VeloCloud Advances Software Defined WAN Vision

The public Internet might not be business-grade, but SD-WAN can improve it.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Feb 11, 2015
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WAN links have historically been physically limited by the bandwidth that a service provider delivers. Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), which is being enabled by VeloCloud, promises to help provide an improved approach to WAN connectivity to applications and the cloud.

Sanjay Uppal, CEO and co-founder of VeloCloud, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the piece of the WAN that his company deals with is all about branch infrastructure and how enterprise branches connect together and to applications.

"We came up with a new architecture for going after the WAN for enterprises, and we call it the cloud delivered SD-WAN," Uppal said. "We're adopting a software defined architecture and moving services into the cloud."

There are multiple core components to the VeloCloud solution. The first is that the service is actually run from the cloud. Within the SD-WAN, VeloCloud has come up with a mechanism for how an organization can use the Internet as a WAN.

In Uppal's view, for many enterprises a typical DSL network link is not good enough to run an enterprise application. While WAN optimization solutions have existed for enterprises for many years, Uppal emphasized that VeloCloud aims to solve a different problem.

"Lots of branch offices have WAN optimization, but it seems to be a business that is declining," Uppal said. "The reason why is because the traffic shifting."

WAN optimization technologies are solving the problem of data going from a branch to a data center. In many cases, the line connecting the branch to the data center is a private, reliable line.

"The problem we're trying to solve is you might have the private line, but it simply doesn't have enough bandwidth," Uppal said.

Steve Woo, VP of Products and co-founder of VeloCloud, explained that increased bandwidth comes from the public Internet, where the problem VeloCloud offers to solve is reliability for issues such as packet loss, latency and jitter.

From a deployment perspective, in the branch office the VeloCloud technology runs on a standard x86 server. VeloCloud has a thin edge device, which is an x86 server appliance.

"The purpose of the appliance is to understand the applications that are running in the branch and to measure the quality of the WAN link, then steer the applications to the right links, on a per packet basis," Uppal explained. "The rest of the intelligence runs in the cloud."

That cloud intelligence runs at different point of presence, including Amazon, Microsoft Azure, IBM Softlayer or other locations.

VeloCloud is now providing a new service insertion capability that was officially announced this week. Woo explained that previously, VeloCloud automatically recognized applications and users could assign priority.

"What's new is we're adding one click insertion for services that could be anyone in the cloud or even backhauled in the enterprise," Woo said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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