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SD-WAN Vendor Reviews: CTC’s Top 5 Choices for 2016

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Switching to SD-WAN?

Countless companies have made the switch from MPLS to SD-WAN, cutting network costs and increasing flexibility, control, visibility and performance.

If you’re thinking about joining their ranks and shifting to broadband, it’s nice to know the benefits that come along with transitioning to SD-WAN. But, it’s even better to know which WAN optimizers are going to give you the best-of-the-best when it comes to network benefits and security.

When shopping around for SD-WAN vendors, you will see that what was virtually a non-existent industry a decade ago has boomed into a society full of retailers and consumers.

To make your approach to SD-WAN easier, we have compiled our top five vendors of 2016.

Take a look. We’re sure you’ll find a winner and be on your way to (The) Cloud 9 quicker than you can say multi-protocol label switching.

Looking for specs on industry-leading SD-WAN solutions? Click here to download our Top SD-WAN Companies of 2016 Comparison Whitepaper today.

CTC’s Top 5 SD-WAN Vendors of 2016

1. The Silver Peak SD-WAN Solution

Silver Peak’s WAN solution landed our number one spot because it is particularly versatile and unique. Offering both broadband and hybrid WAN, Silver Peak software forms a virtual overlay on your existing IT network so that you won’t have to replace any hardware. This makes the switch from or integration with MPLS extremely convenient.

Timely integration is not the only benefit of the Silver Peak solution. Other benefits include:

      • Purchase options, including subscription-based and traffic-based pricing are particularly appealing if you hope to keep capital costs low.
      • Silver Peak’s Cloud Intelligence, which “delivers real-time updates on the best performing path to reach hundreds of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)” ensures that your users are connecting to apps in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

2. Riverbed SteelHead

Coming in at number two is another big player in the SD industry, Riverbed’s SteelHead optimization. Read about this product anywhere, and you’ll no doubt see that SteelHead has been “named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization nine years in a row.”

Stand-out features are its:

      • Application Performance Management
      • SteelHead is particularly efficient when it comes to visibility. Real-time tracking allows IT companies to locate and fix app performance problems quickly and keep an eye on end-user experience to make sure consumers are connecting with their apps as smoothly as possible.
      • Security
      • Riverbed’s solution keeps application delivery secure across all networks.
      • Reputation & Industry Expertise
      • If you choose Riverbed, you’ll be in the same boat as several world-wide enterprises, including many Fortune 500 companies. Riverbed has worked with many large corporations.

3. Cisco’s IWAN Technology

Cisco models’ variable throughput speeds caught our eye and cemented IWAN into the third spot on our list. Cisco’s Intelligent WAN optimization doesn’t sacrifice security for speedy transportation across your network.

IWAN is built on what Cisco describes as “four key pillars.”

  1. Transport-independent Design
    • Allows you to customize and combine your providers and connections on multiple transport services.
  2. Intelligent Path Control
    • Ensures network traffic is traveling across the optimal path to provide end-users with a great app experience.
  3. Application Optimization
    • Helps apps run quicker.
  4. Secure Connectivity
    • Uses encryption techniques and VPN overlay to secure your network from attacks.

We can get behind these building blocks of Cisco’s architecture.

4. Talari

Talari had been around the WAN block a time or two before some of the other companies on this list even existed. If longevity were the name of the game, Talari would be number one, but we do think that some aspects of its SD-WAN solution make it a key player.

We like what sets Talari apart from competitors, what has been coined as “The Talari Difference.”   

  1. Selective Packet Duplication
    • Unlike other solutions, Talari’s Thinking WAN makes sure that “the packets from low bandwidth, latency sensitive applications such as VoIP can be duplicated across two or more links. This trades off bandwidth for predictable application performance and results in the highest possible application performance and quality.”
  2. Quality-based Routing
    • Talari combines predetermined policies with constantly-updated knowledge of actual network performance. This is where the “thinking” comes into play. Talari’s Thinking network ensure app quality by priority.
  3. One-way Assessments of True Quality
    • Looks at every possible route that traffic can take each way across the network, measuring loss, latency and jitter, to create an accurate network map and help decipher the best route possible.
  4. Intelligent Load Balancing
    • “Quality sensitive applications remain on high quality paths and bulk transfers complete faster by using aggregated link capacity without displacing high priority traffic.”
  5. Failover Without Session Interruption
    • This is like a safety net that makes sure that, even when something in your network goes wrong, the proper checks and balances are put into place so that users don’t notice outages and business runs as usual. Allows you to notice and fix problems without your whole network halting.

5. Viptela

Viptela advertises its premier benefits to be “50% lower costs, 10x more bandwidth and 5x Cloud performance.” One con to Viptela is the amount of hardware and software needed to run the solution for your WAN. The integration not being quite as easy as others on our list is why Viptela came in last – but it’s definitely not least.

Viptela’s Secure Extensible Network (SEN) Solution:

    • Fully integrates routing, security and segmentation across your network over any transport.
    • Builds an overlay on top of your WAN.
    • Viptela routers provide packet forwarding, encryption, QoS, policy management and ACL functions.
    • Has the ability for centralized management.
    • Allows for a sturdy network security.
Looking for specs on industry-leading SD-WAN solutions? Click here to download our Top SD-WAN Companies of 2016 Comparison Whitepaper today.

Let CTC Technologies Help You Make The Right Choice

When shopping around the world of SD-WAN, different vendor pros and cons will stick out to you depending on what your network goals are and how your current network is configured. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Before deciding on a vendor, consider how the strengths and weaknesses of each will play into your company’s future, and make a list of priority issues that you want addressed and goals that you want met.

If you need any help deciding which SD-WAN optimization is right for you, fill out our contact form, and one of CTC’s trusted SD-WAN experts will reach out to you as soon as possible. Need a faster response? Give us a call at 734.408.0200.

Interested in more vendor comparisons? Download our free whitepapers and get started today on your path toward reduced costs and increased performance with SD-WAN.