IM Q&A with SD-WAN Innovator, Viptela
May 25, 2017

Jeremy Rossbach

I recently sat down with Paul Kohler, Director, Technical Partnerships and Alliances at Viptela to get a better understanding of why SD-WAN is the hottest SDN technology out in the market today and what it means for customers and their network performance monitoring success. Following is a question and answer session I had with him.

Paul, can you tell us a little bit about Viptela and the innovative SD-WAN technologies you have built?

Viptela was founded five years ago on the desire to connect users to applications simply, reliably and securely. Our Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology has allowed global companies to build carrier agnostic, policy-controlled and cost-effective WANs. Viptela cuts existing operating costs in the WAN by more than 50 percent while increasing bandwidth 10 times, and significantly improving security and uptime. As a result, we've been able to disrupt and transform the enterprise WAN that had been stagnant for many years.  As of May 1, 2017, Cisco announced they intend to acquire Viptela and that process is underway as we speak.  

Why jump into SD-WAN for Viptela? What did you see happening in the market?

There are two waves transforming the enterprise networking landscape: 

1 Migration from MPLS to Internet transport.

2 Applications, workloads and storage moving from the enterprise data center to the cloud. 

This means the enterprise customer network architectures need to be reconfigured to support demand for these resources that have now moved off-site. The other existing solutions available in the marketplace require much more operational expenses and time to manage, while other solutions don't have the required functionality that enterprises require. 

These factors created the conditions that provided Viptela with the opportunity to deliver a new solution to the market that addressed these needs. 

What are some challenges your customers have experienced in their deployments? And what are some lessons learned for our readers who may be looking to deploy SD-WAN soon?

A couple of items come to mind:

1 Don't rely on PowerPoint presentations when choosing SD-WAN vendors. Thoroughly test the SD-WAN solution in proof-of-concept testing. Many customers complain that there are so many SD-WAN vendors it’s hard to know who they should focus on. Repeatedly customers have found that when they start proof-of-concept testing; the difference between competing solutions is vast and obvious. 

2 Frequently customers want to completely transform their networks when implementing a SD-WAN solution, overhauling their WAN transports, applications, workloads, storage, security/firewall, network management, etc. Many vendors besides Viptela are involved and therefore project management is required to roll out the changes in the right sequence. For example, new WAN circuits, SaaS applications and IaaS accounts need to be ordered and online. You cannot transform your network by flipping a single switch. Fortunately, most of our customer IT and networking departments do embrace project management and we don't run into issues. 

Can you drop a few names and success stories?

Some of our customers include Kindred Healthcare, First American, Acadia Healthcare, Gap, Fifth Third Bank, Agilent, 77 Energy, Freedom Pay, Greenhill and more. We have more customer success stories detailed on our website here.

Why is monitoring SD-WAN intelligence and automation so important for the enterprise today?

With enterprises moving to the cloud for their applications, compute workload and storage, there are more third party vendors now and the enterprise network is more interconnected. Meanwhile bandwidth needs, applications, devices and the number of dependencies are all increasing which only increases the need for advanced network management. 

Monitoring today's enterprise network requires enterprise level network performance monitoring and Viptela has an excellent integration with products like CA Performance Management. Together, the solution brings a comprehensive and unified approach to managing traditional WAN and SD-WAN environments that offers extended end-to-end visibility and assurance.

Jeremy Rossbach is Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager, Network Operations and Analytics, at CA Technologies.

Watch this video to learn more about the integration between Viptela and CA Technologies:

Jeremy Rossbach is Product Marketing Manager at Broadcom
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