Modernizing Your WAN: The Digitization of Everything, and an Easier SD-WAN Experience

We live at unique moment in time where personal experiences are being ubiquitously digitized. Some of the more common experiences are financial experiences like depositing a check or executing a stock trade with a mobile device. Organizations are continuing to innovate by digitizing their customer’s experiences to improve their competitive advantage. One unique personal example is a sport’s event I recently attended. The sport’s organization digitized their fan experience with ordering food from a mobile app and having delivery to the seat. How cool is that? This ubiquitous digitization ultimately translates into exponential growth of traffic over the WAN.

We’re our own best example

At Dell, we saw our WAN traffic double every 18 months; and every 18 months we were upgrading our physical WAN infrastructure. Jason Chan, the head of our network infrastructure stressed to me that the growth of our WAN traffic is very similar to what he has seen across a cross section of other customers. Like many customers, Jason, had a decision to make. Does Dell continue to upgrade a physical WAN infrastructure every 18 months, through a non-trivial process of change control, rip and replace of the physical infrastructure, large expenses for WAN appliances and expensive MPLS circuits, months for the upgrade, etc. or look for a better alternative. After many months of evaluation Dell decided to adopt SD-WAN. Dell is running SD-WAN in production today, to support mission critical functions like our global world-class supply chain. There was a lot of motivation to migrate to a virtual WAN infrastructure, including the ability to more quickly scale WAN capacity, future proof the WAN, provision edge device more quickly, and even save money. Dell IT has the freedom to select any vendor for its requirements. In fact, our legacy WAN infrastructure were non-Dell products. Dell IT choose to deploy VMware SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud software hosted on the Dell EMC Virtual Edge Platform.

Many customers have done their homework to conclude that they need to modernize and virtualize their WAN to innovate digital experiences for their customers.  Customers have concluded that continuing to upgrade the myriad of physical appliances (branch routers, firewalls, WAN optimizers, etc.) is becoming problematic in a world where WAN traffic is growing exponentially.

Customer requirements

Customers, like Dell IT, want to deploy SD-WAN with minimal risk and ease of deployment; and that translates into some common requirements such as:

  • Software
    • Feature rich SD-WAN software
    • Software from market leading vendor
    • Zero touch provisioning
    • Monitoring feedback loop
    • SLAs
  • Hardware host
    • Purpose built for the compute intensive demands of networking, not a general purpose server
    • Capabilities to accelerate packet processing and security encryption
    • Multiple configurations from small value-based desktop platforms to high performance modular platforms
    • Sufficient processing headroom to future proof the hardware host
  • Integration
    • Validated and bundled software and hardware from one leading vendor
    • Supported by a world-class supply chain
      • Manufacturing to scale – large and small
      • Attention to quality
      • Rapid quotation
      • Rapid order fulfillment
      • Global delivery
      • Global certifications and compliance
      • Global sales, support and maintenance

The good news

The above list of customer requirements is a lot to ask for from one vendor. The good news is that Dell EMC and VMware recently announced the Dell EMC SD-WAN Edge, which is a high-performance network appliance bundled with industry leading Dell EMC SD-WAN Edge software; and the benefits are:

  • All-in-one simplicity with a pre-validated solution combining industry leading VMware SD-WAN software and Dell EMC high performance appliances
  • Maximum efficiency with rapid modernization your WAN without the need for continuing disruptive and costly upgrades
  • Single-contact support providing Dell EMC ProSupport, with a single phone call.

VM World Barcelona Nov 4-7, 2019

The Dell EMC SD-WAN Edge will be showcased at VMworld Barcelona Nov 4-7, 2019.  Please come see the products, demos, sessions, and talk subject matter experts. You’ll also see how Dell EMC is modernizing the Edge to Core to Cloud.