Canadian performance management provider Martello, following its merger with software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) vendor Elfiq, is embracing the SD-WAN market. Martello validated the Elfiq technology in a scalability project with Canada’s Center of Excellence in Next-Generation Networks (CENGN).
Martello develops software and hardware for cloud-hosted unified communications and network performance monitoring and diagnostics, and now SD-WAN. Sebastien Tellier, Martello’s marketing manager, said moving to SD-WAN was a “no brainer” for Martello. The company began building solutions for bandwidth optimization and evolved to link balancing, to bandwidth aggregation, to the hybrid WAN, and finally, to SD-WAN with its acquisition of Elfiq, which it completed this January.
While the deal was referred to as a merger, Elfiq is officially a subsidiary of Martello.
Martello chose Elfiq Networks, in part, for its SD-WAN link balancing capabilities as well as its bandwidth management capabilities. Following the merger, Martello and Elfiq launched their first SD-WAN platform, Atlas, this month.
Atlas is a subscription-based SD-WAN service. It includes a new hardware platform, Edge, a virtual private network (VPN), Stream, and a firewall. Each component is meant to target end-user quality of experience, business continuity, and performance, said Tellier.
Business continuity is enabled with the link balancing features for multi-site balancing and multi-site path selection to ensure downtime is not debilitating. “Our failover speeds — we can document it and we’ve tested it — is under a second,” said Tellier. It supports connections from satellite, LTE, 3G, copper, fiber, Ethernet, public broadband, and MPLS.
However, the company also doesn’t want to be “containerized as a failover player,” said Fred Parent, the co-founder of Elfiq. “We use all paths that are available in real-time, and we do [link] balancing in a way that we support symmetric balancing which is really, really precise balancing.” Symmetric refers to packets of a session being sent out and returning on the same link.
This is enabled because its current technology was built on network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure. “It’s very flexible and module,” said Parent.
To address performance concerns, the company launched its Stream VPN engine for the SD-WAN. It enables new-zero touch provisioning, encrypts traffic per flow, and follows network requirements from the administrators. Additionally, it ensures there is no performance degradation as a company scales its network to additional sites.
The company claims its SD-WAN technology can manage over 500 interconnected sites with a single controller without performance degradation.
Elfiq also built its own stateful firewall, which inspects both incoming and outgoing packets for potential threats, which is part of the SD-WAN technology.
Martello’s CEO John Proctor referred to its work in the SD-WAN field as “making the plumbing work.” He said, “the networks out there are getting more complicated, and more and congested, and we wanted to really simplify and make that environment more efficient.”
Testing With CENGN
As Martello and Elfiq launch the Atlas SD-WAN platform, they partnered with CENGN to test Elfiq’s virtual devices on CENGN’s OpenStack infrastructure. Partnering with CENGN “was to show that we have a new engine [the Stream VPN] capable of doing thousands and thousands of tunnel overlays,” said Parent. “Using their infrastructure we can do real-life tests, real-life situations with real sites to show the customers that they can leverage a thousand sites.”