September 13, 2017
In August 2017, Cisco completed the acquisition of the San Jose based software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) company, Viptela, for $610 Million in cash. This acquisition comes on the heels of another significant Cisco announcement. Earlier in the summer, Cisco announced what they consider to be the greatest networking innovation of the decade. They call it the Network. Intuitive, and these two achievements are actually closely intertwined.
Who is Viptela?
Viptela was founded in 2012 by two former Cisco veterans, Amir Khan and Khalid Raza. In essence, the Viptela solution is an SD-WAN designed to revolutionize the fabric connecting our cloud deployments, data centers, and end-user devices. The solution is a software overlay on top of MPLS VPN, internet broadband, and LTE networks. By leveraging Viptela, customers can increase application performance as well as cloud delivery, security, and scalability for their WAN.
Motivations behind the Cisco Viptela Acquisition
Considering the recent investments in Cisco IWAN as well as Meraki, it may come as a surprise that Cisco would invest further in a solution that overlaps with both Cisco IWAN as well as Meraki products. Yet, the inclusion of Viptela to the Cisco solution set allows Cisco to provide a diverse set of options for their customers. First and foremost, Viptela is a solution built for the cloud while Cisco IWAN is focused on a premise-based strategy.
Viptela is the perfect SD-WAN solution for customers that require a cloud-first strategy or granular segmentation capabilities. Meanwhile, Cisco Meraki allows for customers to leverage a unified threat management solution (UTM) with SD-WAN functionality. Alternatively, existing Cisco Meraki customers may prefer an option to expand to the SD-WAN while still maintaining vendor consistency. Finally, Cisco IWAN still has a very important place for many customers. Customers using voice, compute, WAN optimization or other advanced services through a single device will find Cisco IWAN to be the best option.
As you can see, Cisco is not replacing their solution through the acquisition of Viptela. Instead, they are expanding their base, and their plans for the future could include incorporating some Viptela functionality into existing Cisco solutions.
Viptela and Cisco DNA
Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) is a part of Cisco’s Network. Intuitive as well as a software-driven service-focused architecture that allows for greater visibility, control, and automation of your network. Viptela aligns with several key principles of DNA including security, virtualization, automation, and analytics. Viptela will be a welcome addition to the already impressive suite of solutions in the Network. Intuitive.
Powerful Choice for Cisco
The Cisco Viptela acquisition is going to prove to be a wise decision for Cisco. As more businesses incorporate the cloud, users depend on mobile devices more, and data demands continue to rise, businesses are going to require a more sophisticated WAN solution beyond the MPLS VPNs of yesteryear. As Viptela CEO, Praveen Akkiraju, said on the now defunct Viptela website, “[The WAN] is stuck in a technology that’s twenty years old.” Viptela and Cisco are taking decisive steps to change that.
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