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Automation

Gluware Reboot Targets IT Automation

After going incognito for a while, Glue Networks is making a resurgence today under a new moniker and revitalized mission to "automate the mundane" in IT management via model-based engines.

Gluware , which made its name as an SD-WAN partner for Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), is repurposing its flagship product name -- Gluware -- as its new company name and today is releasing Gluware 3.0, which it has been retooling over the past year. (See Gluware Launches the Industry’s First Multi-Vendor, Multi-Domain IT Automation and Orchestration Solutions.)

Gluware claims to be launching the industry's first end-to-end, multi-vendor platform for IT automation and orchestration. It uses a model-driven, intent-based approach to provide orchestration for both physical and virtual environments.

Gluware's goal is to move beyond SD-WAN configuration to the more general case of network and IT automation, creating a layer of abstraction that can help customers avoid vendor lock-in. Gluware 3.0 acts as a control panel or central management portal for multiple network nodes and devices, an alternative to addressing IT management by logging into independent devices.

That could help customers mix devices from multiple vendors -- using a Fortinet firewall appliance as well as virtual firewalls from Palo Alto Networks, for instance. That's something they're reluctant to do even as virtualization takes hold, says Eric Clelland, SVP of sales, marketing and business development for Gluware.

"Typically, the customers -- the operations people -- are resistant in terms of moving from the physical to the virtual, and if they do, they'll more than likely [stick with] the same vendor name," Clelland says.

Instead of changing network parameters at the node level, Gluware uses an intent-based approach. It looks at the network as a whole, using device modeling to forward instructions to multiple vendors' gear. The approach does require Gluware to develop extensions to connect each vendor's equipment to the modeling engine. The company has developed 18 of these, letting its software control switches, routers and firewalls from vendors such as Arista, Cisco, Dell, Fortinet, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Juniper, Riverbed and more.

"I think it's going to quickly commoditize the hardware equipment in ways where the customers don't have to worry what's underneath," Clelland says

Gluware also provides automation packages that provide additional features for its platform; names include Config Drift, OS Upgrade, QoS Management, VLAN Management, Application SD-WAN and VNFusion.

Gluware software is available in the cloud or on-premises, through subscription or perpetual models.


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At VMWorld 2017, Gluware -- a new partner of VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) -- will demo the new Gluware control platform, including VNFusion, which helps enterprises or service providers transition from physical to virtual operations.

"VNFusion is the ability to push configuration both to the physical devices and to the virtual network and VNFs to provide an end-to-end service. Today there really isn't anything stitching together both the physical and the virtual," says Richard Lopez, VP of solutions architect for Gluware.

As Glue Networks, Gluware targeted large customers such as drug, financial and Fortune 500 companies, but more recently it's added small and midsized businesses (SMBs) -- like school districts and banks -- in addition to mid-tier service providers. Gluware has enterprise customers in more than 25 countries.

The company raised over $37 million in funding, and expanded to 46 employees which now includes former Cyan co-founder Eric Clelland and his team. Cyan sold to Ciena in 2015 for about $400 million, providing Ciena with the Blue Planet multivendor orchestration platform, and Clelland joined Gluware in the fall of 2016. (See Ciena to Acquire Cyan for $400M.)

In the company's early days in 2011, Gluware partnered with Cisco to aid its customers in the management and configuration of Cisco's IWAN SD-WAN platform. With Cisco's recent acquisition of Viptela, Clelland claims Gluware is now positioned as the only software company that can help enterprises and service providers bolster their IWAN platforms. (See Is the End Near for Cisco's IWAN?)

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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