VMware’s acquisition of Velocloud is second recent investment into SD WAN technology

Continuing on from Cisco acquisition of Viptela a few months ago, VMware has made a move into the SD-WAN market by purchasing one of the most successful new entrant platform vendors in this space. Details of the deal remain under wraps but this has a number of implications for the market as Velocloud have been signing a number of major carriers and Service Providers to sell their SD-WAN service and will enable VMware to continue to compete against Cisco in their network transformation division.

Velocloud’s CEO announced “Enterprises are transforming how they architect and utilize their infrastructure, with a shift towards a cloud-delivered, software-defined model. This enables organisations to have a globally consistent infrastructure regardless of where it is deployed – from the data centre and the cloud to the edge. We look forward to helping VMware, the leader in software-defined infrastructure, in the next evolution of the company’s networking and NFV strategies.

Cavell is actively monitoring how engaged  Cloud Communications Service Providers are in rolling out SD-WAN.   So far the approaches are varied,  Vonage for example was an early adopter of Velocloud, 8X8 is partnering with Aryaka.  At Broadsoft Connections,  Edgewater networks announced an SD-WAN solution optimized for Broadsoft environments.  

Agile cloud based providers, such as existing Cloud Communication SPs or new breed service providers like Aryaka will likely be able to offer and realise the benefits of SD-WAN more quickly than larger incumbent providers. Cavell believes the next few years of the SD-WAN market could look similar to the early Cloud Communications market where  companies with Cloud in their DNA will be the ones driving this market forward.

Despite numerous service announcements, Incumbent providers may take longer to shape the market, as they look to protect their sizable MPLS revenue stream. In Cloud Communications a similar dynamic played out as incumbent operators tried to protect their ISDN/fixed line revenues.  Cloud centric providers have been able to migrate the incumbents customers to their solutions and have dominated the growth in the mid market.

As always Large Enterprise and Multinationals are a different case all together, both as to which platform vendors will be selected and in service provider influence.   In these early stages of the market many of the initial adopters for which we are providing transformation services are taking a DYI approach (bring your own carrier) or imposing a vendor solution on an existing managed service contract.