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SD-WAN Roundup: CloudGenix, Windstream Add New Offerings as Security Vendors Thrive

Cisco sees a link between SD-WAN deployment and security revenue.

James Anderson

June 27, 2019

7 Min Read
SDN
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CloudGenix can now launch branch infrastructure for its customers through the cloud.

The new CloudBlades platform spins up SD-WAN, security, voice, multicloud access and other tools without requiring extra hardware or software. The product is available now and operates independently of the CloudGenix AppFabric SD-WAN platform.

Our latest SD-WAN column explores how the branch office is changing. We also delve into Windstream‘s latest partnership and discuss the relationship between SD-WAN and security.

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CloudGenix’s Kumar Ramachandran

The new CloudGenix offering attacks legacy “hardware blades” contained inside multifunction routers. CloudGenix CEO Kumar Ramachandran told Channel Partners that hardware blades force customers to rely on hardware refresh cycles and limit their ability to select new vendors.

“From the same vendor I buy my security; from the same vendor I buy my WAN; from the same vendor I buy my ‘collab,’ and usually that’s not best-of-breed. Integration is my responsibility as a customer,” Ramachandran said.

He said the channel partners serving the customers must labor through massive validated design guides that are too complex. Integrating security into the branch office, for example, requires a copious amount of manual work.

“We’ve seen that while the hardware-blades approach has dominated the industry, it definitely feels like it needs to give way,” he said.

The 20-plus CloudBlades include integrations for Palo Alto Networks, Slack, Amazon, Equinix, Microsoft and many others.

“If you’re a channel partner and you want to delivery multiple service capabilities to your customer ‒ you sold them SD-WAN, and now you want to deliver security ‒  you pretty much click a button, and Palo Alto is turned on for that customer,” Ramachandran said. “You can turn on RingCentral at the click of a button. You can enable multicloud access for them. You can enable ServiceNow for them at pretty much the click of a button.”

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BroadReach Communications’ Tom McKeown

Two CloudGenix partners praised the new offering. BroadReach Communications CEO Tom McKeown said his company increases its value by offering “best-of-breed” cloud services without complex hardware or software.

“CloudGenix CloudBlades provides us a great platform to offer not only SD-WAN, but also a range of best-of-breed WAN services to our customers,” McKeown said. “We can offer SD-WAN, security, collaboration, multicloud and monitoring to our customers as pre-integrated capabilities. At BroadReach we take a consultative approach to customers problems and we customize our solution recommendations.”

Bob Kingery helped found Three Tree Tech, a Portland, Oregon-based partner. He said CloudGenix stands alone in its effort to revolutionize branch infrastructure.

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Three Tree Tech’s Bob Kingery

“Our mission is to simplify the complex for our clients. The CloudGenix CloudBlades platform helps make that possible. With the platform, we can deliver best-of-breed infrastructure services from the cloud with no additional hardware or software. That’s a huge benefit as we help our clients through their digital transformation,” Kingery said.

CloudGenix announced the completion of a $65 million Series C funding round in April.

Windstream

We reported on Monday that Windstream Enterprise added Fortinet as a second SD-WAN partner.

Windstream has worked with VMware-owned VeloCloud since 2017 and boasts more than 1,800 contracted SD-WAN customers. Blaise Brady, a Windstream technology vertical strategist offering consultation for SD-WAN and security, said channel partners have won large customers in the retail, health care and financial industries.

Fortinet brings a different product to the table than VeloCloud, owing mainly Fortinet’s cybersecurity background. The FortiGate Secure SD-WAN solution includes a next-generation firewall.

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Windstream’s Blaise Brady

“We are enabling channel partners to accelerate their success and better solve for additional customer use cases. One example is security-conscious customers who are seeking an integrated NGFW (next-generation firewall) and SD-WAN on the same appliance,” Brady told Edward Gately. “Another example is customers who are seeking better network resiliency and service availability, but who are not willing to pay a premium for advanced SD-WAN features that impact the user’s quality of experience.”

The carrier aims to give partners choices.

“Being able to add the SD-WAN functionality to an already robust and leading security offering, easily accessed via an intuitive digital interface, is going to be a winning proposition,” Brady said. “Partners also like to …

… tailor solutions to customers’ specific needs, goals and preferences. Bringing to market more differentiated solutions allows partners to best serve their customers and further win their trust by designing the best possible solution, one customer at a time.”

Brady said Windstream offers both the Fortinet and VeloCloud SD-WAN solutions over-the-top and “fully extrapolated from the public or private underlay.” Windstream can also assist with managing the service.

Extreme-Aerohive

Extreme Networks collected an SD-WAN solution by buy announcing the acquisition of Aerohive Networks. Lynn Haber reported Wednesday that Extreme is buying Aerohive for approximately $272 million.

Aerohive launched an SD-WAN solution in December 2017. The platform combined with the company’s SD-LAN solution to reach retail, health care and other multisite customers.

“That’s something that Extreme did not really have before today,” an IDC analyst told Haber.

However, SD-WAN pales in comparison to the overall cloud-managed networking portfolio Aerohive brings to the table for Extreme. Extreme is adding approximately 20,000 net new customers, according to its chief marketing development and products operations officer.

Security Surge

SDxCentral reports that branch offices are leading to increased Cisco security revenue.

Gee Rittenhouse, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s security group, attributed the 21% revenue increase to the evolution of branch offices. Branch locations now require more than firewalls and web proxies for security.

“They now have direct internet access with their branches. They have direct internet access with their branches. They have mobile users and things like cloud and SaaS,” Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse added that SMB customers are asking for SD-WAN solution with built-in security.

Another security vendor is profiting from SD-WAN.

Netsurion announced Tuesday that it has deployed more than 2,500 edge devices. MSPs operate more than half of those devices. Check out the video interview we did with Netsurion last year.

“By focusing on branch businesses, along with IoT and in-vehicle environments, the company has benefited from strong demand for and rapid adoption of SD-WAN solutions specifically designed for these network environments as organizations look to efficiently power secure and agile networks, reduce cost and complexity, and increase scalability and security,” the company wrote in its news release.

Netsurion credited its partner program for driving growth.

We’re reading more and more about how managed service providers are capitalizing on SD-WAN. Bigleaf Networks last week announced a new program that’s specifically tailored to the MSP demographic.

Quick Hits

  • A Heavy Reading WAN survey commissioned by Comcast Business has been drawing eyeballs on our website. The study homed in on how channel partners feel about WAN services. One key takeaway is that although partners expect their SD-WAN revenue to increase mightily this year, they’re also predicting relatively steady growth for MPLS and Ethernet services. Take a look.

  • We ran a Q&A with Teridion about why it isn’t an SD-WAN vendor and why SD-WAN vendors need to utilize its services.

  • We published our previous SD-WAN Roundup 10 days ago. Our main subjects were Riverbed‘s partnership with Versa and Fortinet’s branch solution.

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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.

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