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SD-WAN Roundup: Aryaka Chimes In on VeloCloud Acquisition

But VeloCloud begs to differ.

James Anderson

November 22, 2017

5 Min Read
SDN

Everyone in the software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) market seems to have a strong opinion on VMware’s acquisition of VeloCloud.

The latest report by IHS Markit declared that the SD-WAN industry is now a “two-horse race” between VMware and Cisco after their respective acquisitions of VeloCloud and Viptela. Frost & Sullivan says VeloCloud has the largest market share with 29.5 percent, while Cisco-Viptela is at 14.4 percent, followed by Silver Peak at 12.7 percent and Citrix at 10.1 percent.

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Aryaka’s Gary Sevounts

But rival provider Aryaka Networks projects a dreary outlook for VeloCloud’s future.

“If history is the judge, what’s going to happen is these companies will de-focus. The razor edge focus that VeloCloud and Viptela had is going to go away because it’s going to become just one of the companies that VMware has,” said Gary Sevounts, Aryaka’s chief marketing officer.

Sevounts tells Channel Partners that VMware sees VeloCloud as an opportunity to continue its virtualization strategy. Sevounts says VMware began by virtualizing servers an claimed dominance in that market. But now Microsoft, open source virtualization and container-based virtualization are challenging VMware’s market share.

“They’re looking for areas to expand and one of the natural areas in their ‘virtualize-everyting’ strategy is virtualizing the edge, virtualizing the branch office. They had some presence but not really in that area,” Sevounts said. “Their marriage with VeloCloud looks very natural. That will help them establish some headway in virtualizing the branch, virutalizing the edge of the enterprise. From that perspective, it’s a very good, strategic move.”

But Sevounts points out three reasons why the acquisition is not as simple as Cisco’s purchase of Viptela. He says that while Cisco and Viptela were both hardware companies, VMware and VeloCloud come from different backgrounds.

“The other one is that VMware is neither hardware company nor SaaS company, and VeloCloud is a hardware company, and to a degree a cloud [company] too. It will be interesting to see the whole integration,” he said.

Sevounts says that many potential customers are already Microsoft shops and will prove challenging for VMware to virtualize. He also says that VeloCloud will help virtualize the edge but not the entire WAN.

“They have to rely on telcos, which don’t have the technology either. They just provide part of the technology. They don’t have the full gamut, and it just solves part of the problem. Strategically, directionally, it sounds really interesting, but there’s some execution pitfalls and strategically some headwinds coming up,” he said.

Silver Peak said earlier this month that it was excited to see another pure-play vendor join a larger company, but Sevounts says he has a neutral perspective as far as the acquisition affects Aryaka. He says his company differs from companies like Velocloud, Viptela and Silver Peak that need the Internet in order to get cloud connectivity and tend to serve only regional businesses. Aryaka, according to Sevounts, can scale better due to its position as an SD-WAN-as-a-service provider.

Sevounts made several predictions for SD-WAN in 2018:

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  • More large enterprises will use SD-WAN to replace MPLS and improve application performance.

  • Less enterprises will try to do SD-WAN on their own and instead move to an “as-a-service” model.

  • The industry will make an even bigger point of security, bringing on more specialized security partners.

  • The market will consolidate further.

VeloCloud

VeloCloud is putting forward a cheery outlook as the technology media and rival providers offer both positive and negative reviews of the blockbuster acquisition. Mike Wood, VeloCloud’s vice president of marketing, tells Channel Partners that his company has been rolling along since the purchase was announced. VeloCloud has more than 1,000 customers and 50,000 sites and recently exceeded 60 service providers.

Wood says the marriage with VMware will accelerate growth and the ability to scale.

“My belief is that they’re going to get us to much higher targets more quickly than we would have been able to do without them, and that’s going to include resources, financial investment, partner support and partner community, and then also access to tens of thousands of customers that maybe we haven’t tat type of relationship with in the past,” he said.

Talari

The big news this week in the SD-WAN market was Talari Networks announcing a new CEO and a new business model. Patrick Sweeney is the company’s newest leader, following a 16-year stint with SonicWALL. Sweeney says he aims to make Talari 100-percent channel-oriented, a strategy he believes is a major key to organic growth.

Sweeney noted that many competitors in the SD-WAN market are feeling more and more pressure to consolidate, as a company’s amount of customers is proving more and more vital.

“I think that the market’s growing fast enough to be able to support several companies that can grow organically or a number of companies that can be acquired,” Sweeney said. “There’s probably not more than four companies that could be solid enough today with a solid enough product that could just choose to remain organic. One of those companies is Talari.”

Sweeney spoke to Channel Partners earlier this week about Talari and the SD-WAN market in an in-depth Q&A.

Quick Hits:

  • Read about IHS Markit’s report on the leaders in the SD-WAN industry.

  • The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) chose CenturyLink for its first SD-WAN award. CenturyLink earned honors for best managed SD-WAN service. The 14 judges included analysts from Frost & Sullivan, IHS Market, Ovum and Vertical Systems. Read CenturyLink’s announcement.

  • Ecessa tapped a new vice president of sales. Colm Armstrong says he plans to build his sales team as well as educate partners about SD-WAN. Read Edward Gately’s story on Armstrong.

  • BCM One added Fat Pipe Networks to its SD-WAN bundle. The companies signed a partnership, and Fat Pipe’s SD-WAN offering is going into BCM One’s managed services offering. Read BCM One’s announcement.

If you missed last week’s SD-WAN column, read it now to learn more about SimpleWAN and what it thinks about industry M&A.

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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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