Interview with Michael Wood, VP of Marketing for VeloCloud
We haven’t spoken to VeloCloud before. Can you provide us with a brief overview of the company?
MW:VeloCloud is the Cloud-Delivered Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) company. We simplify branch WAN networking by automating deployments and improving performance over private, broadband internet and LTE links for increasingly distributed enterprises, including in cloud and virtual environments. VeloCloud was the winner of Best Startup of Interop 2015 award. We have received financing from investors including NEA, Venrock and The Fabric, and we are headquartered in Mountain View, CA.
Can you briefly describe to me your SD-WAN solution, and why it is important in a cloud and virtualized environment?
MW: VeloCloud’s Cloud Networking Services solution uniquely combines three elements to address the challenge of application performance and complexity in enterprise branch offices. They are software defined control, a multi tenant cloud network and virtual services delivery to provide an overlay Cloud Delivered SD-WAN solution. VeloCloud automates branch deployment and ongoing management, assures performance, quality and prioritization to cloud and enterprise applications and allows IT to roll out branch services virtually while providing analytics for intuitive troubleshooting. All this with convenient, easy to manage subscription model.
What are some of the trends and challenges today where an organization would need an SD-WAN, and especially one that is cloud delivered?
MW: There are three significant branch WAN challenges that enterprises are facing today. First, application rollouts are being inhibited by expensive bandwidth. Second, branch deployments are getting delayed by IT complexity, and third traditional WAN architectures cannot support the increasing migration of enterprise applications and services to the cloud and virtual environments.
Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology has received much attention, but was previously associated with the data center side of the network. Extending the principles of SDN and virtualization to enterprise WAN can be very beneficial to many enterprises. By abstracting many functions from hardware to software, SD-WAN can reduce the cost and complexity of branch networks, leverage multiple inexpensive circuits for increased bandwidth, and easily connect branches to applications which reside not in single datacenter but in many locations throughout the cloud.
Cloud Delivered SD-WAN is particularly attractive for enterprises that need reliable enterprise grade availability and performance of mission critical cloud applications, better visibility and of network performance and usage, and the ability to instantly add or remove virtualized services to their remote and temporary locations with a single click.
Aren’t there current solutions already available addressing these issues? What is different about your solution?
MW: SD-WAN has gained significant traction over the past couple of years and multiple vendors are offering or claim to offer SD-WAN solutions. VeloCloud’s solution is unique in that it is the only SD-WAN solution that is Cloud Delivered and delivers orchestration, control plane and data plane in the cloud to provide visibility, prioritization, application steering and quality of service in the cloud. VeloCloud also brings together 3 key elements of a Cloud Delivered SD-WAN – a cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to enterprise and cloud applications, software-defined control and automation, and virtual services delivery.
What are the key benefits of your SD-WAN solution?
MW: VeloCloud’s Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables fast, simple and secure enterprise branch wide area networks, with services such as:
- Enterprise-grade high bandwidth, reliability and performance with transport and provider flexibility.
- Elimination of datacenter backhaul penalties with a cloud-ready network delivering optimized, direct path to distributed private and cloud data centers and applications.
- Seamless insertion and chaining of virtualized services on premise and in the cloud that reduce the branch office footprint with a single click.
- Orchestration and visibility capabilities such as business policy framework, centralized provisioning, configuration, management, monitoring and analytics.
How does your solution enhance connectivity to virtual environments, SaaS apps, and cloud resources?
MW: Traditional WAN networks have been architected to optimize support for applications located in corporate headquarters or data centers. As more and more SaaS, storage and compute applications have moved to virtualized environments and the cloud, the traditional model breaks down since most cloud applications no longer reside in a single location. Also hair pinning connections to cloud applications through corporate data centers adversely impacts application performance at remote offices. This model is no longer tenable in a cloud centric world.
We address these challenges with an architecture that eliminates complexity and delivers flexibility, scalability and redundancy in an easy pay-as-you-go service model. VeloCloud’s SD-WAN provides branch and remote offices with a direct path to enterprise and cloud applications, as well as flexible datacenter connection options, all with the ability for zero-touch provisioning of access and services from the cloud.
With our Dynamic Multipath Optimization technology we leverage visibility, monitoring and metrics to and from the cloud and into each branch while applying application steering, network impairment remediation and quality of service prioritization. These services combined deliver the highest possible performance, quality and reliability for cloud applications, SaaS, cloud compute and cloud storage services into every enterprise branch office.
What is meant by “the cloud is the network”?
MW: Mission critical enterprise compute, storage, security and communications applications and services are migrating to the cloud and virtual environments. This is driving the need for an enterprise WAN that is agile, flexible, and scalable with proximity to where these applications exist, which at the same time delivers visibility, security, quality of service, prioritization, network impairment remediation and service insertion. In our case, we provide all of this by delivering an orchestration layer, control layer and data layer throughout the Internet in the cloud.
The VeloCloud solution is offered using a simple SaaS model which enables enterprises to activate new WAN services with the same ease they implement other cloud services. This new evolution in wide area networking which is delivered in the cloud explains why with VeloCloud, “the cloud is the network”.
Can you talk about the virtualized services delivered in your VeloCloud platform?
MW: We continue to expand our ecosystem of virtualized services that enable enterprises to easily turn on and off virtualized services both on premise inside the VeloCloud Edge appliance and in the VeloCloud cloud, all with one click. We have announced partnerships with Zscaler and Websense in the area of cloud security, and we also have partnerships with datacenters and exchanges such as Equinix and IIX Console for improving performance of enterprise applications and improving on factors such as latency and packet loss.
We have also demonstrated at Cisco Live 2015 the ability to run as a virtualized service on the Cisco IWAN routers (Integrated Services Routers).
What is a typical use case, around a virtualized or cloud environment?
MW: A few common enterprise use cases include: Unified Communications as a Service; Hybrid WAN branch office; Temporary and Remote Access; and Cloud Services Insertion.
Let’s look at Unified Communications (UC) as a Service as an example. It is well known that the Internet fails to deliver UC quality consistently. In fact, according to the VeloCloud Internet Quality Report (1H-2015) derived from 24 million records from 130 cities, the Internet fails to deliver business grade connectivity 18% of the time. This affects voice and video quality and can cause an over reliance on prohibitive MPLS circuits for UC applications.
However, the VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables the delivery of high quality voice and video over the Internet 99.4% of the time, including in the locations which are exhibiting significant network impairments. A combination of network traffic monitoring, dynamic application steering and on demand remediation mitigates network issues to assure performance of mission-critical real-time applications such as UC.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, our solutions makes it easy to insert virtual services such as firewall, VPN or WAN Optimization with a single click.
What can we expect to see from VeloCloud in the future?
MW: We are the pioneers in Cloud–Delivered SD-WAN and we are focused on making the Internet work better for both enterprises and service providers. VeloCloud is expanding its presence in new geographies, growing its channel partner network, and is increasing its cloud services ecosystem. We remain focused on delivering high performance SD-WAN solutions to enterprises and service providers, and in the future we will also address changes in WAN needs driven by mobility and the burgeoning Internet of Things.
It’s been great chatting with you today. Anything else you’d like to share about VeloCloud and these SD-WAN capabilities?
MW: VeloCloud is architected from the ground up as a cloud-delivered WAN solution (also available on-premise) which terminates, inspects and applies differentiated treatments to traffic in the data plane. The five differentiations of the VeloCloud solution are:
- A truly cloud-based solution which connects to applications worldwide located in private, public, SaaS and hybrid data centers .
- Embedded VeloCloud Dynamic Multipath Optimization (DMPO) delivering application steering, and on-demand mitigation: jitter buffering, forward error correction and full replication.
- A multi-tenant solution enabling enterprises, service providers and partners to take advantage of pay-as-you go and the economies of scale and cost reduction of a NaaS offering.
- Flexible CPE options: a VeloCloud x86-based enterprise appliance, a virtual VeloCloud Edge or a cloud hosted Edge.
- Service chaining of services within the VeloCloud Edge and within our distributed cloud or centralized enterprise service locations.