But they had differing opinions on MPLS.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

February 14, 2018

4 Min Read
SD-WAN panel
SD-WAN panel

Is plugging in an SD-WAN box sufficient in an age of rapidly evolving technology?

Chris Werpy, senior vice president of solutions and services for Masergy, says no. Werpy told an audience of partners at last week’s Bridgepointe Technologies event in San Francisco that customers will benefit most from an as-a-service offering because of how quickly SD-WAN is changing.


Masergy’s Chris Werpy

“The rate at which these technologies are changing is so fast that doing it in a way which takes advantage of a managed service, de-leverages that risk to a customer because they’re not locked in,” Werpy said.

He says it is best for customers to rely on updates and patches, not the arrival of equipment.

“[The compute stack] phones home, gets its configuration on whatever access methodology it is. Whether it’s private or it’s public doesn’t matter. Need a routing image — download it. Need a firewall image — download. Need SD-WAN services — download it,” he said. “That’s where the world’s going, so the as-a-service component is really on the service providers to create that catalog of services at its core, so you can deliver those at the speed of software, not at the speed of hardware.”

Masergy partners with Silver Peak. Werpy was speaking on an SD-WAN panel alongside representatives from Telstra, Tata Communications and Cato Networks.


Tata’s Sushil Naladawe

Sushil Naladawe, global head of SD-WAN product incubation for Tata Communications, says the SD-WAN itself is “not a magic bullet.” Rather, the onus lies with the service provider to offer a complete solution.

“It’s not about any specific SD-WAN box or platform,” Naladawe said. “It’s about the managed service. And we are responsible for taking that road map with proven partners we have chosen.”

Rick Huffman is a data center and cloud specialist with Telstra, which partners with VeloCloud and soon Viptela. He agreed with Werpy that the managed-services conversation is the most important aspect of selling SD-WAN.


Telstra’s Rick Huffman

“I think we get a little lost on the technology and we lose a little bit of the service delivery of those things, and we’re driving a conversation around cost, rather than, what is the outcome for the customer?” he said. “For us, we’re looking at integrating solutions from different technology partners, but wrapping it into a service delivery in different formats.”

Huffman argued that the future of networking is hybrid. This means that MPLS will remain in certain aspects of business, and therefore, his company’s aim is to integrate solutions with it.

The panelists from Tata and Masergy primarily agreed that the best SD-WAN solutions will integrate with MPLS in some respect.

Shawn McCarthy, Cato’s director of sales engineering for the Americas, differed significantly on SD-WAN. He agreed that MPLS is a present reality for most customers but said that it is on a timeline to fade out.

“MPLS, I think, will go away. It won’t …

… be today; it won’t be tomorrow. It may not even be in five years, but I think it will be going away as we move more toward a distributed environment with being cloud being very heavy, and also mobility,” McCarthy said. “MPLS is not going away because it’s low quality. It’s high quality, but it doesn’t fit the way we’re doing business today and in the future. That being, said SD-WAN grows out of that cloud disruption.”

His CEO, Shlomo Kramer, made the same point in our recent SD-WAN column. Vendors and service providers express varying opinions on the future of MPLS. Many up-and-coming vendors like Aryaka and Cato have pronounced the “death of MPLS,” while companies like Ecessa are popular for their ability to integrate with MPLS.


Cato’s Shawn McCarthy


For more information on the Bridgepointe Technologies event, read our event recap and our write-up of the UCaaS panel that occurred on the same day.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like