Right Place, Right Time

By Michael Wood
Vice President of Marketing, VeloCloud
June 18, 2015

I had the good fortune of attending Cisco Live last week. VeloCloud SD-WAN cloud networking technology works nicely with the Cisco IWAN (Intelligent WAN) solution. The reason we were invited to Cisco Live was to demonstrate what our cloud-delivered SD-WAN technology could do.

Turns out VeloCloud makes Cisco IWAN an even more powerful solution by creating significant bandwidth across one or more links. A single link gets noticeable improvement and with two or more links you start to get exponential improvement in bandwidth and quality. In fact, the VeloCloud Edge software ran as a virtual instance on the router itself and could eventually run in a container inside the router, too.

We ran Cisco UC (Unified Communications) and video conferencing across both our network and what I call the “naked” Internet, a.k.a. public broadband. The VeloCloud SD-WAN was able to mitigate the standard packet loss that causes choppiness and delayed responses which creates an unwelcome mosaic of colors and interference during video conferencing. No matter, we showed consistent high quality significantly improving Cisco UC over the Internet, especially in the last mile.

This is not an easy problem to solve because it’s difficult to impact quality of service over the Internet and along the last mile. There is very little chance of having control on each end of the link or in the middle of the connection. With VeloCloud, you get packet control both in the branch office and in the cloud, which makes for assuring consistent high quality.

Without sounding like a braggart, I must say many at Cisco Live were impressed. In fact, the biggest issue we faced all day was the skepticism in what people saw we could do to improve bandwidth quality. They just didn’t believe it.

There were some big North American carriers there too. Carriers and others like them are sometimes hesitant to rely on the Internet for Enterprise class services. In the past, this has been for good reason because they have little, or no control over the Internet from end to end. So needless to say they had a lot of questions.

They were very happy to learn that you can “Expand Your WAN.” This was great news after all the investments Service Providers and Enterprises have made over many years in their networks (capital, resources, time, competitive differentiation, operational expenses, etc.). They are thrilled to learn that there is an easy way to expand an existing WAN and not have to rip and replace to compete in this new bandwidth hungry era. Plus they can expand at their own pace, as they need. I call this phased migration strategy “go as you grow”.

Despite their hesitance these carriers recognize they need to capture new business rather than lose that business to over-the-top players; those who will find ways to go around them. But up until our SD-WAN technology came along they were faced with having to invest in their infrastructure with no guarantee of how quickly they could re-coup their costs. It’s CapEx (capital expense) vs. with cloud-delivered SD-WAN, an OpEx (operating expense). This makes the possibility of truly capturing this new wide area network business model a reality.

I also talked to customers who are planning to move to an “internet only” model. One was a healthcare company that was excited to learn we could affordably put an overlay network between them and a recently acquired company of theirs. Suddenly they could have one virtual network. That was huge. One customer explained that they realized they could take about one month of their existing WAN expenses and get a whole year of VeloCloud spend out of it.

Right-Place-2Why am I telling you all this? I didn’t realize going in how many people understood that cloud-delivered SD-WAN technology was incredibly beneficial to their business. Generally with start-ups, much of the work at the beginning is educating people as to why they care, and how they can use the new “whiz, bang” technology for [fill in the application].

At Cisco Live last week most of the folks I talked to said, “Wow I had no idea this was even possible. Our company could really use this.” And they were very happy to learn that VeloCloud had just published a special edition of the book Software-Defined WAN For Dummies because it would help them have a better understanding of SD-WAN technology.

I walked away realizing that VeloCloud is in the right place at the right time.


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