastructure Ranked by Customers

Research firm Gartner published a list of the best wide-area networking (WAN) edge infrastructure software of 2020 as reviewed by customers.

The vendors and their wares making the cut in the Gartner Peer Insights Customers' Choice selection for March 2020, listed alphabetically, are:

  • Aryaka: Aryaka SmartCONNECT Globally Managed SD-WAN Service
  • Cisco: Wide Area Application Services (WAAS); ISR 4000 Series with Application Experience (ISR-AX); Cisco SD-WAN
  • CloudGenix: CloudGenix SD-WAN
  • Fortinet: Fortigate NGFW; Fortigate Secure SD-WAN
  • Huawei: NetEngine AR Series Routers; CloudWAN

The listing comes from Gartner's IT product and service review platform, which hosted more than 255,000 verified customer reviews in 355 defined markets as of June 2019. "This peer-rated distinction can be a useful complement to expert opinion, as it focuses on direct peer experiences of implementing and operating a solution," Gartner says.

For that "expert opinion," the firm last December published a Magic Quadrant WAN Edge Infrastructure Research Report. It showed VMware and Silver Peak as "Leaders," Fortinet, Cisco, Citrix and Huawei as "Challengers," Versa, CloudGenix and Aryaka as "Visionaries" and Juniper Networks, Oracle (Talari Networks), HPE (Aruba), Nuage Networks, FatPipe Networks, Cradlepoint, Peplink, Barracuda, Riverbed and Teldat as "Niche Players."

Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure
[Click on image for larger view.] Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure (source: Gartner).

The Magic Quadrant report said the WAN edge infrastructure market is primarily driven by the following seven factors:

  • Refresh of existing branch office router equipment that is at end of support or lacks the desired capabilities
  • Renewal of NSP or managed service contracts, where a new service provider also means new equipment
  • The changing traffic patterns resulting from the increasing use of cloud and multicloud resources, which renders the traditional hub-and-spoke from remote branch to on-premises data center WAN architecture obsolete
  • By distributing internet access to the branch, the security perimeter changes, which typically drives new solutions
  • The expansion of capacity (i.e., physical build-outs) within existing locations
  • The desire to increase agility and automation to address the needs of digital business transformation and lower opex
  • The desire to consolidate more than one branch function, such as routing, security and WAN optimization

In the new Customers' Choice report, the firm said the WAN edge infrastructure market has grown from roots in traditional routing functionality to include:

  • Secure routers
  • Firewalls
  • SD-WAN
  • WAN path control
  • WAN optimization

Gartner also spoke about the changing WAN infrastructure ecosystem. "This market has evolved from traditional branch routers (often called 'customer edge routers' in a Multiprotocol Label Switching [MPLS] implementation), and is undergoing dramatic change, driven by the needs of digital business transformation and the demands of line-of-business managers. The market for branch office wide-area network functionality is shifting from dedicated routing, security and WAN optimization appliances to feature-rich SD-WAN and vCPE platforms."

Methodology information for the report is available here.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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