flexiWAN Offers Escape From SD-WAN Black Box

Startup flexiWAN debuts customizable, open source SD-WAN software, to give service providers an alternative to reselling the same SD-WAN services as everybody else.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

January 14, 2020

3 Min Read
flexiWAN Offers Escape From SD-WAN Black Box

Israeli startup flexiWAN has introduced open source SD-WAN software that, it believes, can give telcos a competitive edge by enabling them to customize services to suit their own needs.

The company says its approach, based on modular software elements, addresses a growing problem in the SD-WAN market -- namely that service providers are struggling to differentiate because they're all selling similar services based on the same set of inflexible systems, says flexiWAN's co-founder and CEO Amir Zmora.

"Our mission is to disrupt and democratize the SD-WAN market," Zmora says. flexiWAN says its modular nature allows service providers to integrate best-of-breed WAN optimization, security, network monitoring and other components to provide customized services to enterprise customers. Other SD-WAN providers offer a monolithic product -- a "black box," says the flexiWAN chief. "They throw it into one box and say 'take it or leave it'," claims Zmora.

Additionally, the open source nature of flexiWAN's software frees service providers from vendor lock-in, Zmora says.

flexiWAN's business model is to provide management services from the cloud, as well as an optional dedicated server, hosted and managed by the startup.

Learn more about how SD-WAN is transforming service providers at Light Reading's SD-WAN content channel.

The software, which shipped last week, is also available preinstalled on hardware from Advantech, Silicom and Lanner for on-premises operation.

Open source is becoming a problematic business model for traditional vendors that have witnessed competition from cloud providers (particularly Amazon Web Services) that host the same software, or clone it, and compete with the vendors for customers.

Are cloud providers like Amazon a threat to flexiWAN? "If Amazon decides to launch networking services, we are not in a position to stop them," Zmora says. "I'm not going to build a business model on being frightened by what Amazon can do. We need to focus on serving customers the best way we can. Amazon will provide whatever they provide."

Zmora makes the case for flexWAN in this three-minute video:

Why this matters
SD-WAN is a growth sector in an otherwise flat market for enterprise services. flexiWAN's customizable, open source approach may provide the differentiation it -- and its service provider customers -- need to stand out in a crowded field.

The approach has already attracted the attention of Telefónica, which has been developing SD-WAN proofs of concept (PoCs) with flexiWAN.

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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