VMware’s Intention to Acquire VeloCloud: What does it mean?

The announcement of VMware’s intention to acquire VeloCloud signals the broadening of the NSX Everywhere story. SD-WAN is a solution that offers agility, security, orchestration, and other business outcomes for remote and branch offices. It should not be considered just an MPLS replacement for the WAN with savings on bandwidth costs. 

At a core level, both NSX and VeloCloud’s products are based on an overlay network, which offers the flexibility to treat a logical network separately from the physical network, and this core concept has been popularized for many years via MPLS. Ironically, it’s the perceived lack of flexibility and costs of MPLS that have become the initial drivers for the popularization of SD-WAN, which promised to modernize the branch networks and WAN.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking

Enterprise Networks and Telco Clouds on a Collision Course

The Internet of Things will move more processing to telecom suppliers' facilities.

Network engineers have traditionally treated networks managed by their telecom suppliers as outside their immediate domain of concern. The telco network was brought into the data center, appropriate routes or peering set up, and that was it.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking IoT telco cloud

Extreme Executes Against Vision with Brocade Acquisition

For the last few years Extreme Networks has been quietly executing on its vision to provide end-to-end network solutions for enterprise customers. The latest acquisition of Brocade adds enterprise-class data center switching, routing, and network analytics. It will also come with many existing customers and enough revenue to push Extreme over the one-billion-dollar mark.

Topics: Networking Extreme Networks Brocade

Gigamon Goes Private (Equity)!

Elliot Management announced yesterday that its wholly owned Private Equity Subsidiary, Evergreen Coast Capital Partners, announced a deal to acquire Gigamon. Gigamon is a market leading provider of what it calls traffic visibility solutions and what many refer to as network packet brokers.

Gigamon has always delivered premium solutions and extracted premium pricing--the most often-quoted competitive phrase in the space is that we are <insert percentage--33-50% or more> less than Gigamon. Yet Gigamon has continued to deliver innovative solutions and grow in the enterprise and service provider markets. Recently its focus on enabling security solutions has resulted in significant growth. The company was able to successfully transition from a VC-backed private company to a public company. While this transition was not without its challenges along the way – it is difficult to keep up a 30-40% growth rate indefinitely - the leadership team has worked diligently to keep the company on track. It is now entering a new phase by returning to private ownership under a Private Equity firm. So, what does that mean?

Topics: Networking Gigamon private equity Evergreen Coast Capital Partners

What Happened to the Store with Incomplete Digital Transformation

People asked me to follow up on my experience at Best Buy. Spoiler: The particular store where I had my bad experience has closed. I'll give you some details

Topics: Networking Digital Transformation

SD-WAN Should Not Be a Scary Thought

Despite the hoopla related to SD-WAN, the concept is still alien and scary to many network service providers.

At a panel discussing SD-WAN at INCOMPAS 2017 (speakers by Multiapplied Communications, TPx Communications, VeloCloud, and Windstream; chaired by Dave Malfara, CEO, ETC Group), the speakers asked the audience "Who here is very familiar with SD-WAN?" Only a few hands went up. 

The issue is that many of the people in the audience have businesses selling the older technologies that are being supplanted by SD-WAN, such as MPLS circuits. 

But they know that changes are afoot. The title of the panel was "SD-WAN: Killer App in the Making." Are they resisting change, embracing change, or just plain confused?

I have a feeling that it's the "confusion" part since SD-WAN is so ill-defined. Is it software, devices, or the network? Or all of the above?

I bet you know the answer.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking

RCS and Universal Communications - This Time, It May Work

An annoying fact of modern inter-personal messaging is that there are many methods. A glance at any smartphone may show many apps for messaging, video conferencing or teleconferencing such as Allo, Duo & Meet (from Google), Messenger & WhatsApp (from Facebook), Signal, Cisco WebEx, built-in Dialer & SMS text messaging, Zoom, Skype, LinkedIn, LINE, Twitter, Facetime, Messages & Facetime (from Apple), GoToMeeting, WeChat (prominent in China), and Join.me. Plus, there are many many more.

Extending to the desktop, we might find SIP softphones such as Bria, RingCentral  and cousins of the above apps that allow for multi-endpoint logins. These apps provide voice, screen sharing, and text messaging but in this blog, we're talking about the need for universal messaging.

Thus, if you want to send a quick note to someone, it’s hard to figure out what to use. Many young people don’t use voice calls anymore, so they resort to messaging. Phones do a reasonable job of associating contacts with different platforms, but you never know if they are properly logged-in to a particular system. So, messages will fail to get delivered, or auto-converted to emails that get delivered later.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking Cloud Platforms & Services RCS

SDN and Network Virtualization Revisited

The concept of SDN evolves over time. At the beginning, it was all about OpenFlow and many switch vendors adopted OpenFlow support in their devices. Later on, network virtualization overlays became popular, and characterized by products such as Cisco ACI, Juniper Contrail (and OpenContrail), Nuage Networks VSP, and VMware NSX, and open source projects such as OVN.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking

Back in the Saddle Again

As the Aerosmith song goes (and to be fair, Gene Autry as well), I am back in the saddle again, the analyst saddle, that is. After a three-year adventure with a PE-backed company selling test solutions and service assurance software to enterprise and global telecommunication providers, I have returned to ESG. I would like to say that now I am older, wiser, and a lot smarter--however, what I can say for sure is that I am older, heavier, and balder! Other than becoming a cliché (old, fat, bald guy), I did have a lot of great experiences over the last few years and got to work with some great co-workers and customers. In my previous jobs, I have worked for privately owned companies based in the US and Japan, as well as VC-backed startups through their ups and downs, and I wanted to gain some experience at a PE-backed company to add to my list.  

Topics: Networking

Focus on the Right Thing about Containers: What the Workloads Perform, not How They Do It

Much attention has been placed on modern applications and containers, and perhaps to excess. People wrote and worried about the choice of container orchestration systems—whether it’s Kubernetes, Marathon, or Swarm.

Also silly are comparisons of containers as a replacement for virtual machines, or whether serverless systems, such as AWS Lambda, are the new replacement for containers. Much of that was due to misconceptions, a desire to see a horse race where none exists, or a side effect of in-fighting in the open source community, with sponsoring organizations or vendors in the sidelines.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking containers