Big Interview

Q&A with Sanjay Uppal, VP and GM of the VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud Business Unit, VMware


Sanjay Uppal, VP and GM of the VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud Business Unit, VMware speaks to Capacity about SD-WAN and some of the emerging trends within the market.

1. Requirements for the WAN has changed dramatically in the last five years. Why is SD-WAN perfectly suited to be the answer to these changes?

Traditional WAN was not originally built to support the notion of cloud, of highly disparate and remote locations, or of an increased dependence on applications. To make changes to the WAN of yesterday requires highly trained and certified individuals who need to visit individuals sites to make necessary changes to hardware devices. SD-WAN, on the other hand, is highly flexible because it was designed and built from the ground up to meet the needs of environment. The need to be flexible, to accommodate a host of different services and vendors, to deliver seamless and optimized connectivity to the cloud and between any location on the network. Without SD-WAN, application usage is limited and slow, impacting businesses and expansion opportunities. It’s virtualization and software defined roots enable the network to change as technology trends change. Trends like artificial intelligence, 5G, and IoT can become a reality because it’s speed, fabric, flexibility, automation, and hyperscale nature are supported.

2. What are the major trends that you see emerging that without SD-WAN would not have a viable chance?

The top trends that we see emerging is the increasing adoption of unified communications, artificial intelligence, 5G, IoT, and ubiquitous wi-fi.

3. Tell us about the top use cases for SD-WAN.

Based on our 5+ years of experience in the market, the top use cases for SD-WAN are: 1) Deploying multiple links at once such as MPLS, broadband, and LTE. Businesses can use legacy connections paired with new connections and utilize all of them together to maximize delivery time and uptime. 2) Simplify and accelerate branch deployments. To launch a new location on a network could take weeks if not months due to installing new connections, provisioning circuits, scheduling visits from trained IT teams and more. With SD-WAN, businesses can utilize any type of public or private line, including LTE, and provision them automatically for a centralized, cloud-based orchestration tool. 3) Access to IaaS and SaaS. SD-WAN optimizes the access to cloud resources as well as global access to SaaS across the globe. 4) Global managed WAN. SD-WAN simplifies and optimizes connectivity as it allows branch locations to connect to one another regardless of which service provider’s connectivity (private circuits or internet) they are leveraging. With a centralized orchestration tool, the entire network infrastructure of an organization can be managed simply, cheaply and faster with SD-WAN.

4. What verticals or industries are benefiting the most from implementing SD-WAN?

SD-WAN is relevant for all verticals, but there are some that have adopted it more quickly, enjoying benefits specific to that industry. The top verticals tend to manufacturing, finance, retail, and healthcare. In retail, SD-WAN offers ubiquitous connectivity to the internet, to cloud, between retail locations, and delivers PCI-compliant connectivity to protect highly valuable customer data. For healthcare, SD-WAN has played a key part in ensuring always-on connectivity for access to patient data, to connecting IoT devices and technology, and ensuring that patients can always get ahold of providers using various unified communication services such as voice and video.

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