SD-WANs get IPv6 support from Versa

Growth of IoT will drive need for more address space alone

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Software Defined Networking vendor Versa this week added support for IPv6 to its SD-WAN and security packages.

According to Kumar Mehta, founder and CDO of Versa Networks by supporting IPv4 and IPv6 for SD-WAN and SD-Security, customers will have the flexibility to design their WAN under IPv4 today and protect it from obsolescence as they switch over to IPv6 in the future.

+More SD-WAN coverage on Network World: Cisco talks 2017 SD-WAN predictions+

Mehta said the creators of IPv4 couldn’t have predicted was the explosive growth of mobile devices and the ‘always on’ Internet-connected devices, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), each of which requires its own unique address.

While IPv4 addresses are getting exhausted in most geographies, the good news is that IPv6 adoption is on the upswing, Mehta stated.

For example, IPv6 adoption stands at 26% in the U.S., and in many European countries it ranges from 25 to 49%. Statistics from Google show the percentage of users that access Google over IPv6 has markedly increased. For example, in January 2015, only about six percent of Google users accessed Google over IPv6. In January 2016, that number climbed to about 10%, and in January 2017, the number jumped to roughly 16%, Mehta stated.

Versa’s FlexVNF software and appliances supports a variety of SD-WAN features among them, automatic branch office provisioning, policy setting and enforcement, load balancing and redundant controllers.

Versa competes most closely with a number of software-defined WAN start-ups and established players: Glue Networks, Viptela, Cloudgenix, Cradlepoint, Talari, Nuage Networks, Silver Peak, VeloCloud, and even Cisco with its Intelligent WAN (IWAN) product line comprised of ISR branch routers and ASR edge routers. In branch security, Versa competes with pure security vendors like Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet and Check Point, as well as established vendors with broader product lines, like Cisco and Juniper Networks.

+More SD-WAN coverage on Network World: Branch office links, big bandwidth needs drive SD-WAN evolution

In December Gartner wrote that spending on SD-WAN products will rise from $129 million in 2016 to $1.24 billion in 2020. “While WAN architectures and technologies tend to evolve at a very slow pace — perhaps a new generation every 10 to 15 years — the disruptions caused by the transformation to digital business models are driving adoption of SD-WAN at a pace that is unheard of in wide-area networking,” Gartner wrote.

Mehta late last year made several predictions about SD-WANs for 2017. From his blog post:

  • We predict enterprises and service providers will move toward a combination of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and security (SD-Security) solutions that are aimed at reducing the number of appliances in the branch office. In addition to capex/opex savings, this appliance reduction will make branch office network management easier and more secure, because there will be less room for user error.
  • White box vendors will start grabbing bigger market share in this space as organizations continue their migration to software-defined LANs / WANs and NFV-based networks.
  • We predict we’ll see the adoption of software-based (and highly application-aware) networking (both SDN in the LAN and SD-WAN in wide-area) to deliver more self-healing architectures and solutions that essentially insert themselves into an organization network to automatically monitor application and end user experience and automatically make necessary policy-based changes to ensure both uptime and optimal user experience to support ongoing digitalization of business.

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