Cisco’s ThousandEyes acquisition ‘will differentiate its SD-WAN offer’

Cisco’s acquisition of Internet and cloud intelligence specialist ThousandEyes will help differentiate its SD-WAN offer in a crowded market, a leading analyst has claimed.

ThousandEyes, based in San Francisco and acquired for an undisclosed sum, offers deep visibility and insights into the digital delivery of applications and services over the Internet, providing IT managers with an end-to-end view. The acceleration of cloud and SaaS adoption, particularly given the added impetus of COVID-driven home working, has led in many cases to an unmanageable IT environment that can impact the user experience, not to mention a company’s brand reputation and revenue, Cisco has said.

“This is a very understandable acquisition,” said Shin Umeda, Vice President with analyst firm Dell’Oro Group. “Cisco, and all other networking vendors, are seeking to differentiate their capabilities. This acquisition plays well with Cisco’s SD-WAN offer as well as other parts of its portfolio, like analytics and cloud-oriented technologies.”

The ThousandEyes acquisition, added Umeda, will enable Cisco to go the next step with its SD-WAN, and not only enable connectivity at the level of the application, but to look over a whole mesh of connections to see where there might be bottlenecks.

“ThousandEyes technology will let Cisco see deeper into the network and make decisions, at a software level, about what is the optimal path,” he concluded. “This could make their SD-WAN offer even more compelling. Vendors are choosing many ways of differentiating their SD-WAN. Some have a big focus on security, integrating security functionality into their product – Versa and Fortinet for example. From the security side, we have recently seen Palo Alto acquire SD-WAN player CloudGenix to boost its SASE offer. VMware too have been acquiring.”

Dell’Oro Group has just published figures showing that the worldwide SD-WAN market continued to expand in the first quarter of 2020, but the 24 percent year over year growth rate was well below the 64 percent annual growth for 2019. It listed the top five vendors as Cisco, VMware, Silver Peak, Versa, and Fortinet which saw their combined revenue share climb above 60 percent in 1Q 2020.

“Demand for SD-WAN held up well in the first quarter, but supply chain disruptions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharper deceleration in vendor revenue growth,” said Umeda. “We still expect the SD-WAN market to grow by double-digits this year, but with so much macroeconomic uncertainty, strong performance won’t be a shoo-in for all vendors.”

NetEvents is running an online panel discussion on June 30 chaired by Scott Raynovich, Founder & Chief Technology Analyst at Futuriom, who will be releasing a new SD-WAN Growth Report later this month. In addition we will be featuring new ‘hot off the press’ SD-WAN research data presented by Shin Umeda, Vice President of Dell’Oro Group. The ensuing industry panel discussion will cover this new industry research and explore many of the themes aired in this story.

Article by Guy Matthews


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