VMware jumps into SD-WAN with VeloCloud purchase

VMware today announced plans to acquire VeloCloud, one of the leading companies in the fast-growing software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) market.

SD-WAN represents a new way to manage network connectivity to branch and remote offices using software-defined networking principles. Software-based SD-WAN offerings from companies like VeloCloud can aggregate multiple types of connections, including broadband, MPLS and cellular, to create more reliable connections that are often less expensive than a pure MPLS use. Research firm IDC predicts SD-WAN will be a more than $1 billion market this year, and grow at 69% to more than $8 billion by 2021.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: What is SD-WAN and why you’ll use it one day +

VMware is still best known for its virtual machine management software based on its popular ESX hypervisor, but its acquisition of VeloCloud underscores VMware’s pivot, mostly through acquisitions, to focus on network management. In 2012, VMware paid more than $1 billion to purchase startup Nicira, the virtual-network company whose product is now sold by VMware as NSX.

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