Versa Networks Extends Software-Defined Branch With New Unified Communications Services
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Versa Networks, a leading provider of next-generation software-based networking and security solutions, today announced a significant addition to its Versa Cloud IP Platform. Building on the company's industry-leading software-defined branch (SD-Branch) capabilities, the Versa Cloud IP Platform now features embedded voice and video codec support to provide native mean opinion score (MOS)-based traffic engineering and reporting for unified communications (UC) services (voice and video).
The problem with most SD-WAN solutions is that they can only identify voice or video packets and abide by a policy defined by loss, latency, jitter and delay requirements as well as by circuit priority to move traffic in an optimal fashion. What they cannot do is give a real-time assessment of the actual user experience of a voice/video session as captured by a MOS score1 and define policies based on embedded MOS data. This means that typical SD-WAN solutions are not making decisions based on the quality of the actual user experience; rather, they are making them based on the quality and behavior of a set of transport circuits.
Versa addresses this fundamental gap with an enriched set of capabilities that identify business-class voice and video traffic and provide deeper analysis, reporting and traffic steering to enable an optimal user experience.
- The ability to create MOS-based voice and video traffic-steering policies to provide the best user experience across the WAN end-to-end
- The ability to decode and encode voice and video traffic streams to further extrapolate additional quality information in real time based on embedded MOS data
- Native real-time and historical reporting and analysis of voice and video quality based on MOS and codec type to enhance the quality of critical services
- Dynamic distribution and sharing of MOS metrics to all nodes within the SD-WAN to ensure end-to-end optimization based on the user's voice and video experience
These features enable the ability to further consolidate appliances and to software-define the branch. Furthermore, the Versa Cloud IP Platform can host third-party virtualized session border controllers (SBCs) via its embedded kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor and deliver advanced service chaining based on MOS and codec metrics and classifications. The platform also optimizes UC services and SBCs by offloading security services and handling traffic quality and optimization prior to handing the traffic to cloud-based or on-premises SBCs. The solution offers complete event and traffic quality correlation of network, security and unified communications with single-pane-of-glass management.
The Managed-Services Advantage
Managed-service providers can use the Versa Cloud IP Platform to deliver high-quality, business-class voice and video services for unified communications as a service (UCaaS) by bundling Versa Secure SD-WAN with their UC solutions. This bundling enables UCaaS providers such as Versa customer S-NET Communications to strengthen their portfolios for downstream customers and for partners such as VergX to enhance their Versa Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) SD-WAN platforms to natively support UC optimizations. As a result, VergX resellers can strengthen their UCaaS portfolios and providers such as S-NET Communications can leverage a secure SD-WAN offering to make an optimized solution that complements their own UC service.
"The enhancements from Versa offer optimizations and greater UC intelligence, something our VNaaS (Versa Network-as-a-Service) customers need to further extend their SD-WAN and UCaaS solutions," said, Chris Chirico, COO, VergX. "Now we can offer our resellers a more secure and advanced business-class voice- and video-optimized SD-WAN infrastructure that will enable them to provide a more robust and cohesive solution to their enterprise customers."
"Versa's Cloud IP Platform has enabled us to provide our VoIP clients with an optimized network infrastructure that ensures the reliability of their voice communications," said Alex Fayn, CEO, S-NET Communications. "These latest additions of native MOS reporting and traffic steering will support us in deploying more-robust SD-WAN and VoIP solutions, ensuring exceptional security and reliability for our Managed Voice Services."
The Enterprise Advantage
Enterprises will appreciate the voice and video updates to the Versa Cloud IP Platform because they reduce IT troubleshooting and tickets related to voice and video. By optimizing and leveraging real-time MOS data in the SD-WAN, IT teams can ensure near 100-percent uptime and maintain a positive experience for business multimedia services. In addition, the platform provides MOS reporting natively within the SD-WAN solution, which improves voice- and video-application and user-experience reporting as well as end-to-end visibility.
"The Versa Cloud IP Platform has always been able to identify voice and video traffic and dynamically and intelligently steer it across the WAN, but our new support for multiple voice and video codecs and MOS-based scoring, as well as our associated traffic-engineering capabilities, further enables our platform to deliver a more-optimized unified communications experience," said Kumar Mehta, founder and CDO, Versa Networks. "Versa is evolving from our foundation in data connectivity and security to full multimedia optimization. And right now, no other SD-WAN vendor can match our Cloud IP Platform's features and capabilities."
1 = MOS (Mean Opinion Score) is a measure from 1 (being the worst) to 5 (being the best). MOS scoring can be subjective, as it originated from the phone companies and used human input from related quality tests. A VoIP simulation that drops below 3.5 is considered poor quality, while a measure of 4.2-4.5 is considered good quality. The MOS-based traffic control capabilities of Versa SD-WAN allow Versa to provide SD-WAN solutions tailored to monitor voice quality levels for each of the voice (or media) flows; they also provide a means to make SD-WAN decisions to fulfill and maintain certain voice quality, such as the ability to choose and use the link for best voice qualities. This is another example of a purpose-built application based on the service level agreement (SLA) monitoring and management capabilities of the Versa Cloud IP Platform.