An SD-WAN startup is using technology created by its founders while they were at Cornell University to streamline the way packets of data are delivered over an SD-WAN network. Mode, which touts its routing system and its software-defined core (SD-Core) technology, caught the attention of Ericsson and is now partnering with the equipment maker to offer its SD-Core network to enterprises.
According to Paul Dawes, CEO of Mode, the company’s proprietary SD-Core technology is based upon what it calls Mode Halo, which is the mathematically optimized routing system developed by Cornell University computer scientists Nithin Michael and Kevin Tang. While at Cornell, Michael and Tang discovered the equations that define modern, optimized packet-switched networks and then used those equations to create the routing system. The technology takes place at Layer 3 — the control layer for the network.
Mode offers its SD-Core technology to enterprises so they can combine it with SD-WAN and last-mile internet to create the type of reliability and quality of service offered by private networks. “Mode is running a global private network using our proprietary technology, and then we are offering that as a private network to enterprises,” Dawes said.
By using Mode’s private network, enterprises can take advantage of the reliability and the guaranteed connectivity, but they also can keep their existing MPLS connections if they want, too. “As enterprises move to SD-WAN, if they want to keep their reliability intact they think they have to keep their MPLS,” Dawes said. But with Mode, the enterprise can also forgo their MPLS and instead get the same reliability using Mode’s technology. “We give them a low-cost solution … they can push a button and have a private network,” he said.
The company’s work with Ericsson is providing it with lots of different opportunities. Ericsson is a customer and uses Mode’s SD-WAN as an overlay for the company’s edge compute network. But the Swedish firm also plans to resell this to its service provider customers. Dawes said that Telstra and Singtel are already partners. In addition, Ericsson has a large number of enterprise customers.
Dawes said that most of Mode’s sales are directly to enterprise customers, but the company believes that integrators and value-added resellers are also important channels for reaching potential customers.
Mode recently raised $16 million in Series B funding led by GV with a grant from the National Science Foundation. That funding comes on top of an $8 million Series A round led by NEA in 2017.