SD-WAN 2022 Market Outlook from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant


On 12 September 2022, Gartner, Inc. already published the Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN in which objectively demonstrates an overview picture of the SD-WAN market. As an SD-WAN service provider, USDC Technology always devotes assiduous attention to any vibration in the market so that we also could give the best consulting values to our customers. In this blog, we will give you a concise summary of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for SD-WAN.

SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) – A connection service management platform that provides functions of cross-domain networking and value-added services. It is designed to revolutionize network routing capabilities at the network edge. More and more large enterprises and organizations are making the move from legacy technologies like branch routers in favor of SD-WAN to become cloud-ready and improve overall customer experience. SD-WAN solutions help companies dramatically improve network performance for cloud-based resources; which represent a growing percentage of most organizations’ networks.

“I&O leaders responsible for networking are selecting products to connect branches and remote workers to applications and other enterprise locations. They should select software-defined WAN and, increasingly, secure access service edge to connect enterprise sites to cloud workloads securely”, according to Gartner, Inc. In terms of strategic planning assumptions, it was reported with impressive statistics: By 2025, 50% of new software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) purchases will be part of a single-vendor secure access service edge (SASE) offering, which is a major increase from 10% in 2022; 40% of enterprises with SD-WAN deployments will use artificial intelligence (AI) functions to automate Day 2 operations, compared with fewer than 10% in 2022; and by 2026, 30% of new SD-WAN procurements will be in some form of Network as a service (NaaS), which is a major increase from near 0% in 2022.

In the Forecast Analysis: Enterprise Network Equipment, Worldwide published on 26 October 2021, it is forecasted that the SD-WAN market will generate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% in end-user spending from 2020 through 2026. Gartner expected some aspects of the SD-WAN market to evolve into the single-vendor SASE market, where network security is delivered from the cloud. More broadly, we see five technologies converging: SD-WAN, Security Service Edge (SSE), Enhanced Internet, Cloud onramp, Multi-cloud networking. Additionally to the market forecast comes the trend analysis with the below features:

Annually, based on certain evaluation criteria, Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities identify and then analyze the most relevant providers and their products in a market.
Fortinet, VMware, Cisco, HPE (Aruba), Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks are positioned as the leaders who can demonstrate a sustained ability to address changing end-user requirements in the SD-WAN market. These leaders are evaluated to have capabilities in driving, shaping, and transforming the market, as well as maintaining strong relationships with their channels and customers. They typically have competitive products that address most use cases across various verticals globally, while at the same time innovating to drive the market forward.
Particularly, with the competitive products that address most use cases across multiple verticals in various geographies, Huawei is typically recognized as a Challenger in this Magic Quadrant. Its offering includes NetEngine AR series physical and virtual routers, along with security and orchestration functionality. It also offers the HiSecEngine USG series security gateways that address some SD-WAN use cases where strong security is required. Furthermore, Huawei is also expected to continue investing in a new cloud gateway router, SRv6, and native in-line compression.
Among the number of 70 suppliers in the SD-WAN market as the report estimated, I&O leaders who face some challenges or hesitation in building and managing their WANs may take these following tips along:
    • Build a WAN architecture that aligns with end users, branches and applications. This may mean a hybrid WAN with MPLS and internet, or internet only with dual internet. This depends on how many on-premises workloads versus cloud workloads exist, the types of applications, the number of users at a site and locations of end users.
    • Shortlist at least two SD-WAN product vendors (for example, a small vendor and a large vendor) in addition to their incumbent routing/SD-WAN vendors for significant WAN expansion or router refresh.
    • Quantify the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an SD-WAN deployment. SD-WAN solutions more commonly have opex-friendly business models, with a strong shift from upfront capex to annual license subscriptions. This may dramatically increase TCO. To perform a proper evaluation and comparison, quotes should include all platform, license and support costs for a three-year baseline.
    • Select SD-WAN vendors that can improve Day 2 operations with network automation and AI networking capabilities. As differentiation between features/capabilities reduces, organizations should look at how to optimize supporting the network to improve uptime, performance and efficiency.
    • Give preference to SD-branch solutions to simplify the management of LAN, WLAN, WAN and security for small branch offices.
    • Prioritize vendors with strong automation and orchestration with cloud onramp to simplify distributed cloud access for cloud-first companies, and evaluate enhanced Internet capabilities to ensure a consistent, high-performing end-user experience.
    • Implement a SASE architecture for branch office and remote worker secure connectivity to cloud workloads. Favor single-vendor SASE solutions where sourcing simplicity, product integration, and cost are the main drivers. Favor partner-integrated SASE solutions for larger networks where vendor choice is key.
    • Run a pilot to test the SD-WAN solution in a production capacity to validate performance in a real-world environment. Ensure that at least one critical site is tested with the solution deployed before any final decision is made.

Source: Gartner, Inc. “Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN,” by Jonathan Forest, Naresh Singh, Andrew Lerner, Karen Brown on Sept. 12, 2022.
*Gartner and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document.
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