This report is available through the Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) Category Subscription. All of our subscription options can be viewed here.
The marriage of software-defined networking (SDN) benefits to WAN technology yields the software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), which allows consumer-grade links (or links without assured performance) to be leveraged for business-class services. Through the use of common VPN capabilities and the separation of data and control planes within SDN, software-managed connections can be established and managed between multiple sites over any number of link types (e.g., fixed circuit, DSL, cable, mobile, MPLS, and so on) without the operational challenges of having to manage different links. SD-WANs easily establish links, manage traffic over links according to application or service requirements (e.g., VoIP vs. Facebook), and enforce policy control capabilities (e.g., limit web-based traffic to 50% of a given link), and they are simple to manage. SD-WAN options are part router, part WAN optimization, and part firewall. In addition, some SD-WAN offerings provide robust security, which makes for a compelling alternative to the multiple-appliance approach that is often required at remote locations.
Implementation of an SD-WAN can be a complex process, with multiple factors affecting the overall cost of deployment, maintenance, and upkeep. This report focuses on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) per Mbps. NSS’ cost analysis includes a three-year TCO, which is based on:
• Acquisition costs for an SD-WAN and a central management system (CMS)
• Fees paid to the vendor for annual maintenance, support, and signature updates
• Labor costs for installation, maintenance, and upkeep
The following products were evaluated:
• Barracuda Networks NextGen Firewall F-Series F80 v7.1.1
• Citrix Systems NetScaler SD-WAN v10.0.0.207
• Cradlepoint AER2200-600M v6.5.0
• FatPipe Networks MPVPN/SD-WAN v9.1.2
• Forcepoint NGFW 1101 vSMC 6.3.6, engine 188.8.131.5202
• Fortinet FortiGate 61E v6.0.1 GA Build 5068
• Talari Networks Adaptive Private Networking (APN) Software APN 7.1
• Versa Networks FlexVNF v120
• VMware NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud Edge
To learn how vendors performed, download a copy of each Test Report. NSS clients can also download the SD-WAN Comparative Reports on Value Matrix and Performance.
As with all NSS Labs group tests, there was no fee for participation. In addition, the test methodology applied is in the public domain to provide transparency and to help enterprises understand the results