VeloCloud Launches WAN-As-A-Service, Looks To Channel For Growth

Fresh off a $21 million investor funding round, networking startup VeloCloud is officially open for business, unveiling general availability of its cloud-based wide area network Monday.

VeloCloud, Los Altos, Calif., said it's reinventing the enterprise WAN by delivering branch infrastructure as a service, via the cloud, rather than requiring organizations to deploy traditional hardware-based appliances.

Customers pay for VeloCloud's cloud-based WAN as a monthly subscription, in a model VeloCloud said offers greater flexibility and eliminates the need for any major up-front costs.

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According to Sanjay Uppal, VeloCloud's co-founder and CEO, the core of VeloCloud's strategy is to extend the benefits that the cloud and virtualization have brought to the data center into the enterprise WAN.

"A lot of the cloud and virtualization has been much more focused on the data center," Uppal told CRN. "We are extending that out to the edge of the network."

VeloCloud also helps enterprises optimize the performance of their applications through a feature called "app steering," which monitors network traffic to ensure apps travel over the best possible link or path, he said.

What's more, Uppal said this dynamic steering of applications can be done on an ordinary Internet or broadband line, freeing customers from having to invest in more pricey private lines. Uppal called this feature, which is patent-pending, VeloCloud's "secret sauce."

"We can take ordinary Internet lines or ordinary broadband lines -- whether it's cable or DSL or LTE -- and we can combine them together to make them business-ready or what we call 'enterprise-grade.' "

VeloCloud plans to sell 100 percent through the channel and already has started to onboard network- and infrastructure-focused partners. VeloCloud's goal to have "hundreds" of partners within a year, according to Uppal.

"My intention is to be a 100 percent channel-focused company," Uppal told CRN. "We have started signing on channel partners already because what we wanted to do was get some credibility both with partners and with customers before we launch."

One of VeloCloud's earliest partners is Latus Solutions, a network security-focused solution provider based in Redwood City, Calif. Kier Lane, CEO of Latus, said he decided to sign on with VeloCloud after noticing a need for simplified WAN infrastructure among his clients.

"Our customers are all struggling with the branch office. They are typically Fortune 2000 and many of them just have very small IT staff and have to support a big network, or they are in acquisition mode right now," Lane said. "They are buying a lot of companies and having to integrate that infrastructure into their environment. The branch office always becomes the big challenge for them because of the cost and complexity. We think VeloCloud does a really good job addressing those issues and providing something that's easy to use and easy to deploy."

Latus also was drawn to VeloCloud because of its subscription pricing model. In addition to recurring revenue, he said the VeloCloud service gives partners a greater stickiness with the end customer.

"It's such a high-touch approach," Lane said.

VeloCloud was founded in 2012 by Uppal, a former Citrix Systems vice president, along with Steve Woo, former senior director of product management at Aerohive, and Ajit Mayya, former senior director of engineering at VMware.

VeloCloud is one of several startups looking to reinvent the branch network. In May, a startup called Viptela emerged from stealth, touting software that helps companies manage WAN routing, network security and segmentation policy as a single solution.