Many businesses that had multiple branches moved en masse from costly leased lines to Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology for wide area network (WAN) connectivity a decade or so ago. However, growing bandwidth demands have meant that MPLS, although cheaper than leased lines, is still an expensive option that puts a lot of power in the hands of the network providers.
Now, organisations have a more flexible option at their disposal, brought on by the rise of the cloud and a more software-defined approach to technology. According to Kenneth Phang, Senior Sales, NSX & Security, VMware, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is able to “solve real business problems typically associated with traditional WAN architectures, such as expensive and inefficient use of bandwidth, complexities in IT that delay branch deployments or cloud migration that isn’t supported by static architectures.”
From a local perspective, Kenneth mentioned that Malaysia is a unique market where organisations outsource most of their connectivity to local telco companies. But the introduction of SD-WAN has the potential to throw a major spanner into the works, to the benefit of Malaysian businesses.
Kenneth was in KL last week for a breaking fast event hosted by Integrated Global Solutions Sdn Bhd (IGS), where he introduced VeloCloud, VMware’s venture into the SD-WAN space to an audience of customers and partners. IGS is Malaysia’s pioneer virtualisation and cloud service provider as well as the first VMware Premier Partner in Malaysia. Founded in 2003, IGS is now one of the largest virtualisation consulting companies in Malaysia with over 200 clients nationwide across multiple industries from financial banking, retail, logistics and government-linked corporations.
Also present to kick off the event was VMware’s Malaysia Country Manager, Devan Parinpanayagam, who definitely saw great potential in SD-WAN technology, calling it nothing short of transformational. VeloCloud, the company’s cloud-delivered SD-WAN architecture was designed to offer businesses a simpler and more flexible way of providing connectivity from branch to the head office or data centre, thereby saving cost and increasing agility while delivering optimised access to cloud services and applications.
In order to enable simple, agile and secure branch office wide-area networks, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud includes a cloud-based SD-WAN Orchestrator, a distributed network of SD-WAN Gateways, and a branch platform SD-WAN Edge. The three components of VMware SD-WAN are further detailed below:
As to why VMware acquired VeloCloud a year and a half ago, Devan said as a data centre virtualisation company, they saw the industry-leading SD-WAN solution by VeloCloud as an extension of VMware, especially as workloads are accelerating to multi-cloud and hybrid cloud implementations. As such, VeloCloud utilises VMware’s relationships with a wide range of cloud providers, including the big three, for consistency of access in order to deliver better cloud and application performance with full visibility, metrics, control, and automation of all device and user endpoints.
Due to the benefits and cost-effectiveness of the SD-WAN solution, Devan said that demand from local customers for the technology is growing, as they look to use it to initially complement, and potentially, maybe down the road, completely replace MPLS.
For 2019 and beyond, Kenneth mentioned that VMware plans to venture further into the IoT space and help businesses better manage thousands of IoT devices and edge servers with Pulse IoT Centre.