Definitive Guide to SD-WAN Companies for Service Providers

The Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) market is one of the fastest-growing network infrastructure market segments and offers great opportunity for communication service providers and managed service providers to expand their offerings and enhance customer experience.

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
0 %
Market Size by 2023
$ 0 B

* According to IDC’s SD-WAN Infrastructure Forecast

This Growth is Driven by a Variety of Factors

Factor #1

Traditional WAN solutions does not meet the needs of today’s modern digital businesses, especially when it comes to supporting SaaS applications, connecting remote sites, and delivering multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud.

Factor #2

Organizations are seeking to deploy multiple connections in their WAN from multiple providers for higher reliability, improved application performance, improved cost, easier change management, and improved flexibility. These factors are driving the increased deployment of SD-WAN so enterprises can deliver higher levels of quality of experience.

Factor #3

Organizations need to deliver corporate applications securely to all their sites. When SD-WAN is integrated with existing security and network solutions, secure access can be delivered to branches, remote sites, fleet vehicles, together with data centers and headquarters to give all employees reliable, secure access to voice, video, and other business applications.

It’s an exciting time for service providers to add SD-WAN to their portfolio — the right SD-WAN technology can help service providers deliver hosted, managed services with greater performance.

However, not all SD-WAN companies are created equal and some make it difficult for managed service providers to make a profit.

How to Select Between SD-WAN Companies for A Managed Services Business

When selecting an SD-WAN vendor, look for the right combination of business models and functionality that fits your specific use-cases. Take the time to figure out how you will market, sell and fulfill this new service and what business and financial goals you have.

10 Key Use-Case Questions:



If you are a service provider or large enterprise and you run your own network, these questions will help you start discussions and evaluations so you can best meet the needs of your organization.

What to Look For

The best SD-WAN companies & platforms for service providers and large enterprises will typically have:

Pricing Model



SD-WAN Companies & Vendor Comparison

With over 80 SD-WAN companies & vendors offering various feature sets and benefits, selecting the right vendor can be a daunting task.

Below is a review of three popular vendors on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant — Cisco Meraki and Viptela, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, and Silver Peak. The reviews specifically relate to how they perform from the perspective of a managed service provider.

Cisco Meraki Viptela

Position in Gartner Magic Quadrant: Challenger

Our Observations
Poor Customer Experience
The Meraki SD-WAN platform is simplified. Customers say that Meraki link aggregation is not very efficient and failover between circuits can take between 30 seconds and three minutes. Any session-based applications like phone calls, video calls, or session-based web applications will disappear when one of the circuits at a site goes offline. This is not a great end-user experience.
Installing Challenges
Viptela SD-WAN has become complicated and challenging to install.
Price Competition
As Cisco is traditionally a hardware vendor, Meraki and Viptela are often not treated in the manner that software or software-defined sales should be. This results in a lot of local price competition which makes it difficult for service providers looking to differentiate their business.
It’s unclear whether Cisco’s offerings are multi-tenanted or not. Service providers may need to deploy unique hardware for each customer challenging scalability, management, and ROI models.
Complex to Sell
Cisco solutions are typically challenging to quote, configure, and sell. Their licensing models require lots of customer explanation and some customers dislike having to buy term-based software support and maintenance agreements.

Position in Gartner Magic Quadrant: Leader

Our Observations
With so many channels to market, it’s inevitable that competition will start driving down the price to the end-customer. Price will become the only differentiator. Once end-customers learn that it’s a VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud offer, they’ll start shopping around for better pricing.
Differentiation for Service Providers
VMware/Dell’s extensive sales and channel teams will create a lot of competition for VeloCloud resellers. How will you differentiate?
Complex Sales
Licensing costs can increase dramatically as the bandwidth required at each end-customer site increases. This makes the quoting and sales processes complex.
Based on Bandwidth
Licenses based on bandwidth. The software doesn’t work any harder to support 50Mbps, 100Mbps or 250Mbps, but you have to work harder to sell this pricing and differentiate!
Silver Peak

Position in Gartner Magic Quadrant: Leader

Our Observations
Not for Mid Market
Silver Peak maintains a brand, an expanding sales channel, and a very high price point. This isn’t an offer for the mid-market enterprise. Branch office affordability or ROI may be a challenge. The high costs present a challenge to service providers who see margins shrink as a result.
Closed CPE
Customers say Silver Peak requires a closed customer-premises equipment (CPE) which means users are locked into using their firewall, infrastructure, and CPE. This means there’s no way to put multiple containers on the edge devices.
Customers also inform us that Silver Peak’s core nodes are not multi-tenanted, so the ability to scale infrastructure costs effectively is limited.

Why is Disaggregated SD-WAN better for your Managed Network and Security Offers

One thing that Cisco Meraki and Viptela, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, and Silver Peak have in common is the fact that none of them tailor their solution to the needs of service providers. Turnium, on the other hand, is built solely for service providers.
With Turnium SD-WAN, service providers can license a white label, white box SD-WAN software platform that gives them complete control. With Turnium, service providers gain access to unique technology and a new business model. Instead of reselling a vendor’s SD-WAN service, service providers can bring their own privately-branded SD-WAN service to the market. Turnium is ideal for service providers that seek to:
Control SD-WAN pricing and markup

Turnium offers the best value SD-WAN on the market, charging a flat rate per site (or per port) per month, rather than charging based on the amount of bandwidth used. Service providers only pay for what they use to generate revenue. Turnium core licenses are free so service providers can turn up as many core nodes in as many data centers as they need. Since Turnium’s core nodes are multi-tenant service providers can get a high degree of customer revenue density on each node. The best part of Turnium’s pricing is that it allows service providers to control their own margins. Be effectively purchasing wholesale, service providers can control markup, bundling, and margins.

Access multi-tenant core nodes

Turnium enables service providers to scale their business with multi-tenant core nodes. Multiple customers on the same infrastructure can leverage existing DC/VMs and reduce cost while also increasing customer revenue density on a service provider’s infrastructure. The multi-tenant core software also allows service providers to build external sales channels.

Gain virtual CPE on white box hardware

Virtual CPE allows service providers to deploy more containerized services per CPE to be more efficient and flexible. It also simplifies and accelerates service delivery with the ability to remotely configure and manage devices and allows customers to order new services or adjust existing ones on demand.

Improve uptime with bandwidth aggregation

Turnium offers an industry-leading >90 percent bandwidth aggregation. This gives you the uptime, bandwidth and cost performance that your customers expect. Link aggregation or bonding involves combining bandwidth from multiple carrier last-mile circuits into a single virtual tunnel per site for maximum uptime and performance.

Retain infrastructure control with customization ability

Many SD-WAN platforms lack the true customization ability that service providers require. As a result, service providers find themselves locked into using the vendor’s hardware, data centers, and network infrastructure. This means surrendering control of the service delivery to a third party. With Turnium, service providers on the network and network performance so they’re empowered with true ownership and control over the relationships with your customers.

Choosing the Best SD-WAN Companies for Managed Service Providers

SD-WAN should be a part of every service provider’s portfolio. It enables the creation of virtual networks that are not dependent on any proprietary hardware. This keeps the control firmly in the hands of the managed service provider.

While many technology buyers are tempted to make decisions based on brand familiarity, this approach may not deliver on the actual use cases, business requirements, or budget.

Beware of licensing models that appear cheap but include hidden charges in the form of support contracts or bandwidth-based pricing. Evaluate the cost of core nodes and determine whether the core nodes can support multiple end-customer sites to arrive at a true cost-per-customer. In this way, service providers can get a more realistic picture of profitability and a better understanding of provisioning and support costs.

Additionally, service providers should watch out for platforms that require the use of specific telecom networks or security platforms as they may restrict the ability to provide best-of-breed solutions that actually meet their customers’ needs.

SD-WAN is the next generation of business networks and its adoption rate is increasing rapidly for a reason.

Book a Demo Today

Arrange a demo with Turnium today and see the difference between traditional SD-WAN companies and partner-friendly SD-WAN solutions.