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128 Technology this week introduced its Session Smart Router Appliance, a product that integrates 128's routing software and software-defined WAN capabilities on white box hardware.
Lanner is supplying the customer premises equipment (CPE) hardware, which will run 128 Technology's session-oriented routing software, according to Kevin Klett, vice president of marketing and product management at 128 Technology, based in Burlington, Mass.
Systems integrator Arrow Electronics is responsible for preloading the software onto the Lanner boxes, which will be configured so they are "zero-touch-ready," he added. In addition to provisioning the boxes, Arrow will also provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) integration and data rate fulfillment services.
Customers can purchase the appliance directly from Arrow or through 128 Technology's web store, which will launch this year, Klett said.
128's fully integrated appliance is a differentiator in the SD-WAN market, according to Tom Nolle, a networking industry consultant and analyst, as well as president of CIMI Corp. While other SD-WAN vendors rely on a software-instance model, 128 Technology offers a more "dependable plug-and-play appliance model," Nolle wrote in an email.
Offering a preconfigured box that doesn't require any additional provisioning allows 128 Technology to market the hardware to both managed service providers (MSPs) and enterprises, 128's Klett said. MSPs can offer managed SD-WAN without needing to worry about carrying inventory or handling software integration, and enterprises can eliminate some steps in the deployment process, he added.
This feature will be appealing to a range of corporate customers, Nolle said.
"Users who have branch-office needs and don't want to pay for MPLS VPNs [at those offices] can use the appliances [straight] out of the box, with local support and a consistent hardware platform," Nolle said. "You can still host the software in a server at the edge or deploy it in a cloud."
128 Technology's routing software already bakes in security and segmentation for more granular traffic visibility. The Session Smart Router Appliance also comes with stateful firewall functionality, WAN optimization and load balancing, in addition to the ability to integrate third-party LTE or T1 connectivity.
If customers need to make additional configuration or policy changes, they can do so through management software on the appliance, Klett said.
Customers can purchase the routing software licenses from 128 Technology directly or through authorized partners. Subscriptions are available in one- and three-year license terms.
128 Technology is the most recent vendor to focus on making it easier for enterprises to configure and provision their branch offices with SD-WAN connectivity. At the same time, vendors are also looking for ways to consolidate network functions onto a single device, as they investigate the use of white box, rather than proprietary, CPEs.