Cisco Channel Superstar Aqueduct Technologies On Two Biggest Customer Buying Trends: SD-WAN, Hyper-Converged Backup


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Aqueduct Technologies founder and CEO Manak Ahluwalia says the majority of its networking customers are looking to embrace software-defined WAN.

"We're finding today almost 80 percent of our WAN conversations are in the SD-WAN space and customers are finding ways to buy it -- either through a carrier where they're getting it as an all-in-one service, and in many cases our customers are doing it as bring your own transport," said Ahluwalia, in an interview with CRN at Aqueduct's headquarters in Waltham, Mass. "They'll pick the carriers that make the most sense, and we'll help recommend [the] technologies they should put in place. And in other places, they're doing it as a managed service."

Aqueduct, named to CRN's 2018 Managed Service Provider 500 list in the Elite 150 category, is a Cisco Gold partner and was recently awarded Software Lifecycle Partner of the Year in the East Region by Cisco.

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Ahluwalia said customers are seeking SD-WAN solutions as they move applications to the cloud and need a better way to get remote users and branches to the cloud in more effective fashion.

"In order to do that, they need a lot of the enterprise capabilities that were potentially cost ineffective for them before. So they're adding a lot of technology around application visibility, performance, definitely security, and also starting to embrace some lower cost telco -- higher bandwidth – but lower cost elements like Ethernet and internet access at these remote locations," he said.

Another hot technology for Aqueduct is hyper-converged backup solutions thanks to vendors like Rubrik and Cohesity.

Ahluwalia said backup has traditionally been cumbersome and expensive to put everything together. Today's hyper-converged scale-out platforms are providing customers with the ability to use hybrid cloud for different types of data as well as for big data repositories. "We're having customers really needing to prove why they need to opt out of a platform like that as oppose to buying a lot of the traditional stack they're finding difficult to use," he Ahluwalia.

Aqueduct is a top Cisco Meraki partner that has strategic partnerships with the likes of Citrix, Dell EMC, F5 Networks and Nutanix.

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