GigaOm Radar for Cloud Networkingv3.0

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Deployment Types
  3. Decision Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Solution Insights
  6. Analyst’s Outlook
  7. About Andrew Green

1. Executive Summary

Cloud networking software enables data transmission within and between clouds by deploying and orchestrating virtual networking functions. Cloud networking is entirely software driven, with each virtual function playing a role in defining how various cloud entities communicate at a logical level, and enables connectivity among different data centers and cloud providers.

Cloud networking solutions use the native networking capabilities from each cloud provider, orchestrating them from a central management solution. Additionally, cloud networking vendors can provide specialized functions such as gateways, exchange points, or routers with more features compared to the native counterparts offered by the cloud providers.

With these capabilities, cloud networking vendors address everyday networking-specific challenges—such as network design, deployment, management, and security—but with a cloud twist. Network segmentation now must span multiple distributed environments, monitoring and observability tools will have larger and more complex networks to understand, optimization should include cloud-to-cloud intelligence, and even routing brings in new networking functions such as transit gateways.

The best way to address these challenges is to abstract all networking constructs and present them in a single orchestration solution that can handle multiple types of infrastructure and provisioning of networking instances with minimal configuration. This consolidated view changes the cloud networking experience from an overwhelming problem to a much more casual activity. Connecting another public cloud environment should feel like just another instance to connect rather than a whole architecture overhaul.

At this higher level of abstraction, service-to-service connectivity and content-aware traffic processing are two of the most important use cases that cloud networking solutions must address. Rather than having the networks team handle constructs at Layers 3 and 4, a cloud networking solution can automatically provision Layer 3 and 4 instances, allowing the DevOps teams to work exclusively at Layer 7 and focus on content-aware, service-to-service connectivity.

With this type of capability at the development teams’ fingertips, applications are no longer bound to a single region or provider, and use cases can expand to multicloud, hybrid cloud, and edge locations. Cloud networking also reduces the amount of vendor-specific knowledge required to interconnect environments by offering a unified and consistent management interface. Rather than adopting an unsophisticated “connecting multiple environments” approach, we can reframe cloud networking as one of the core enablers of developing and maintaining cutting-edge applications using all the available types of infrastructure.

This is our third year evaluating the cloud networking space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Radar report examines 13 of the top cloud networking solutions and compares offerings against the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) outlined in the companion Key Criteria report. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading cloud networking offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.

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