VMware integrates SD-WAN into Azure Virtual WAN Hubs

VMware
VMware has continued to evolve its SD-WAN capabilities following its 2017 acquisition of VeloCloud. (Monica Alleven/FierceWireless)

VMware announced during the Microsoft IGNITE event today that it had integrated its SD-WAN into Microsoft’s Azure Virtual WAN Hubs, meaning that VMware SD-WAN edges can be deployed more quickly and easily inside those virtual hubs and consumed as a managed service.

Sanjay Uppal, SVP and General Manager, SD-WAN and SASE, VMware. stated in a blog post announcing the integration that this results in an “offering that natively integrates with routing constructs of Azure Virtual WAN’s customizable routing intelligence with the optimized last-mile connectivity of VMware SD-WAN.” 

Uppal further explained the significance of this move in an email to FierceTelecom, stating, “VMware SD-WAN provided options for connecting our customers to Azure workloads for many years, from our gateway to Azure virtual network (Vnet) resources via IPSec and/or directly by spinning up our virtual edge in the customer’s Vnet environment through the Azure marketplace. The integration with Azure Virtual WAN Hub allows for intra Vnet connectivity utilizing Microsoft’s backbone. This effectively keeps all the traffic on-net. All hubs are connected in full mesh, making it easy for customers to use the Microsoft backbone for any-to-any (any spoke) connectivity. Prior to this service, Vnet to Vnet communication was only available via external connectivity.”

Among the benefits, SD-WAN branches will be able to more easily route traffic over Azure backbone infrastructure using a native SD-WAN overlay fabric into the closest Virtual WAN hubs, according to Uppal’s blog post.

The need for this kind of more seamless integration between VMware SD-WAN and Azure virtual WAN hubs has become increasingly apparent as the Covid-19 pandemic has driven a surge in remote networking.

“With an increasing reliance on Azure-based apps and resources, it is critical that the wide area network (WAN) be capable of scaling in an easy, highly automated, and more secure manner.” Uppal stated in the blog post.

RELATED: VMware acquires VeloCloud Networks, charts SD-WAN strategy

In addition to greatly simplified deployment, having VMware SD-WAN edges sitting right next to Azure Virtual WAN hubs also allows customers to benefit from end-to-end Dynamic Multipath Optimization (DMPO) from branches and datacenters right into Azure Cloud.

The companies also are able to provide more automated and dynamically-controlled  connectivity for all of a customer’s SD-WAN branches, locations and enterprise network end users. Thousands of locations can automatically connect to the Azure cloud via a single policy change. Additionally, customers will have access to more tightly integrated security for their workloads because Azure Firewall capabilities can be easily inserted into the traffic flowing between SD-WAN edges in virtual hubs and destinations.

This week’s announcement represents the latest step in a longtime partnership between VMware and Microsoft partnership. It comes after VMware worked with Microsoft to offer solutions for Azure Edge Zones and Azure Private Edge Zones. The blog post noted, “Edge Zones deliver Azure services and enable customers to seamlessly deploy and run Virtual Network Functions including VMware SD-WAN across Azure regions and Azure Edge Zones. VMware is the only Azure Edge Zones 'public preview' SD-WAN partner, with complete automation and Azure portal integration, and available to customers for trials.”