Software-defined WAN vendors are rushing to enhance their SD-WAN platforms with multi-cloud support, as more enterprises and service providers migrate their workloads to the cloud. This week, both Nuage Networks and Talari made multi-cloud connectivity announcements of their own.
Nuage Networks, a Nokia company, updated its SD-WAN platform -- Virtualized Network Services -- to better support SaaS and multi-cloud connectivity.
The platform enhancement moves to address three specific pain points among customers, according to Hussein Khazaal, Nuage's vice president of marketing and partnerships. The three points, multi-cloud connectivity, value-added services and end-to-end security, are already available to customers.
"It's a single platform that you can deploy today and get connectivity to software as a service," Khazaal said. "We support customers as they send traffic directly from the branch to the SaaS application."
In addition to multi-cloud connectivity, Nuage VNS offers customers the option to add value-added services -- or virtual network functions (VNFs) -- that can be embedded within the SD-WAN platform, hosted in x86 customer premises equipment (CPE) or through service chaining (a set of network services interconnected through the network to support an application). These VNFs are available from more than 40 third-party partners and can include services like next-generation firewalls, voice over IP and WAN optimization, Khazaal said.
While many service providers are leaning toward the VNF and virtual CPE approach, the process isn't simple, according to Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research.
"Many service providers are finding the vCPE and VNF approach side to be challenging," Doyle said. "Those with the resources can, and will, pursue it, and that's where Nuage could be a piece of the puzzle."
When it comes to enterprise customers, however, the VNF approach is less attainable, both Doyle and Khazaal noted.
"Nuage is one piece of the puzzle that a customer might add if they're able to do it themselves," Doyle said. "But most customers don't want to piece together different elements."
For smaller enterprise customers, Khazaal recommended using the option with embedded features, like stateful firewall and URL filtering, built into the SD-WAN platform.
Although Nuage has more than 400 enterprise customers, according to a company statement, its primary market is among service providers. Nuage counts more than 50 service providers as partners that offer managed SD-WAN services -- including BT, Cogeco Peer 1, Telefónica and Vertel -- and has been a proven partner for service providers over the years, Doyle said.
"Nuage is a popular element of service providers' managed services strategies, including SD-WAN," he said. "These enhancements will be attractive mainly to the service providers."
Nuage VNS is available now with perpetual and subscription-based licenses, and varies based on desired features and capabilities.
Talari launches Cloud Connect for SaaS, multi-cloud connectivity
In an additional multi-cloud move, Talari updated its own SD-WAN offering with Talari Cloud Connect, a platform that supports access to cloud-based and SaaS applications.
Talari also named five accompanying Cloud Connect partners: RingCentral, Pure IP, Evolve IP, Meta Networks and Mode. These partners will run Talari's Cloud Connect point of presence (POP) technology in their own infrastructure, creating a tunnel from the customer's Talari software into the cloud or SaaS service, according to Andy Gottlieb, Talari's co-founder and chief marketing officer.
"The technology at the service provider is multi-tenant, so they only have to stand up one instance to support multiple customers," Gottlieb said. Meantime, enterprises can use the Cloud Connect tunnel without having to worry about building infrastructure in the cloud, which reduces costs and complexity, he added.
Talari's partner list reflects the demands of both customers and service providers, he said. Unified communications vendors like RingCentral, for example, require reliable connectivity and low latency for their applications. Meta Networks, on the other hand, offers cloud-based security capabilities, which enterprises are increasingly adding to their networks. Talari SD-WAN already supports multi-cloud connectivity to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Talari Cloud Connect will be available at the end of October. The software comes at no additional charge for Talari customers with maintenance contracts or with subscriptions, Gottlieb said. Also, Cloud Connect partners can use the Cloud Connect POP software free of charge to connect to Talari SD-WAN customers, he added.