Gartner published its Market Guide for Software-Defined WAN in December 2015 where it defines the key operating requirements for the new SD-WAN market and discusses the first set of vendors in this nascent market. By meeting the listed operating requirements, Gartner recognized Versa Networks as a Representative Vendor of SD-WAN.
Gartner’s SD-WAN definition requires that vendors meet four key requirements:
1. “SD-WAN solutions provide a lightweight replacement for traditional WAN routers, and are agnostic to WAN transport technologies (that is, they support MPLS, Internet, Long Term Evolution [LTE], etc.).”
2. “Based on business and/or application policies, SD-WAN solutions allow for load sharing of traffic across multiple WAN connections in an efficient and dynamic fashion.”
3. “SD-WAN solutions dramatically simplify the complexity associated with management, configuration and orchestration of WANs.”
4. “SD-WAN solutions must provide secure VPNs, and have the ability to integrate additional network services and offload Internet-destined traffic closer to the edge of the network.”
Versa FlexVNF software with SD-WAN capability, (Versa SD-WAN from now on) supports complete dynamic routing on the LAN and WAN sides and can replace a traditional router. It is agnostic to the different WAN transport technologies while still understanding the priorities and characteristics of the circuits. Centralized policies are applied, but they can be tuned to a region, group, or set of branches.
Application SLAs differ for voice, video, interactive, and transactional applications. And the WAN circuit metrics (like latency, jitter, available bandwidth, and packet loss) differ at various points in time. Versa SD-WAN supports intelligent load balancing of applications based on application SLAs, WAN circuit characteristics, as well as business policies. For instance, enterprise SharePoint or build server traffic can be prioritized over MPLS circuits and Internet streaming traffic could be sent over broadband. If business critical applications do not meet their SLAs, other non-critical traffic can be dynamically rate limited in the same circuit or load balanced in a backup link.
To simplify management and orchestration, Versa supports Zero Touch Provisioning of configuration. Thousands of Versa SD-WAN branch CPE units can be easily deployed, authenticated, and configured without the need for specialized IT staff at the branch. New services, routes, or bandwidth can be easily added or changed through centralized policies from a centralized SD-WAN controller and Versa’s management solution – Versa Director. Northbound REST APIs from Versa Director make it automation and orchestration ready. Versa Analytics is a big data analytics platform that provides deep insights into WAN circuit usage, connection and application metrics.
A secure VPN involves solving the full mesh secure connectivity problem without the nightmare of maintaining full mesh connections without a prescription. Versa SD-WAN provides secure VPN connectivity for both control and data connections between branch to branch, branch to public cloud, and branch to SD-WAN controller(s).
Internet breakout is made possible by service chaining the Versa next-gen firewall Virtual Network Function (VNF) with Versa SD-WAN. There is no need for third party proxies or firewalls as they add latency and reduce application performance. So an enterprise can use Skype for business at a few branches and break out Skype at the branch edge instead of backhauling traffic to the data center over costly MPLS circuits. This proves to be incredibly efficient both in terms of cost and performance.
Versa SD-WAN is truly carrier-grade as it brings together its inherent NFV advantages of multi-tenancy, elasticity, and scalability. There are a wide variety of deployment platforms, both physical as well as virtual, on VMware ESXi, Openstack, and containers. The deployment architectures can be hub and spoke, full mesh and partial mesh.
Gartner recommends that “Enterprises should look beyond their traditionally preferred vendors and evaluate solutions from emerging vendors to fully take advantage of innovations “and that “SD-WAN should be implemented as part of a comprehensive WAN architecture, which should include network service chaining both on-site and in the cloud.”
Versa Networks with its secure connectivity, branch security, carrier-grade multi-tenancy, management ease, big data analytics and automation readiness is perfectly poised to disrupt the branch with its SD-WAN technology.
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