WAN connectivity and edge functionality have been evolving quickly. The evolution really began within the data centre and cloud, driven by the advantages that virtualisation technology and software defined networking brought.
The network edge is undergoing a transformative change, and SD-WAN is at the centre of this change. Enterprises were initially drawn to SD-WAN because of the cost savings it enabled by leveraging both MPLS and Broadband Internet.
Some pure-play SD-WAN vendors added capabilities that increased application reliability; for instance, link congestion avoidance through packet steering, packet replication and forward error correction.
These solutions also gave companies the ability to extend their WAN edge perimeter beyond the branch and data centre, to cloud and SaaS, and allowed them to still manage everything centrally.
As companies began moving more sites to SD-WAN, they realised how important the reliability and application performance were. However, they also realised they still required separate security functionality that ran in parallel with their SD-WAN implementation.
“Versa offers a different approach for companies that want a build-their-own Secure SD-WAN solution, and a more simplified solution by leveraging an MSP with managed services built around Versa Secure SD-WAN,” said Andre Kannemeyer, CTO at Duxbury Networking, distributors of Versa technology.
Versa has a complete and full-featured WAN edge solution, with all functionality provided through the single Versa Operating System (VOS). This eliminates the complexity of managing and correlating the data from every individual function, like firewall, WAN optimiser, router, and SD-WAN. It enables the software-defined enterprise to extend end-to-end, across branches, data centres, clouds, campuses, 5G, IoT, edge compute, mobile, wired and wireless.
Versa was ranked as the top pure-play and Secure SD-WAN vendor in Dell’Oro Group’s inaugural SD-WAN market share, published in the 4Q19 Router & Carrier Ethernet Switch Report. In addition, industry association MEF has selected Versa as one of the first technology vendors certified to support MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services. This certification enables service and technology providers to validate the conformance of their services and products to the industry-leading SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) global standard.
The integrated Versa architecture is highly effective because Versa Secure SD-WAN processes each packet only once and each function – security, SD-WAN, routing, etc. – acts on that packet simultaneously. This dramatically increases efficiency, closes security gaps, improves performance, reduces latency, and eliminates the need for multiple software instances, or multiple hardware appliances. This also enables a single-pane-of-glass for configuration, management and monitoring of security, SD-WAN, routing, analytics, WAN optimisation, and multi-tenancy.
“Many enterprises are still unable to part with their legacy routers, since they still rely on them for advanced routing capabilities. In doing so, they are essentially encumbered with three devices – SD-WAN, security and router – with less functionality than Versa offers. Versa delivers a full, scalable, and advanced routing stack to meet those requirements within the same VOS software operating system,” said Kannemeyer.
Versa Secure SD-WAN enables a Zero Trust architecture. Enterprises can have visibility into traffic traversing the network between users, applications and devices, regardless of their location. It also enables massively scalable IoT implementations across the entire enterprise. This includes support for IoT devices, gateways, analytics, storage, and compute.
“IoT implementations require enormous scale, performance and prioritisation to perform seamlessly and in real-time. The Versa Secure SD-WAN has the ability to automatically segment specific types of IoT devices as they appear on the network; then apply the most appropriate policies to those devices based on their profile, while levering genuine multi-tenancy,” said Kannemeyer.
SASE for enterprises and service providers
Versa is laying the foundation and services to enable the secure access service edge, or SASE, for both enterprises and service providers. SASE combines numerous security services, such as secure web gateway, cloud access security broker and next-generation firewall as a service and zero trust network access.
“Many enterprises have a vision to implement SASE in its entirety or as a hybrid model. Versa is already delivering portions of this by leveraging its strength and comprehensive capabilities that can be deployed in the cloud and on-premises, or utilised in a hybrid fashion,” said Kannemeyer.
Similarly, service providers can leverage Versa to equip SMME, mid-market and large or multinational organisations. “We help them expand their managed services portfolio with a simplified and unified architecture. Versa transforms the experience of our clients’ customers with a self-provision, self-care capability, with knowledge across multiple dimensions needed to run their businesses.
“Our service provider solutions are designed to integrate managed services, while maintaining operational efficiency and reducing cost. These managed services include managed SD-WAN, managed software-defined branch, managed software-defined security, and managed software-defined router services,” said Kannemeyer.
Versa provides complete SD-WAN multi-tenancy for service providers that allows total separation between every tenant, and enables each to have their own complete Secure SD-WAN implementation.
Versa’s disruptive SD-WAN technology is now fully integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to leverage Amazon VPC Ingress Routing, which allows Versa customers to associate route tables with the Internet gateway and virtual private gateway functions to redirect ingress traffic through networking and security appliances such as Versa FlexVNF.
Kannemeyer pointed out that going into the future, Versa’s secure SD-WAN will continue to evolve capabilities for a more robust Zero Trust architecture – one that will give enterprises even greater visibility into traffic traversing the network between users, applications and devices, regardless of their location.
“Versa will also be enhancing its predictive networking capabilities, and more robust machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. The company’s vision is to deliver comprehensive WAN edge solutions that fully enable the software-defined enterprise on-premises and in the cloud, extending across branches, data centres, multi-clouds, campuses, mobile and 5G.”
This article was published in partnership with Duxbury Networking.