Ex-Juniper sibs look to soften up the WAN

Mehta brothers launch SDN start-up Versa Networks

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An SDN start-up has emerged from stealth to propose a new way to architect WANs and branch networks.

Versa Networks is co-founded by Kumar and Apurva Mehta, brothers and ex-Juniper Networks engineers who helped build one of that company’s most successful products, the MX edge router. Versa has over $40 million in funding since 2012 from Sequoia, Mayfield and Verizon Ventures, and is addressing a total available market worth over $40 billion.

The traditional WAN and managed service markets have not seen significant technology or operational changes in 20 years, Versa says. A number of software-defined WAN start-ups and established players are addressing this opportunity – Glue Networks, Viptela, Cloudgenix, Talari and even Cisco, among them – and Versa is the latest.

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There’s demand for these next-generation WAN products from both enterprises and service providers. Enterprises are hamstrung by long provisioning times, operational complexity, and the high cost of connectivity services and proprietary networking hardware. Service providers need to develop and provision managed services faster to increase revenue, and improve profitability through lower-cost infrastructure and product offerings.

Versa’s products are virtualized network and security functions (VNFs) in software that run on low-cost hardware, and a central management system. The products are targeted at virtual CPE, SD-WAN and virtual branch security applications.

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They include Versa FlexVNF, Versa Director and Versa Analytics. FlexVNF are the network and security VNFs themselves, which support multi-tenancy, service chaining, application awareness, scale and a range of deployment options, Versa says.

Director is the centralized service and connectivity manager. Analytics provides granular visibility and trending of the FlexVNF environment.

Deployment options include managed service offerings from service providers, including vCPE, managed SD-WAN and security; and enterprises can use them as the basis for private SD-WANs with security.

Versa VNF products are available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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