Dell EMC's Tom Burns On SD-WAN Strategy With VMware VeloCloud

There's a "huge market opportunity" for Dell EMC partners to leverage the company’s tight partnership with VMware NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud to drive software-defined networking sales and services, said Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager for networking and solutions for Dell EMC's Infrastructure Solutions Group.

"We're working very closely with the VeloCloud team and VMware team to provide the underlying infrastructure by combining their software with our capability in infrastructure—but also support logistics and so forth—to really grow that business exponentially, not just with VMware, but through Dell EMC as a channel as well," said Burns in an interview with CRN.

VMware was the worldwide leader in terms of SD-WAN appliance, control and management software revenue for the third quarter of 2018, generating $54 million in sales, according to market research firm IHS Markit. Cisco came in second place during the quarter with $37.7 million in SD-WAN revenue, followed by Aryaka with $36.5 million and Silver Peak with $27.6 million.

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Burns said the SD-WAN market was practically nonexistent several years ago, but deployments are "exploding very, very quickly" and channel partners should capitalize on that momentum in 2019.

"There's huge business opportunity around the hardware and software [for partners]. There's an opportunity around the managed services, the implementation and the capabilities that SD-WAN provide. In addition, because of the on-premise equipment that is going to be physically at the branch office, [there are] other things beyond SD-WAN that the channel partners can implement around security, around WAN optimization and other virtual network functions that gives them an opportunity to increase their stickiness with their customers and expand their services, which is critical to them," said Burns.

VMware recently reported that third fiscal quarter license bookings for its NSX portfolio, which includes VeloCloud, grew 40 percent year over year.

SD-WAN sales for solution providers exploded in 2018. The vendor landscape has gone through tremendous M&A over the past 18 months, including Cisco's acquisition of Viptela and VMware's purchase of VeloCloud. Most recently, Oracle bought SD-WAN standout Talari Networks.

"SD-WAN is a huge market opportunity for Dell EMC and across all of Dell Technologies," said Burns.