Cisco Acquires Viptela, Proving “Software Defined” Is Eating the WAN

Marc Andreessen famously penned the vision “Software is Eating the World” in which he explains that we are in a technological and economic shift where software companies are poised to take over large swaths of the economy. New companies such as Lyft and Airbnb have used software to effectively displace brick and mortar industries that have stood for generations. Look no further than GE where you see a classically industrial company with a proud history of manufacturing physical things such as trains and appliances now pivoting to become a software company. No doubt, software is indeed eating the world.

With this being the case, I’d argue “software defined” is eating the WAN.

LiveAction began working in SD-WAN four years ago. Back then, there was no market, no sector name and the technology was basically tunnels and dynamic path-selected routing. Fast forward to today and IDC estimates SD-WAN will hit $6B by 2020 and grow at a 90% compound annual growth rate for the next five years.

By most market estimates, the WAN market is valued at over $10B per year and Cisco owns over 70% of that market. But over the past few years, Cisco’s stronghold on the WAN has been under attack due to the disruptions caused by SD-WAN.

We are currently tracking over 20 different SD-WAN companies all looking for their slice of the pie. And at the top of the heap is Viptela, which has claim to over 16,000 branch deployments across 100 customers including household names such as the Gap, Cigna and Owens Corning.

So, rather than having another start-up technology competitor like Palo Alto Networks or Arista enter the market, it just makes sense that Cisco Systems would move to acquire Viptela and add its technology to Cisco’s world-class network portfolio.

Some of Cisco’s most popular products came thru acquisitions including the Catalyst 5k and 6k switch from Crescendo Communications, WebEx and Meraki. By offering Viptela’s technology alongside Meraki SD-WAN and IWAN, Cisco can bring to the market an unmatched suite of SD-WAN technologies, sold in just about every model, uniquely designed for different types of customers which should allow them to retain their leadership position today and into the future.

But there’s one more thing you should know.  Customers using IWAN, Meraki and/or Viptela all have one thing in common. They rely on LiveAction’s LiveNX for end-to-end network visibility and control.

Our long-time belief at LiveAction is that “seeing is believing.” With LiveNX, we make the opaque visible. We make the abstract controllable. We take insights and make them actionable.

Over the past 10 years, we have taken technologies like Flow, AVC, PfR, NBAR and made them understandable by transforming code into topologies that are useful and simple to monitor. And in the SD-WAN economy, we show your applications and how they are used throughout the network so you can rest assured that your environment meets your performance, security and compliance requirements.

Worried about vendor lock-in? Unsure if you’re willing to commit long term to a particular controller, router, access point, switch, or hypervisor strategy? Trust LiveNX to future-proof your network, regardless of disruptions being driven by SD-WAN. Let LiveNX do the interfacing and translation with the most commonly trusted technologies enabling you to control and manage them with one familiar, intuitive user interface.

We’re excited about the future as Cisco works to complete the planned acquisition and integrate Viptela. At the same time, we’re eagerly anticipating numerous cool, innovative technologies coming from Cisco in the very near future.

LiveAction stands ready and we continue to work hard to ensure our products are continuously improved to help you deliver a seamless network experience each day.

 

May 2, 2017

by Darren Kimura, LiveAction Executive Chairman