Startup VeloCloud this week debuted a cloud-based WAN offering for branch office networks that could shake up the economics of private-line enterprise services. It also could add further intrigue to the rapidly changing market for WAN optimization solutions.
The VeloCloud Networks Inc. offering is a cloud-based subscription service that analyzes applications on a granular level, categorizes them, and dynamically steers them over the best path. It works with any broadband line or even WiFi, so enterprises do not have to invest in branch office hardware and MPLS or private lines, an aspect which also could help broadband ISPs that don’t have “enterprise-grade” offerings more effectively cater to enterprises. (See VeloCloud Unveils Cloud WAN Solution.)
“It can make a regular broadband Internet line, like DSL or cable, appear to be enterprise grade,” says VeloCloud CEO and co-founder Sanjay Uppal.
That means service providers could employ Velocloud’s technology to launch enterprise-grade services over their existing broadband links, which might come as an unwelcome thought if they also market more expensive private-line solutions to business customers. Uppal says the solution is currently available to enterprise customers through VARs, but the company is working on making it available to the service provider market.
In addition to shaking up enterprise WAN economics, the VeloCloud solution also has implications for a WAN optimization market in flux. Few would deny the need for higher-performance, more cost-effective enterprise WANs, but vendors in the segment are working to adjust to the notion that traditional WAN Op products could become part of a broader set of WAN networking services. Meanwhile, WAN Op vendor Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD) has had financial problems and remains under pressure to sell. (See New Citrix Box Lands Amid WAN Optimism and Riverbed Faces More Pressure to Sell.)
WAN Op player Aryaka offers a “WAN optimization-as-a-service” solution, which, on its surface, sounds somewhat similar to VeloCloud. Fellow WAN networking startup Viptela has displayed a similar intent. (See Aryaka: WAN Optimization as a Service? and Startup Viptela Emerges, Promises Easier WAN Networking.)
However, Uppal, who worked for WAN Op player Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), and VeloCloud co-founder Steve Woo, say their company’s intelligent “app steering” technology is a different take on a market in which most solutions try to squeeze more traffic through existing private lines.
Woo says, "We’re addressing a different issue than compression on the line, which is what many WAN optimization companies are tackling." Uppal and Woo believe that VeloCloud’s solution could even be deployed in concert with some WAN Op solutions in the interest of creating an optimal enterprise WAN environment.
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading