SD-WAN in 2016 – The True Death of Distance ?

By Sanjay Uppal
VP and GM of VeloCloud by VMware
January 3, 2017


In 1997 a senior editor at the Economist, Frances Cairncross wrote a book titled ,”The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1997).”  alluding to the speed of technological change impacting consumers’ lives. In 2016 I believe we started seeing the death of distance for Enterprises, with the acceleration of SD-WAN adoption.

What an eventful year 2016 turned out to be! No, I am not talking about the political upheavals around the world or about Brexit, or that a sequel to the Big Lebowski was announced, eventful as they were. What I am talking about is the year that it was for VeloCloud and the SD-WAN space in general.

In my 2015 year end blog, I had said that the WAN market was ready for SD-WAN, and mentioned the role of the simple, powerful and yet affordable VeloCloud solution in sowing the seeds of market growth. Turns out the results are there.

VeloCloud has been building this from the ground up since 2012. Over 600 customers including 40 service providers, 50,000 plus sites are now in various stages of deployment, and the 2 largest SD-WAN wins in the world, bear testimony to VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN. Some of the most distributed Enterprises in the Retail, Construction, Manufacturing, Hospitality and Finance verticals are deploying VeloCloud. And top service providers including AT&T, Earthlink, MetTel, Mitel, Sprint, TelePacific Communications and Vonage SD-WAN solutions are VeloCloud Powered.  VeloCloud Powered Service Providers are taking a unique, differentiated and progressive approach to delivering SD-WAN through network integration in their MPLS backbone, multi-tenant orchestration, control and data along with ubiquitous extension of services and networking to the cloud.  Some of these service provider partners are offering 100% performance uptime even over Internet links, an SLA unheard of in the industry even over private MPLS links. What is even more powerful is that the lines between Service Provider, System Integrator and Cloud App Provider are blurring. For us SD-WAN is not about MPLS replacement, it is about a new way to network for all of these constituents.

The industry experts agree as well. Gartner VP Distinguished Analyst Joe Skorupa called it a few years ago, thanks Joe! And in March 2016, International Data Corporation (IDC) announced their estimate that global SD-WAN revenues will exceed $6 billion in 2020. Later in the year, Gartner made a prediction that by the end of 2019, 30% of enterprises will have deployed SD-WAN technology in their branches… up from less than 1% today (Andrew Lerner, Gartner Blog Network, December 15, 2015). That kind of rapid growth is unprecedented in networking.

When you think about it, clearly the change was coming, and the ROI compelling. The shift to the cloud is real. First it was computing, then applications followed by storage. Now, with VeloCloud, The Cloud is the Network™.  VeloCloud has been a SD-WAN pioneer. Of course, today everyone is claiming they have SD-WAN. But a label does not a SD-WAN make. A true SD-WAN ought to be architected for cloud & service provider deployments, deliver automation with simple, flexible deployments and virtual services delivery, and offer true multi tenancy. A true SD-WAN is not just a technology innovation but a business transformation…available as a service, to grow or shrink per the demands of an agile business.

In recognition of our product and business innovations, vision and market leadership, industry analysts and experts bestowed many prestigious awards to VeloCloud including Gartner “Cool Vendor in Enterprise Networking,” Frost & Sullivan’s Award for Product Leadership in SD-WAN, Best of VMworld 2016 in Networking & Virtualization, 2016 SDN Technology of the Year by MEF, IOPN Best Service or Solution Award at Mobile World Congress 2016, Cloud Computing Product of the Year Award and many more.

We are humbled by these recognitions but proud of our team, every member of which make VeloCloud the company it is.  Standing by me is my close friend for over 25 years, and co-founder Ajit Mayya. And Steve Woo, also friend and co-founder who I met when this adventure began.  The entire VeloCloud family is deserving of these accolades for their contribution, innovation, passion and devotion to customer success.

None of this would have been possible, of course, without YOU, our customers, channel partners, investors, technology ecosystem players, advisers and well-wishers. On behalf of our leadership and our team, I wish everyone a very happy and joyful, cloud delivered 2017!


Chris Watterston – Sticker Mule

To find out why this sticker by Chris Watterston captures the advantage of the cloud succinctly, see my follow on article here.

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