VMware, as part of Broadcom, releases new 5G, SD-WAN, SASE and edge compute solutions at MWC 2024

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala – SiliconANGLE.

VMware Inc. announced several product updates to its networking and security products at Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, in the first major update for the company since Broadcom Inc. acquired it. Before the event, I had a preview of the developments with Abe Ankumah, head of SASE/SD-WAN, and Padma Sudarsan, the chief of architecture for telco, both leaders in Broadcom’s software-defined edge division.

They gave me the details on the announcements, which include VMware VeloCloud SASE, expanded collaboration with Singtel around connectivity and edge computing, and the ability for CSPs to modernize and monetize networks with the VMware telco cloud platform.

VMware VeloCloud SASE with Symantec

VMware had an existing solution, but it now includes integration with Symantec, another Broadcom company. Ankumah explained the logic behind this: “This is a single-vendor SASE solution that brings the capabilities of VeloCloud SD-WAN together with the SSE stack from Symantec.”

The offering comes after considerable work integrating VMware VeloCloud SD-WAN and Symantec Security Service Edge or SSE. This is part of the Broadcom playbook, where it creates cross-sell opportunities across its portfolio of software assets. At MWC, I stopped by the VMware stand and asked the company about how tightly integrated the offerings are today, and it told me that currently the VMware and Symantec clouds are connected to pass data between them, with the next step being data integration.

The company also beefed up its SD-Access capabilities by adding Symantec capabilities. On the call, Ankumah added: “We’re bringing to bear a newly released SD-Access solution that provides end-user connectivity with a client footprint that supports both remote access and IoT connectivity and securing that through the Symantec SSE capability that is globally distributed and deployed across at various points of presence.”

This integration should help VMware in its quest to move up the Single Vendor SASE Magic Quadrant. The company debuted last year but was placed in the lower left quadrant. Gartner cited the strength of its software-defined wide-area network solution but called out security. Symantec has been through many ups and downs but does have a quality security offering and should help VMware move up and to the right.

This new release is aimed at Broadcom’s installed base of VeloCloud and Symantec customers and is now generally available. One interesting note: Broadcom is reintroducing the VeloCloud brand. The company explained that, although the product name was VMware SD-WAN, many customers kept referring to it as VeloCloud, so to simplify things, the decision was made to bring it back. The newly rechristened VeloCloud portfolio includes VMware VeloCloud SASE, VMware VeloCloud SD-WAN and VMware VeloCloud SD-Access products.

Ankumah clarified that, with this new approach, Broadcom isn’t looking for vendor lock-in. “Now, the other thing I want to point out is our intention to continue to offer customers flexibility and choice,” he told me. “And so, in addition to our own single-vendor SASE solution, we continue to support third-party integrations with our partners.” According to Ankumah, those partners include Cisco Systems Inc., Palo Alto Networks Inc., Netskope Inc., Zscaler Inc. and Lookout Inc.

Expanded collaboration with Singtel around connectivity and edge

VMware is increasing its work with Singtel to help their joint customers manage connectivity and cloud infrastructure using VMware Edge Compute Stack through Singtel Paragon, an all-in-one orchestration platform for 5G and edge cloud.

This partnership expansion will help enterprises take advantage of Singtel 5G without redesigning their applications. Broadcom and Singtel say they’re jointly creating an innovation lab that will bring 5G and edge-native experts together with commercial model specialists to hasten the building and testing of enterprise apps.

Helping CSPs modernize and monetize networks

VMware announced it had deployed VMware Telco Cloud and the VMware Service Management and Orchestration framework by CSPs and co-innovations with its telco partner ecosystem.

Sudarsan shared some details on this. “The SMO from VMware is a service-based architecture that provides Cloud Smart automation of flexible and intelligent orchestration of network functions to place them at the best location to serve their functional purpose,” she said. “It also has observability and assurance service across RAN and core and network programmability with the analytics and optimization service.”

The company now has a 35-member partner ecosystem that network function vendors and other companies.

A DISH pilot and Vodafone proof-of-concept

In addition, Sudarsan shared details of two customer deployments, including DISH Wireless and Vodafone.

  • DISH Wireless is running a pilot of VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance across its Boost Wireless Network. The company runs multivendor, cloud-native network traffic and has launched more than 20,000 5G sites. Broadcom says VMware’s Telco Cloud Service Assurance enables DISH Wireless to manage its multivendor environments holistically and more efficiently.
  • This week at MWC, Vodafone plans to demonstrate a proof of concept that focuses on applying network programmability and intelligence into the RAN to address network challenges caused by short-form video content.

Some final thoughts

When Broadcom announced its acquisition of VMware, I was wary of how Chief Executive Hock Tan would handle the company’s assets. In line with his tendency to chop off pieces of the companies he acquires, Broadcom announced it intends to spin out VMware’s end-user compute business to KKR for $3.8 billion.

Does that mean that more offloading is around the corner? It’s unclear. But the announcements at MWC — and the solid value for partners and enterprises they hold — indicate that Broadcom does see its value in VMware’s software-defined networking and cloud portfolios. I expect these to be areas of investments with more integration across Broadcom companies.

But only time will tell. So far, so good.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.