Edgewater Networks, which makes enterprise session border controllers, popped up from a long silence this week to announce that it has taken a $5 million loan to develop products based on SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV).
The new products are designed to complement the company's current offerings and allow carriers to launch managed services quicker.
Edgewater has been awfully quiet; the last time we wrote about the company was a name check in a 2006 article. (See Cheat Sheet: VOIP for Small Business.) But Edgewater claims to have more than 240,000 Edgewater Enterprise Session Border Controllers deployed by leading service providers and integrators, including one of the two largest US carriers and three of the top five US cable operators. The customer base is made of large carriers that install into enterprise, SMB, and branch offices for hosted voice, SIP trunking services, and data connectivity.
The debt financing from Eastward Capital brings Edgewater's total debt and equity funding to $36 million.
Edgewater appliances sit at the customer premises, but the company considers its EdgeView management system to be the crown jewel, tying everything together. That makes the technology a natural target for conversion to an SDN/NFV architecture, John Macario, Edgewater's vice president of marketing, told Light Reading. This project is already under way and known internally as Project Apollo. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)
"Our core value is software. We only view our appliances as containers for our software," said Dave Martin, vice president of product management. "Apollo is a means to allow customers to offer additional services without having to roll another truck."
Edgewater sees the SDN/NFV transition as inevitable -- the type of grand shift that comes along two or three times in a person's career. "This will take a while to implement at the service provider level," CEO Dave Norman said. It wants to enable service providers to take advantage of SDN/NFV before the transition is complete. "We're not going to wait five years for everybody's network to be software-defined before we give them ways to take advantage of it."
This is the most recent of several NFV announcements made this week. Overture Networks launched virtualized CPE for virtual branch office router, VPN, and firewall, with additional virtual network functions available as options. (See Overture Trials NFV Software With Hidden Punch.) And Riverbed launched a virtualized monitoring appliance; though it didn't use the NFV label for this offering, it sure seems like one. (See Riverbed Debuts Virtualized Monitoring Appliance.)
Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.