With two announced customers under its belt, Versa is taking the next step in SD-WANdom by launching its own SD-WAN ecosystem. Three of its members are virtual CPE vendors Advantech Co. Ltd. , Silicom Ltd. and Lanner Electronics Inc. , and there are other members not yet announced.
According to Mark Weiner, chief marketing officer at Versa Networks , this ecosystem has been part of Versa's founders' -- Kumar and Apurva Mehta -- vision all along. "Their vision was taking an NFV-based approach and really building out a super deep set of network and security virtualized network functions and building a platform to run it on. The thought was we are going to build all these functions so that providers can customize managed services and make the software to do it hardware-independent," he said. "As we worked on this with a number of virtual CPE vendors to test it and help customers launch services with it, given the traction we're seeing, it really made sense to do a more formal ecosystem so that the industry can see that there is a new model." (See Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services.)
The ecosystem solidifies the relationships and testing Versa has with its partners to show the benefit of separating hardware from software, noted Wiener. "This is the strategy and the execution behind the founders' idea of a truly software-based solution that uses standards-based, high performance, low-cost, white box hardware." (See Versa Establishes SD-WAN Ecosystem.)
Versa has been working with its partners on testing different white box devices with the goal of being able to advise customers on which boxes can take which levels of load so that they can determine -- based on price, capacity and future head room -- which devices make the most sense for each use case. (See Versa Adds RCN Business to Customer Roster and CenturyLink Selects Versa for SD-WAN & Security.)
According to Weiner, vCPE suppliers are just the beginning of the ecosystem. "We see this expanding over time to orchestration and other components. As we go from old-school proprietary boxes that maybe tie to OSS/BSS to a software-based infrastructure, there are so many more layers," he said. "We see this tying into lots of places, lots of components."
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, Light Reading