& cplSiteName &

Startup Versa Announces 'Carrier-Grade' Multi-Tenant NFV Platform

Mitch Wagner
11/10/2015
50%
50%

Startup Versa Networks is officially decloaking from the least stealthiest pre-launch mode ever, shipping a software platform designed to allow service providers to meet their enterprise customers' needs for networking agility between branches and in multi-tenant environments.

The Versa Networks software, announced Tuesday, combines an SDN-WAN management platform with an infrastructure that lets service providers deploy VNFs in the cloud or on customer premises -- whatever configurations makes sense for the enterprise customer.

For example, a small enterprise might prefer to run all its VNFs in the cloud, and let the service provider manage everything. However, a large enterprise -- or any enterprise with regulatory constraints -- might prefer to have firewall, encryption and other network functions running locally, on customer premises equipment (CPE), Versa says.

"It allows you to deploy centrally and decide what you want on the premises," CEO Kumar Mehta, a Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) veteran who led development of that company's multi-billion-dollar MX router series, tells Light Reading.

The Versa software also lets service providers manage SD-WAN intelligently to move workloads between expensive, reliable MPLS networks and less reliable -- but less costly -- public Internet connections.

Founded in 2012, Versa was in stealth mode for years, but it hasn't been very stealthy about it. The company has exhibited and presented at conferences, and CEO Mehta gave a video interview with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders in August.

We wrote about Versa several times over the past two years:

The Versa platform is designed to be easy to upgrade and manage, and work well in a multi-tenant environment, Mehta says.

Versa says it has 45 proofs of concept, field trials and production deployments underway, with ten revenue-paying customers, including Orange Business Services , Colt Technology Services Group Ltd (London: COLT) and RCN Corp. , as well as very large enterprise customers. (See Orange Unveils NFV-Based Offering for SMBs.)

The software, available now, comprises Versa FlexNFV, providing virtualized network and security with carrier-grade multi-tenancy, programmability, service chaining, elasticity and deployment; Versa Director, for control and management of connectivity and services; and Versa Analytics, for control, visibility, prediction and adaptability, Versa says.

How It Works
Versa describes its NFV architecture. (Source: Versa.)
Versa describes its NFV architecture. (Source: Versa.)

The platform combines vCPE, SD-WAN and security to provide networking for branches and managed service providers. The software provides centralized management, zero-touch provisioning, a secure overlay network and application-aware routing. The application-aware routing software recognizes 2,500 apps from Versa and other vendors, Versa says.

Versa is "attacking a pretty important new marketplace," combining NFV, SD-WAN and CPE, says Infonetics analyst Cliff Grossner. "It's the right time to be attacking the market."

Versa faces competition from the comms industry's big guns, including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), but is well-positioned against that competition because of the comprehensiveness of the platform, Grossner says. Versa will likely need to partner with big companies to get in the door with comms providers, because comms companies look to big vendors, with whom they have long, trusted partnerships, first. "You have to find your way into a bigger ecosystem," Grossner says. In the long run, Versa may find itself being acquired, as happened with Tail-f and Cisco.

Versa's target market is comms companies providing WAN and managed services, looking to use software running on commodity hardware to provide their networks with necessary agility -- key characteristics of the New IP. Versa places the size of that market at $40 billion.

Versa differentiates by allowing service providers and enterprises to choose where to run VNFs -- on customer premises or in the cloud. "I can put it in the branch," CMO Mark Weiner tells Light Reading. "Or I can put it in the head end -- the next-generation POP or data center -- and make the branch real skinny. I can put it all together with my kit of Lego."


Find out more about network functions virtualization on Light Reading's NFV channel.


VNFs can run on X86 white boxes, or in the cloud in virtual machines (supporting KVM and ESXi) or in containers. Network operators looking to provide CPE can buy white boxes directly from ODMs, or buy an integrated solution from Versa. But the hardware is not how Versa differentiates. "Our job is not to make money on hardware. We are a software play," Weiner says.

Versa makes its software available by subscription -- buy what you use. The company provides a dozen VNFs, including routing, VPN, carrier grade NAT, malware and DOS protection, address management and quality of service. But the platform runs VNFs from Versa and other vendors.

The software is optimized for five levels of multi-tenancy hierarchy, to fit business models where a big service provider might sell services to multiple distributors, each of which sells to multiple retailers, each of which sells to commercial customers, which might have their own internal tenants.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia Introduces Virtual Service Router for More Rapid Service

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


James Cumming, product line manager for virtualized service routers at Nokia, demonstrates how the virtual router based off the Nokia ecosystem changes the network function experience.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Time for a Telecom Reboot
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 4/19/2017
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Unlicensed: It's What's Next for US Mobile Operators
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.