Sedona Systems says its technology to integrate the IP layer with the optical layer of networks is already covering 95 percent of all fixed-line and mobile networks worldwide. That sounds rather astonishing. But CEO Yossi Wellingstein says the company is working with the biggest names in networking, including Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Ciena, Infinera, ADVA, and Coriant.
“If you map the market, I think only Fujitsu is missing,” says Wellingstein.
How has a two-year-old startup with $6 million in an initial funding round with Bessemer been able to accomplish this?
First, the founders of Sedona are established entrepreneurs with relationships in the networking world. Wellingstein was a member of the founding team of Barak 013, which was acquired by Cellcom. And CTO Ori Gerstel was previously a principal engineer at Cisco; he also worked at Tellabs and Nortel.
But Wellingstein says the “secret in integrating with all these vendors” is that Sedona Systems has sold its technology to operators. “Why would Cisco talk to us?” he asks. “Because Cisco was requested by Telefónica and others to cooperate with us. Integration of all these vendors is a result of working with carriers.”
Telefónica is the only publicly announced operator working with Sedona, but Wellingstein says the fact that his company has headquarters in Israel and the United States is an indication that Spain isn’t the home of its only operator.
In order to move quickly with their software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) goals, operators’ entire networks need to be more agile, including the lower two layers of the OSI model.
“At the end of the day there’s a network below that has to carry the bits from physical point A to physical point B,” Wellingstein says. “The underlying network that carries the packets has to be flexible and agile. And multivendor is key for multilayer control.”
In comes Sedona’s software technology.
First, the company connects with a network in read-only mode and maps its IP and optical layers as well as the cross-connections between the two layers. Since most carriers have more than one vendor, Sedona acts as a “Switzerland” to map all the IP and optical ports. It then puts the map into a 3D model that provides a real-time picture and populates a database based on the information.
“Everyone is kind of surprised to find out how low the utilization of their network is,” Wellingstein says. “It’s not even 30 percent.”
After that, Sedona is able to help operators find problem areas. For example, there are often problems with shared risk groups of fiber strands: The IP people may have established a primary route for critical traffic and also established a secondary route as a backup without realizing that the two routes share the same optic fiber. Seeing both the IP and optical layers allows for efficient network usage.