Versa Networks recently announced setting up the first open software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) appliance ecosystem, as a pioneering move to create software-based networks that eliminate the need for proprietary hardware.
Similar to computing and storage over the last decade, networking is also migrating from hardware to software-based architectures, said Versa in a statement. “Software-defined” platforms for the network started in the data centre and local area network (LAN) via software-defined networking (SDN). More recently, the technology has moved to the WAN with SD-WAN. However, not all SD-WAN products are fully software-based and hardware independent.
Versa said its SD-WAN is a purely software-based approach based on a dynamically scalable, multi-tenant and service-chainable system. It supports third party virtual and physical appliances and legacy network protocols, providing easy integration with existing network routing and VPN architectures. It also provides integrated Internet security and access control features for customers deploying direct Internet and cloud application access.
Versa said in a statement that the customer benefits of a software-based SD-WAN environment include lower Capex and Opex; the ability to deploy a broader range of hardware platforms to better suit new technical requirements, such as targeted managed services and customized in-house deployments; rapid delivery of specialised platforms to meet specific business opportunities; higher performance and more scalability using multi-core processors and optimisation techniques such as Data Plane Developer Kit (DPDK); and, the ability to add features or capacity with replacing hardware.
The ecosystem’s launch partners include Advantech, Silicom Ltd and Lanner Electronics. Advantech has developed a scalable range of white box platforms to support Versa SD-WAN and SD-Security software. These platforms integrated into Versa’s Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and serviceability framework and are fully certified by Versa and profiled for exact performance and feature sets.
Silicom’s ADI Engineering Division appliances are optimised for SD-WAN and vCPE applications, with support for LTE and WiFim higher port density and the newest Intel CPU and acceleration technologies.
Lanner Electronics has created an integrated managed services product that merges Versa SD-WAN software with its virtual customer premise equipment (vCPE) platforms. The joint-product enables service providers to centrally and cost-effectively manage a truly NFV-based and software-defined WAN at their network customers’ sites, without requiring investments in proprietary hardware and hands-on management.
“We are excited to be partnering with global CPE leaders Advantech, Lanner and Silicom to accelerate the WAN’s evolution to software,” said Kumar Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Versa Networks. “With Versa’s innovative software platform and the high-value CPE from our partners, this ecosystem and architecture will be able to deliver a truly impactful operating and profit model for next-generation managed services like SD-WAN and SD-Security.”