AT&T tops Vertical Systems' first SD-WAN Leaderboard

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AT&T, Hughes, Verzion, Windstream and CenturyLink, respectively, rank in the top-five of Vertical Systems Group's Carrier Managed SD-WAN Leaderboard. (Pixabay)

Vertical Systems Group has checked the pulse of the managed SD-WAN sector and AT&T came out on top of its leaderboard for 2018.

While Vertical Systems Group is known for its Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard, this is the first time it has provided a benchmark for the managed SD-WAN sector. Following AT&T in market share for last year, in order, were Hughes (thanks to customers with a large number of distributed remote sites), Verizon, Windstream, CenturyLink, Aryaka, Fusion and Comcast.

The top eight managed SD-WAN companies had the highest market shares of installed carrier managed SD-WAN customer sites in the U.S. at the end of last year.

Trailing the top-eight in Vertical Systems' "challenger tier" were, in alphabetical order, Bigleaf, GTT, Masergy, Meriplex, Sprint, and TPx.

“Providers in the carrier managed segment of the SD-WAN market have emerged as the best choice for delivering large scale, complex and resilient SD-WAN services end-to-end,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group, in a prepared statement. “We believe that network operators with deep experience in MPLS, Ethernet and IP are most favorably positioned to support enterprise customers as they transition their networks to SDN.”

Vertical Systems Group said that the majority of the carrier managed SD-WAN installs to date have been hybrid configurations that included partial conversions of existing site-to-site and MPLS networks. 

Vertical Systems Group SD-WAN

According to a recent blog by Vertical Systems Group co-founder and principal Rosemary Cochran, worldwide revenue for managed SD-WAN, MPLS and site-to-site VPNs combined is currently more than $40 billion.The emerging carrier managed SD-WAN sector accounts for less than 5% of the market.

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While there are other flavors of SD-WAN, such as "do it yourself" (DYI) services by enterprises, Vertical Systems Group adheres to MEF's definition for managed SD-WAN services. MEF will be finalizing its SD-WAN service standard, which includes service attributes and terminology, this summer.

For Vertical Systems Group, a managed SD-WAN service is defined as a carrier-grade network offering for enterprise and business customers, which is managed by a network operator, and delivered over a software-defined network (SDN) service architecture that has separate control (overlay) and data (underlay) planes.

SD-WAN is one of three managed VPN segments that Vertical Systems tracks, along with MPLS and site-to-site VPNs. The top-five carrier managed SD-WAN companies are also leading providers of dedicated IP VPN services, which included landline and satellite connectivity.

In no particular order, the 14 leaderboard and challenge tier providers used SD-WAN technologies from Cisco/Viptela, Silver Peak, Versa Networks and VMware/VeloCoud or deploy their own internally developed technologies. Several SD-WAN service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink, have multiple SD-WAN offerings.