The WAN Optimization market continues to mature as companies continue to search for ways to increase response times to mission critical applications between their data centers and remote sites. Having done some research for a customer on WAN Optimization Controllers, I stumbled across Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WOCs. Here is a summary of my findings. Hoping they could help others along the way.
What is a WAN Optimization Controller? (WOC)
A WAN Optimization Controller is a piece of equipment located at a customer premise. A WOC can either be an appliance or virtual appliance. If the WOC is an appliance or virtual appliance, then it is typically connected to the LAN side of the WAN routers. The WOC can also be software integrated with client devices such as servers and or routers.
What is the function of the WAN Optimization Controller (WOC)
Deployed symmetrically in data centers, the goal of a WOC is to improve application performance when accessed through a WAN. The WOC can address application performance problems caused by bandwidth and latency issues. The primary objective and function of the WOC is to improve response times of business critical applications over WAN links. WOC deployment can also avoid the need for costly bandwidth upgrades.
Published May 1, 2013, 14 vendors have been listed on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WOCs. Riverbed has slowly, but steadily made its way to the top of the leader board setting themselves aside from the rest of the pack. Here is the list and some important facts to consider.
The chart above is from theÂ Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers for 2013 from Gartner.
Rather than go into many details about each company featured in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, I figured I would provide some summarized points about some of the featured vendors which made my shortlist and caught my attention. Please note, that although I did not provide some facts or details about some of the vendors, it does not mean I do not recommend them. They simply did not make my short list.
Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization ControllersÂ Leaders
Official website:Â www.riverbed.com
Riverbed continues to innovate and offers the broadest set of capabilities in the industry. The acquisition of Opnet Technologies, integration with VMware VCenter & VCloud Director and their go to market partnership with Juniper Networks are only a few of the reasons Riverbed is winning this race.Â In my opinion Riverbed should be on all enterprise short lists for the near future if considering a WOC solution
Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers Challengers
Official website: http://www.cisco.com/Â
As Riverbed stands alone in the â€œLeaderâ€ space, Cisco stands as the sole â€œChallengerâ€ according to Gartner. Cisco has a broad portfolio of WOC offerings (physical and virtual appliances, router-based service modules and limited-function embedded router software). Cisco has made its Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) family easier to deploy and manage
Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers Visionaries
Official website:Â http://www.silver-peak.com/
Silver Peak’s WOC capabilities are delivered through the vendor’s physical NX appliances and VX/VRX virtual appliances.
Blue Coat Systems
Official Website:Â http://www.bluecoat.com/
Official Website:Â http://www.citrix.com/
Citrix’s WOC product range comprises the Branch Repeater/CloudBridge and Branch Repeater with Windows Server appliances for branch offices, Repeater/CloudBridge appliances for data centers and larger sites, and the Citrix Repeater Plug-in SoftWOC client.
Official Website:Â http://www.exinda.com/
Official Website:Â http://www.aryaka.com/
Official Website:Â http://www.ipanematech.com/
Official Website:Â http://www.virtela.net/
Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers Niche
Official Website:Â http://www.f5.com/
F5’s WOC features are available under the vendor’s Traffic Management Operating System (TMOS) architecture supported on its BIG-IP platforms via the BIG-IP’s WAN Optimization Manager module, or as stand-alone appliances or as a virtual edition.
Official Website:Â http://www.circadence.com/
Circadence has developed extensive capabilities to optimize mobile traffic (3G and 4G) that depends on a novel approach using a proprietary protocol between devices to reduce loss, manage QoS and improve link utilization. Consider Circadence when mobility plays a critical role in your business and when support for a broad array of client devices is required. Also evaluate Circadence for branch-to-data-center optimization, especially when link quality is problematic.
Official Website:Â http://www.arraynetworks.com/
Official Website:Â http://www.sangfor.com/
Official Website:Â http://www.fatpipeinc.com/