CloudGenix Launches SD-WAN App Platform


By: R. Scott Raynovich

CloudGenix has been on the move lately. In April, the company announced $65 million in venture funding and 300% year-over-year growth. This week, the company announced CloudBlades, a new platform for delivering network-aware cloud applications.

The idea behind CloudBlades is to leverage software-defined networking (SDN) infrastrucuture -- regardless of whether or not CloudGenix serves as the software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) platform -- and deliver purpose-built network applications which can be programmed for network visibility and performance. CloudGenix is marketing CloudBlades as a distinct application platform that can be used to augment an SD-WAN.

CloudGenix describes CloudBlades as a strategy to deliver a cloud-delivered branch -- an enterprise networking infrastructure than can be controlled from the cloud. This includes networking infrastructure, applications, and security being delivered and managed with flexible software modules. Key to this strategy is a deeper integration using APIs, policy, and data export to enhance the performance and monitoring of cloud applications. The CloudBlade apps and integrations can be provided by CloudGenix itself, partners, or even end users.

"The question is what do customers need to migrate to a true cloud-delivered branch," said Kumar Ramachandran, Founder and CEO of CloudGenix. "When it comes to the WAN with SD-WAN, it becomes unconstrained -- it delivers all the capabilities of cloud-based services, but automatically [managing] traffic in the busiest branches and becoming a policy enforcement point."

The key is policy-level integration with specific network services. By providing access to APIs and deeper integration with the network, the cloud-delivered branch can serve as a breeding ground for high-performance networks apps, said Ramachandran. These might include the following:

• High-speed multi-cloud and SaaS: Applications-aware integration for access to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office 365, and other cloud platforms.

• High-performance collaboration: CloudBlades can be used to fast-track collaboration app such as Cisco WebEx, Fuze, RingCentral, Skype, and Zoom across the network.

• Cloud security: The cloud-delivered branch can be implemented with valued-added applications, or tied to SD-WAN as a centralized policy management platform with integrated security and performance management.

• Service monitoring: Cloud-delivered branches using approaches such as CloudBlades can enable more deeply integrated service apps such as Clarity ANPM, ServiceNow, Splunk, and PagerDuty, yielding powerful service management tools.

These are just a few examples of how CloudGenix' cloud-delivered branch platform can be used to build applications tied directly to the network and real-time data with CloudBlades.

As data and cloud-based applications explode in use for both enterprise and consumer apps, networking integration has become more important than ever. SD-WAN is emerging as that central platform for managing the use of cloud-based applications in the network -- but it needs to go further. The next step is to provide integrated custom applications, as demonstrated by the CloudBlades approach, to provide high-performance applications with network awareness. This is an interesting development that should push the SD-WAN market forward by opening up the possibility of deeper application and cloud services integration.