Fortinet's 21,000 SD-WAN customers top Cisco's numbers by 1,000

Fortinet took direct aim at Cisco by announcing on Wednesday that it now has 21,000 worldwide FortiGate Secure SD-WAN customers compared to Cisco's 20,000.

In a blog post last month, Cisco laid claim to having 20,000 SD-WAN customers across its Viptela and Meraki SD-WAN offerings. Fortinet also said it could support up to 100,000 sites, which is 10 times more than Silver Peak recently announced.

RELATED: Silver Peak scales global SD-WAN features at the edge for cloud-first enterprises

In IHS Markit's second quarter SD-WAN report, Fortinet took over the fourth spot in SD-WAN revenue by displacing Silver Peak while VMware/VeloCloud, Cisco/Viptela and Aryaka held down the top three spots.

RELATED: Chua: SD-WAN fruit punch — a market share galore

As AvidThink founder and principal Roy Chua pointed out in a FierceTelecom story, it's not an apples to apples comparison by research groups when it comes to ranking the top SD-WAN vendors. But by almost any measure, Fortinet has enjoyed a big year in 2019.

Security has been the biggest trend among SD-WAN vendors and service providers this year. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, such as Office 365, have driven enterprises' workloads and storage into the cloud, but organizations want to make sure that all of their data is safe wherever they're accessed from.

While Fortinet initially made its mark as a security vendor that worked with pure-play SD-WAN companies, last year it started offering its own flavor of SD-WAN backed by its security portfolio. That decision has made Fortinet both a friend of the SD-WAN companies that it partners with, and an enemy as it works to win its own SD-WAN business.

As a next generation firewall vendor, Fortinet is well positioned to address SD-WAN security concerns by businesses as it has already established its security chops.   

RELATED: Comcast Business beefs up cybersecurity with Fortinet and Akamai

Fortinet has announced customer wins this year with Comcast Business, Windstream Enterprise and Telenor Sweden, among others.