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Broadcom builds a better SASE out of VMware VeloCloud and Symantec

Broadcom has delivered on its 2023 teaser of integration between VMware’s SD-WAN and Symantec’s Security Service Edge, by today debuting the “VMware VeloCloud SASE, Secured by Symantec” at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Symantec Security Service Edge is already classified as a SASE, or Secure Access Service Edge – a term coined by analyst firm Gartner, which defines it as a “converged network and security as a service capabilities, including software-defined WAN, secure web gateway, cloud access security broker, next-generation firewall, and zero trust network access.” VMware also offered its own SASE, but that offering was tuned to the needs of its Workspace ONE end user compute suite. More on that later.

VMware’s VeloCloud SD-WAN is well regarded, and arguably superior to Symantec’s equivalent – if only because it’s decently integrated with the VMware NSX network virtualization suite. And as Broadcom’s strategy for VMware is to have customers buy more of the vStack, bringing VeloCloud SD-WAN into the mix makes sense.

And so there we have it: first confirmation that Broadcom plans at least one cross-pollination among its diverse software brands.

Mobile World Congresses past typically saw VMware update the network virtualization products it offers to telcos – a decent clutch of which have put its virtualization platforms at the heart of their network ops.

This year, VMware by Broadcom didn’t have notable product or technology news, but was able to discuss customers. Dish Networks was revealed as having run a pilot to manage performance of its 5G networks using VMware code. Vodafone has run a proof-of-concept to explore network programmability that adds intelligence into the RAN so it can better handle stresses caused by short videos.

Singtel has signed to target VMware’s Edge Stack with its Paragon multi-network and multi-cloud orchestration platform for 5G and edge cloud.

VMware has not indicated whether any of these collaborations commenced after the completion of its acquisition by Broadcom, so it’s hard to say whether they represent fresh momentum or an endorsement of Broadcom’s strategy for VMware.

Speaking of that strategy, one element of it was to sell VMware’s end user compute portfolio. Private equity firm KKR yesterday confirmed reports it planned to acquire the business unit.

KKR revealed the deal is worth “approximately $4 billion” and that it will create a standalone business to run the products, expand R&D and pursue new partnerships.

“The standalone business will be positioned to make long-term investments in resourcing for customer success, partner support and an expanded, dedicated sales team,” KKR’s statement reads.

Shankar Iyer, who leads Broadcom’s EUC division, welcomed the news – and not just because it will see him become boss of the new biz.

“This news happens to coincide with reaching my ten-year anniversary with the EUC division, and as I reflect, I can say there’s never been a better time to take what we’ve built and give it the dedicated focus it deserves,” he wrote in a VMWare blog post. ®