If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ve probably learned a lot about SD-WAN generally and VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud specifically. You have been following along, right?
If not, don’t fret, with the magic of the Internet you can travel back in time and catch up!
- A Brave New WAN; An SD-WAN covered the history that has led us to a world where SD-WAN is needed, as well as diving into some of the most common technical use cases for SD-WAN.
- VeloCloud; Not Your Daddy’s WAN looked at exactly how VMware is meeting the evolving requirements for a corporate WAN by exploring the components, features, and benefits it provides.
- A SASE WAN spun the perspective a bit and viewed the world of SD-WAN through a new, more security-centric viewpoint, and specifically how VeloCloud ranks against each of the five core characteristics of a SASE (read: Sassy) WAN.
- Networking On The Edge took yet another cut, this time checking out SD-WAN from VMware’s more expansive perch, taking in all of the edge, with a focus on that network edge of course.
So, you might think I have nothing left to say about SD-WAN or VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, but you’d be wrong!
In fact, I may have left the best for last. Why don’t you be the judge? Read on and then leave a comment below.
Just about everyone who’s worked in IT for more than a few years has heard of the research firm Gartner. And if you’ve heard of Gartner, you’ve probably seen one of their Magic Quadrant diagrams (and maybe even read a whole MQ report). But I’m guessing that not all of you know that they also publish a companion report that they call Critical Capabilities.
So, since I mentioned in a previous post that VMware lands in the far upper right box of the WAN Edge Infrastructure Magic Quadrant, it seems worthwhile to dig into the companion to that report and see what’s what in the Critical Capabilities Report for WAN Edge Infrastructure. After all, according to Gartner: “Infrastructure and operations leaders responsible for networking are evaluating WAN edge solutions to address expanding business requirements to connect to on-premises and cloud-based workloads. They should use this research to identify vendors that best fit their specific use cases.”
As we’ve discussed in the posts above, the WAN landscape is shifting. This is primarily due to the widespread adoption of internet reachable cloud services, which makes traditional hub and spoke private WANs suboptimal. But how fast is this happening?
Here are a couple of interesting projections from the report:
- Within the next 5 years, most (60%) enterprises will have implemented an SD-WAN solution.
- Internet-only WAN connectivity will grow from 10% of enterprise locations to 30% in the next 3-4 years.
Some of the observations that Gartner highlighted in the Critical Capabilities for WAN Edge Infrastructure report include:
- There are now more than 70 vendors crowding the SD-WAN market.
- The WAN edge market is expanding beyond basic SD-WAN functionality to include more features focused on security and application performance and visibility.
- The centralized control tenant of SDN is making SD-WAN agile, scalable, and easy to use.
- Deployment models are proliferating, including different physical and virtual form factors.
What do the Gartner WAN edge analysts think you should do to ensure your WAN keeps up with all of the changes happening on, in, and around it? Here are a few of their recommendations:
- Focus on SD-WAN functionality when updating your network infrastructure.
- Application performance and security are key differentiators among SD-WAN solutions.
- Do use multiple circuits to increase performance, reliability, agility, and efficiency.
- Don’t forget that you can leverage the cloud to increase flexibility in your WAN.
Critical to your WAN
Okay, great, but how do we take advantage of those trends and act on those recommendations? If you guessed “deploy VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud”, then you deserve a gold star. But let’s dig a little deeper into this report to ensure that’s an objective response.
First off, what are these ‘critical capabilities’ that this report is all about? To get the full run-down you’ll need to download the report, but for easy reference here’s the list:
- SD-WAN Features (all those things we talked about in A Brave New WAN; An SD-WAN
- Security (you know what this is, and we covered it in A SASE WAN)
- Application Performance (includes WAN optimization but also QoS and anything that improves QoE)
- Operational Features (everything that makes it easier to operate your unified WAN platform)
- Deployment Flexibility (does the vendor provide the physical/virtual form factors and NFV functionality you need)
- Small Platform Flexibility (this one is specific to scaling down to meet specific use cases)
- Scalability (can the solution handle the number of sites and architectural complexity of your WAN)
As you know, the importance and specifics of each of those capabilities will vary based on your specific use case. Gartner’s report does not miss this reality. In response, they evaluate and rank vendors against four distinct use cases:
- Small/Midsize Enterprise/Regional WAN – A location-constrained WAN with less than 50 sites
- Large Global WAN – An intercontinental WAN with over 200 sites
- Small Footprint Retail WAN – A WAN with lots (hundreds to thousands) of small and similar sites
- Security-Sensitive WAN – A WAN where security trumps network, operational, and all other capabilities
So, is VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud critical to your WAN? The odds are high.
Out of those 70+ vendors Gartner found with viable WAN edge technology solutions, they only included 19 in this report, based on fairly strict inclusion criteria (which you can review in the report). And of those rarified technology solution providers in the SD-WAN space, VeloCloud ranked #1 in 3 out of 4 use cases!
- Regional WAN: Tied for number 1.
- Global WAN: Number 1.
- Large-scale retail WAN: Number 1.
- Security-sensitive WAN: Number 7.
Pretty astounding results! In fact, Gartner ends their summary of VMware by saying:
“VMware should be considered by enterprises of all sizes, verticals, and geographies for SD-WAN solutions.”
- VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud: Critical to Your WAN - April 30, 2020
- Networking on The Edge - April 22, 2020
- A SASE WAN - April 16, 2020
- VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud: Not your Daddy’s WAN - April 14, 2020
- A Brave New WAN; An SD-WAN - March 19, 2020
- SDN by NSX: Your Key to Visibility and Control - November 7, 2019
- NSX Cloud: The Power of Combining Policy and Availability - November 6, 2019
- The Power of Policy Made Simple with NSX Manager - October 29, 2019
- Future:NET 2019 – A Conversation with the Wizards of Networking - September 12, 2019