Versa FlexVNF


Versa Networks’ Versa FlexVNF software significantly improves customers’ WAN and branch networks by enabling a migration from legacy hardware to a modern software-based approach.

Versa FlexVNF helps customers create a broad spectrum of branch architectures, from a thin branch with the majority of virtualized network and security functions located in the data center, all the way to a thick branch with all virtualized network and security functions running in the branch office – such as an SD-WAN deployment with full security. Regardless of where each function is located, all network and security components are zero-touch provisioned and managed centrally through the Versa Director management platform.

Versa FlexVNF includes the broadest set of virtualized network functions (VNFs) in the industry – from a full set of networking capabilities, including SD-WAN, to a wide range of basic and advanced security functions – making it possible to design rich managed services and enterprise architectures, and deliver them with agility since they were designed to work seamlessly together.

Additionally, Versa FlexVNF is purpose-built with many carrier-grade operational capabilities, including a distributed control and data plane fabric with built-in elasticity and capacity on-demand. Powerful service chaining for both Versa and third party services, including appliances, enables providers and large enterprises to easily integrate multiple network and security functions into complex managed services and enterprise architectures.

Another key Versa capability for improving operational efficiency and service agility, as well as lowering total costs, is multi-tenancy. Versa FlexVNF has built-in multi-tenancy that enables service for up to thousands of customers or business divisions, providing deployment flexibility and economy of scale. Versa FlexVNF is fundamentally different than proprietary and expensive network hardware.

Deployed on low cost Intel-based servers and appliances utilizing advances in the latest processors and virtualized infrastructure, Versa FlexVNF radically reduces capital purchases and expensive upgrades/refreshes that are common with legacy network hardware and security devices. Versa FlexVNF supports the widest set of deployment options in the industry, and can be deployed in both legacy networks and new SDN environments. It can run on bare metal servers and white box appliances, hypervisor VMs (VMware ESXi & KVM), or Linux containers.

FlexVNF takes full advantage of multi-socket and multi-core processors and Intel DPDK support for maximum use of the underlying hardware resources, resulting in excellent performance and throughput. Versa FlexVNF is operations-ready and supports standard protocols and log formats, including Syslog, IPFIX and SNMP, making it compatible with existing network management, monitoring, and reporting systems.

The result is carrier-grade VNF-based architectures that can scale out and in on-demand, while maintaining service continuity and delivery of both Versa and third party network and security functions – all with significantly reduced hardware costs and better service agility.

What sets apart this product in the software application space
Enterprise WAN and branch architectures really haven’t changed much in the last 20 years. Traffic patterns, though, have changed quite a bit with the adoption of cloud apps like Office365 and Couple that with large amounts of branch traffic going to recreational Internet sites. But today’s branch architectures are still designed for branch-to-data center or -HQ connectivity based on expensive MPLS connectivity or DIY over-the-top VPN technologies like DMVPN (which are complex to setup and manage). At the same time, broadband connectivity has significantly improved and its performance metrics are similar to MPLS.

Compounding these WAN issues is the fact that branch architectures are still 100% based on proprietary – and expensive – hardware appliances such as routers, firewalls, WAN optimization controllers, etc. And each has its own management and monitoring systems. Major analyst firms cite the average cost of branch network and security devices ranges from $10,000 to over $50,000, depending on size of branch, bandwidth and connectivity types, and security/compliance requirements. The simple truth is that both service providers and enterprises are in serious need of an upgrade to the existing WANs and branch office networks they own or manage.

Enterprises, whether purchasing managed services or managing their own WANs/branches, have to deal with long provisioning times, high connectivity expenses and the same costly and proprietary networking/security hardware. Additionally, enterprise networks teams are facing increasing demands for agility from DevOps and business stakeholders, whether it’s moving applications or services to the cloud, or increasing security and compliance at the edge of the network (Gartner estimates that by 2016 more than 30% of advanced threats will come from the branch).

Versa is helping large enterprises and service providers achieve these fundamental WAN and branch office redesigns through the intensive innovation we have developed over the last three years to de-couple network and security functions from their underlying hardware platforms – while providing carrier-grade performance and scalability. This Versa innovation is often classified as “virtualized network functions” or VNF, and it is a core component of the $11.6B in 2019 NFV market in telecommunications.

Versa’s vision is to enable a whole new way to design, deploy and operate next-generation WANs/branches and managed services. By allowing providers and enterprises to take a wide set of de-coupled network and security functions and locate them where they best meet business and IT requirements – such as a major bank requiring deep layered security at the branch (e.g. a “thick branch”), while a managed service for SMBs might require minimal functionality at the customer site to minimize cost and complexity, combined with some functions in the telco cloud (e.g. a “thin branch”).

One of the key differentiators of Versa FlexVNF is the product’s software-based approach that provides unmatched agility, cost savings and flexibility vs. traditional network hardware. Instead of having to deploy multiple proprietary hardware devices in the branch office, along with each device’s associated management portals and support expenses, enterprises and/or their managed service providers can deploy Versa FlexVNF software along with a commodity x86 appliance to provide a wide set of advanced networking and security functions. The result is much lower capital and operating costs, along with much faster time-to-service and simpler ongoing management.

Another key differentiator is the carrier-grade scalability, availability and programmability of FlexVNF. Versa has over 40 customer deployments at large enterprises and Tier 1/2 service providers, with a public reference from a top 10 global provider.

For more information about Versa FlexVNF, click here.

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