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S-Net Deploys Versa's SD-WAN Platform

Kelsey Kusterer Ziser
8/1/2017
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S-Net Communications is partnering with Versa Networks to deliver SD-WAN and SD-Security services to its global enterprise and SMB customers via Versa's Cloud IP Platform, according to an announcement today.

Based in the Chicago area, S-Net Communications delivers high-speed fiber Internet and VoIP business phone systems to more than 30,000 subscribers, and will use Versa's SD-WAN solution to "augment or replace MPLS for its voice services." (See S-Net Communications Partners With Versa Networks to Provide SD-WAN for Cloud Voice Services.)

"Now we can prepare our customers for a cloud migration because Versa Networks gives us the ability to control applications through entire enterprises of our customers," said Alex Fayn, president and CEO of S-Net Communications, in an interview with Light Reading. "We plan on delivering software-defined networking as a complete managed solution so our customers do not have to worry about managing broadband, MPLS or fiber connections."

S-Net has already deployed the SD-WAN service to about 15 customers and more than 100 locations. According to Fayn, S-Net can deploy the Versa Networks SD-WAN platform to remote locations and integrate with legacy technology like MPLS and dedicated private circuits at their customers' corporate headquarters to deliver a cloud voice platform.

In addition, SD-WAN prepares customers for migration to cloud services such as Azure, AWS or Office 365, and provides them with the capability to prioritize those applications on their networks, he said.

The SD-WAN platform also addresses call fail-over and service-interruption -- if one circuit fails, calls continue, which is particularly important to S-Net's call center customers, for example.


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"SD-WAN products like Versa Networks' and its competitors' vastly improve a managed services provider's ability to deliver reliable, performant branch networking cost effectively," said Mike Fratto, research director for Enterprise Networking and Data Center Technology at GlobalData, in an email to Light Reading. "Features like deep packet inspection, application classification, and intelligent forwarding ensures optimal application performance -- a fundamental requirement for unified communication -- in a dynamic environment."

More established and new managed service providers (MSPs) are utilizing SD-WAN "as part of a land-and-expand strategy" to reach beyond their geographic footprint "and overlay a consistent branch network architecture regardless of the underlying ISP connection," continued Fratto.

Security in the SD-WAN platform was also a concern for S-Net, which selected Versa because the SD-Security service delivers a firewall and unified threat management in the same device so less hardware is deployed at remote locations.

"If you're putting in Internet connectivity, you need to put in security as well," said Mark Weiner, CMO of Versa, in an interview with Light Reading. "If you can have it all in one product, one solution, one architecture, it's a lot easier for the customers to manage, to actually maintain the security, and to grow and operate it, and reduce the sprawl in your branch, etc."

Nearly 40% of enterprise respondents from Versa and Dimensional Research's 2016 survey, "Using SD-WAN to Simplify & Secure the Network," noted that "they don't even have a basic firewall in their branch so you're putting a direct Internet connection in, then you have to put in a range of security, and more than just a firewall just to secure the branch -- versus historically going through the data center or a regional hub where you have your security," said Weiner.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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