Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) provider Versa Networks teamed with white-box hardware vendors Advantech, Silicom, and Lanner Electronics to promote an open hardware ecosystem for SD-WAN customers. The alliance hopes to attract more vendors and integrators to the group.
According to Mark Weiner, chief marketing officer at Versa, one of the main reasons for forming the alliance is that many customers don’t want to be locked into using proprietary hardware. “We want to give them exactly the hardware that they want,” he said in an interview with SDxCentral.
Versa is hoping that by forming this alliance it will be able to offer customers a broader range of hardware options that come pre-loaded with Versa software. Weiner added that white box hardware is more cost effective than proprietary hardware and can be more quickly and easily deployed.
Versa helped formalize the alliance and then did a range of testing in its labs with the other partners to make sure that the various hardware options work and that customers are well informed about the different model numbers. However, Weiner added that there is an opportunity for systems integrators to get involved in the program. “There is an opportunity for systems integrators and others. Integrators can understand the customers’ needs and get more granular,” he said.
This alliance builds upon a deal Versa did with EMC earlier this year, which basically reduced the amount of hardware needed for deploying SD-WAN. In that deal, EMC validated Versa’s FlexVNF software with EMC’s network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure platform, creating a virtual CPE. Each Versa virtual network function (VNF) now supports up to 250 customers as opposed to having to deploy individual aggregation devices for each customer.