Who’s the SDWAN Leader in the Recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure

Disclaimer: this blog content based only on my own findings, experience and opinion, it is not a company or someone’s else opinion. Also, it is not intended to prove Cisco is the top SDWAN or the leader, instead it is mainly intended to highlight some fact as well as some inaccurate points that was included in this report.

This report like other Magic Quadrants reports, it uses standard criteria in two main categories: the ability to execute and the completeness of vision

Before we define these Rating Criteria, lets look at the Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure as of October 2018

With this positioning, it is very debatable to say VMware is the leader, because Cisco is obviously at the top when it comes to the ability to execute Rating Criteria.

Before we analyze and validate, the points that were highlighted in the report, as cautions with regard to Cisco SDWAN that are mainly around the completeness of vision Rating Criteria, let’s understand how Gartner Evaluates Vendors based on the aforementioned Rating Criteria

Completeness of Vision

The category includes the following criteria:

Market Understanding, Marketing Strategy, Sales Strategy, Offering (Product) Strategy, Business Model, Vertical/Industry Strategy, Innovation, Geographic Strategy

So these measuring factors of Completeness of Visio mainly focus on the sales, marketing,  vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the needs of market segments, including industries and skills and offerings to meet the needs of regions beyond its “home” or native area. Which are not product or functionality related

When it comes to industry specific and resources, we all know, that no one in the market can offer resources and industry specific solutions specifically in routing, switching and SDWAN like Cisco.

If you have doubt, refer to the below sessions that we have done for industry specific design scenarios based on real global customers projects covering financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail. Because I was part of the team who created the content I know the reality and how much industry specific solutions that has been done not only design on PowerPoint slides. Not sure if the report author aware of this!

Network Evolution for the Cloud and Digital Era – SD-WAN Training Videos

As result this indicate the availability of skills at global scale, through Cisco directly and its partners.

Let’s look the cautions points highlighted in this report, some of which I believe impacted the completeness of vision Rating Criteria

  • Cisco has a broad array of products, options and features (Viptela, Meraki and IWAN), which Gartner clients report is confusing, with multiple code bases and management models with limited integration. Gartner does not anticipate this problem to be alleviated in the next 12 months.

The reality: there is no limited integration , Cisco SDWAN(Viptela) supported on Cisco ISR 4K, ISR1K, and ASR1k series routers in addition to the Viptela Vedge appliances and virtual nodes (VM/CSR1000v). also there is no multiple management models, IWAN gone, still supported yes, but today Cisco offers its SDWAN(Viptela) with the management from the the vManage that can be on-prem or cloud based. While Meraki is a separate SDWAN offering that address certain needs and scale in which customers have more options rather than get confused! confusion only might happen when the cusomter is not sure what they need and they do not speak to the right people from Cisco or its partners, and this is common across all technologies.

  • Gartner believes that plans to integrate legacy ISR features into the vEdge code and integration of vEdge Manager into DNA Center could impact the reliability and continuity of the Viptela product platforms going forward.

The reality: not sure what are the basis of this believe : ) the consideration of DNA center will offer single pane of glass to manage SDA and SDWAN for the vision of simplified end to end intent based networking. This got nothing to do with the control plane!   Why its going to impact the reliability and performance? I think this based on inaccurate assumptions only and shouldn’t be considered in a public report

  • Since the acquisition of Viptela, Gartner has seen unbundling of features and inconsistent pricing, which result in more complex proposals (eight-line bills of materials [BOMs] versus 40-line BOMs) that may increase the price offered to prospective buyers, based on deals Gartner reviews.

The reality: Today the licensing unified, under different  DNA subscription tiers

Ability to Execute

This category includes the following criteria:

Product/Service, Overall Viability, Sales Execution/Pricing, Market Responsiveness and Track Record, Marketing Execution, Customer Experience, Operations

It is obvious these measuring factors are more solution and product related, this is where Cisco at the top.

Again this blog is not to prove Cisco is the at top in SDWAN, instead to highlight some facts to avoid some inaccurate points were highlighted in this recent report. Hoping the new version will address it more accurately. the answer of who’s the top or leader in SDWAN, will leave it to the reader after analyzing the points and considerations above.


Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure

How Gartner Evaluates Vendors and Markets in Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes


Marwan Al-shawi – CCDE No. 20130066, Google Cloud Certified Architect, AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Cisco Press author (author of the Top Cisco Certifications’ Design Books “CCDE Study Guide and the upcoming CCDP Arch 4th Edition”). He is Experienced Technical Architect. Marwan has been in the networking industry for more than 12 years and has been involved in architecting, designing, and implementing various large-scale networks, some of which are global service provider-grade networks. Marwan holds a Master of Science degree in internetworking from the University of Technology, Sydney. Marwan enjoys helping and assessing others, Therefore, he was selected as a Cisco Designated VIP by the Cisco Support Community (CSC) (official Cisco Systems forums) in 2012, and by the Solutions and Architectures subcommunity in 2014. In addition, Marwan was selected as a member of the Cisco Champions program in 2015 and 2016.