Gartner needs no introduction to anyone in the IT world. They are the objective reference source for both existing and emerging technology. Gartner is the tech world’s Oxford English Dictionary, Consumer Reports, and Farmer’s Almanac all rolled into one. It could be argued that an IT trend isn’t real until Gartner reports on it. Gartner’s Magic Quadrants are the Who’s Who of IT market segments.
In this, their first WAN Edge Magic Quadrant, Gartner predicts that by 2023 90% of all WAN Edge replacements will be based on virtual appliances (vCPE) or SD-WAN rather than traditional routers. To simplify, Edge technology is a device or system that creates the virtual or physical boundaries of a network. Traditionally those have been hardware; your data center was the edge of your network. The data center was where your business network started and from there connected to other networks beyond it, including the Internet. As more businesses are eliminating in-house data centers the Edge of the network has become a virtual rather than physical device.
Peplink Makes the Cut
The WAN Edge marketplace, once dominated by the giants like VMware and Cisco, has become a larger sector with several providers at many levels. This first Gardner Magic Quadrant signifies that what started as a trend is now the direction. Peplink’s inclusion in this first Magic Quadrant cannot be overlooked. Peplink has met many required inclusion factors: a significant number of customer installations, a long list of basic and advanced product capabilities, financial performance, and commercial support. Many larger companies did not make the cut, including HP’s Aruba.
Gartner noted that in North America more than 60% of WAN Edge installations are DIY, as opposed to a managed service approach. They predict that of the 90% of businesses replacing traditional data centers, more than half will want a solution they control and manage rather than a vendor controlled package. This could be one of the reasons Peplink has a place in this report. Many Peplink adopters note the ease of both initial set-up and continued management as an early positive in the Peplink experience. Peplink’s ease of installation and user accessible features are ideal for the North American market.
Peplink Leading in Cellular Connections
The report also identified some unique advantages Peplink brings to WAN Edge installations. Peplink was the only company listed that was specifically noted as “optimized for applications where bandwidth is limited.” Gartner recognized Peplink’s expertise and ease in integrating cellular connections, noting “Peplink has a rich set of WAN management and troubleshooting capabilities, particularly relating to wireless issues.”
The report further noted “Peplink can support a large number of links in its platforms and can bond multiple links (wired and wireless) into a single logical link to deliver high-bandwidth connections where others cannot.” Gartner cited one of Peplink’s direct competitor’s lack of T1/M1 interfaces and WAN optimization as a weakness, and noted that the competitor does not offer a Virtual Appliance like Peplink’s FusionHub. Peplink integrates all types of connection, from T1, DSL, and Cable to Satellite and Cellular, which sets it apart from others in the segment. The FusionHub virtual appliance means Peplink’s SpeedFusion bonding, failover, and WAN smoothing technology can be installed inside any cloud architecture without physical hardware.
SD-WAN as a Cost-Saving Measure
In the Market Forecast section Gartner notes: “Many Gartner clients hope to fund their WAN expansion/update by replacing or augmenting expensive MPLS connections with internet-based VPNs, often from alternate providers.” Peplink’s unique ability to integrate all connections has made it a leader for MPLS replacement. Frontier partners using Peplink have built many large MPLS replacements saving customers significant IT dollars and reducing the connection failure risks associated with a single provider. As wireless connections increase and become faster, Peplink is the primary company with experience integrating cellular to supplement or replace wired connections. Gartner cautions, “However, suitability of internet connections varies widely by geography, and service providers.” They warn that as the number of connections and providers increase, so does the complexity. SD-WAN, as provided by Peplink, “has dramatically simplified” integration of multiple sources into one stable connection. At several places in the report, Gartner notes the problems with limited Internet access when adopting WAN Edge deployments, an issue Peplink solved many years ago.
Peplink has been a leader in SD-WAN technology, and as Gartner predicted, 90% of WAN Edge installs will be vCPE or SD-WAN, not traditional routers. Using SD-WAN technology, businesses are freed from the legacy suppliers of enterprise routing. Gartner reports, “The emergence of SD-WAN has demonstrated that routing has been democratized and that many vendors are as good, or perhaps even better, at branch office routing than the incumbents.”
Other than recognition, there is nothing earth shattering in the Gartner Magic Quadrant report, but it is a solid, authoritative acknowledgement of Peplink’s importance in the SD-WAN/WAN Edge segment. It will come as no surprise to the thousands of installed users that Peplink is alone in its ability to use all connections in creating a virtual Edge network, and that Peplink is a leader in wireless connectivity even where bandwidth is limited.
Frontier is the World’s Largest Peplink Distributor with more than 600 partner integrators in North America, Europe, and Africa.