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CloudGenix, a software-defined WAN provider, has made its product available as a virtualized application that can run on a commercial off-the-shelf x86 server.
The Instant On (ION) 3000v, introduced this week, has the same capabilities as the other two options for running CloudGenix SD-WAN technology. They include running ION on a bare-metal server or a CloudGenix appliance.
In general, most tech vendors provide multiple deployment options. "The more platforms you can run your service on, the better you're going to be and the more adoption you're likely to see," said Teren Bryson, a systems engineer for a major technology integrator.
However a CloudGenix SD-WAN is deployed, the software provides the same network services to an enterprise's remote location, such as an office, store or clinic. Companies can use ION in place of a conventional branch router from an established vendor, such as Cisco or Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
"It's a full replacement for the hardware router," CloudGenix CEO Kumar Ramachandran said.
What a CloudGenix SD-WAN does
While providing Layer 3 routing, ION also delivers security and a hybrid WAN. The last feature involves directing traffic between high performance, and expensive, MPLS connections and cheaper, but less reliable, broadband. Which link a company chooses depends on the importance of the data in transit.
Where traffic flows in a hybrid WAN is determined by policies pushed to the remote office device from a CloudGenix controller, which is software that customers can access through the CloudGenix cloud. The controller is also available as on-premises software that can run on a virtualized server or in a CloudGenix x86 box.
For security, companies can use the controller to deploy policies that direct traffic from multiple branch locations through a central firewall instead of having one in every site.
CloudGenix and other SD-WAN startups typically pitch their products as a less expensive alternative to established vendors found in many enterprises, Bryson said. While the price is often attractive, startups' products built on commercial hardware often don't scale as high, making them a better choice for companies other than large enterprises.
"The challenge there is instead of just one box that you have stuff plugged into, you're going with this white box solution that's a lot cheaper than the big boys, but now you have to buy three, four, five, whatever and scale them out," Bryson said. "It adds some flexibility, for sure, but it adds a lot more complexity too."
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