A Q&A on VMware SD-WAN

September 2, 2020
Gabby Scott
Marketing Manager - Indirect Channel

CBTS recently put together a three-part webcast series centered on VMware SD-WAN. The panel, moderated by Channel Chief Rob Messmer, features VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware Craig Connors, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking Jon Lloyd, and CBTS Senior Director of Solution Engineering Matt Douglass. The three-part webcast series breaks down the top questions about VMware SD-WAN.

What is the story behind VMware SD-WAN?

“I’ve been in the WAN space since 2007. When I joined the founding engineering team at Talari Networks, it was the first time we looked at what MPLS was doing and asked if we can do it across the public internet. I joined VMware in 2013, and in 2018 the cloud began to become part of our daily lives, and the idea of keeping the cloud a cohesive part of network infrastructure was really innovative and forward-looking.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

What are the core differentiators for VMware SD-WAN?

“There are two major differentiators: 1) Gateways that serve as a direct on-ramp to SaaS. We can build an overlay using one or more links from your end location to gateways and not just steer around problems that happen, like a lot of SD-WANs do, but we can mitigate problems such as jitter and packet loss. Even with a single link, with  packet loss, you can still get high-quality business connectivity, even for applications living in the cloud.

“And, 2) Dynamic Multipath Optimization with (a) Continuous Link Monitoring, (b) Dynamic Per Packet Steering, and (c) On-Demand Remediation. Everything we do—measurement-wise, error correction-wise, traffic steering-wise—is unidirectional. We’re measuring upstream and downstream independently. Per-packet steering allows us to move traffic at any time to link in a sub-second fashion.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

How does CBTS communicate all of the value and technology behind VMware SD-WAN to its channel partner agent resellers?

“When a customer says, ‘Help me understand that this is not marketecture and that it’s architecture,’ we can show you the traffic, show you moving it…we can show you the results of tests we did back in 2016. For us, the proof is in what we do today, especially now with remote work.” – Jon Lloyd, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking

How does VMware SD-WAN view next-generation security features like UTM, malware protection, etc.?

“There are two sides to the question, and the first one is SASE (secure access service edge). When you look at SASE, you get a consolidation of cloud firewalling, secure web gateways, ZTNA, and SD-WAN. On the other side, SASE is all about market consolidation and a single vendor—a single pane of glass network simplification. We’re able to facilitate security in a flexible way, working with any vendor a customer may prefer.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

How does CBTS bring Check Point Harmony Connect into the SD-WAN story?

“What we wanted to do with Check Point Harmony Connect and with the Check Point suite was complement what we’ve already been doing for customers for five years with the VMware SD-WAN platform. Some customers are going to want this, and some are going to want that, and our job is to be able to make sure we’re delivering with an easy-to-consume wrapper.” – Jon Lloyd, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking

What are some important aspects for customers to know about the SASE market?

“I think the important thing for customers to remember is SASE is big in the hype cycle right now. There’s a lot of companies rushing to try to ride that wave of hype. And one thing you’ll never hear me say is “good enough security.” That’s a term that people throw around. And I think something that we take seriously at VMware is we’re the leader in SD-WAN Workspace ONE, tens of millions of devices under management. We believe that’s a best-in-breed solution for UEM for ZTNA, bringing those together.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware  

How does VMware SD-WAN and Check Point fit into the customer’s journey to the cloud?

“This is a unique time for us in the channel to talk about business outcomes and building outcome-based networks for customers. One of the things that my sales engineering team has been most excited about is that these tools—VMware SD-WAN, Check Point, all the things we’re talking about—allow us really to be meeting with customers and start talking about business outcomes.

“We actually will write on a whiteboard that we build what we believe is outcome-based networking. And so, a lot of our work is sitting with the customer and saying, okay, what are your applications that are going site to site? That are going site to data center, site to SaaS application, site to AWS or Azure? There is now this work-from-home component. How do we layer in the right security solutions? Because VMware SD-WAN, Check Point, and CBTS are positioned as a managed service provider, it really allows us to build very customer-specific solutions.” – Matt Douglas, Senior Director of Solution Engineering

What are the industries that you are surprised about adopting cloud technologies like VMware SD-WAN?

“Retail, banking, sports stadiums, and healthcare are all taking advantage.” – Craig Connors, VP & CTO-SD-WAN at VMware

How does CBTS, as a service provider, keep pace with what key partners like VMware are doing in the market?

“It starts with a great partnership and understanding of where VMware is going. There’s an open flow of communication and knowing ahead of time what will be rolling out so we can be prepared.” – Jon Lloyd, CBTS Director of Cloud Networking

Visit Expert Breakdown: VMware SD-WAN Series 2.1-2.3 Webcast Replay for a full recap and to view all webcasts in the series.

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CBTS is a leading technology provider to enterprises in all industries, including dozens of Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies. What sets us apart is the agility, flexible delivery models, and client focus of a smaller company coupled with the ability to deliver the resources, scale, and capabilities required by large organizations. Ask how CBTS can help you capitalize on the cloud today.

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