While the vendor’s SD-WAN technology uses a “pretty standard SD-WAN overlay” with physical, off-the-shelf appliances, Mushroom’s ability to build and combine VNFs with its product makes it stand out from the rest, said Cahit Akin, CEO and co-founder of Mushroom Networks.
The VNF Design Studio, announced last year, is essentially a library of nodes that allows engineers to build VNFs that are custom-made for specific applications. By dragging-and-dropping components in the design studio, engineers are able to create a custom WAN overlay tunnel that matches an application’s specific flow type and service level agreements (SLAs).
For example, if an engineer wants to use the VNF Design Studio to build a custom overlay for an application that relies heavily on video, the VNF tunnel is able to recognize which packets are carrying the video files and will filter out the rest accordingly to ensure those reach the end-user first with the least latency.
“Once you have the tunnels built, they present themselves within the SD-WAN system as virtual interfaces, meaning that users can filter traffic onto that path,” Akin said. “This gives the users more options in terms of where their traffic will be routed and lets them prioritize applications using tunnels that are tailor made for them.”
Instead of relying on physical WAN connections, these VNF tunnels provide connections that are optimized for certain applications. All of the VNF Design Studio’s capabilities are included in the customer premises equipment (CPE) for the SD-WAN as well.
Now, the SD-WAN vendor is opening up its VNF library to its reseller, system integrator, service provider, and telecom provider partners to offer their end-users a variety of services. This will allow Mushroom’s partners to provide better quality services for voice-over IP (VoIP), video, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and other cloud offerings.