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Versa Adds Unified Communications Services to Software-Defined Branch

Versa Networks updated its Cloud IP Platform, extending the company's software-defined branch (SD-Branch) capabilities with new voice and video functionality.

The company's Software-Defined Branch -- which incorporates software-defined networking (SDN) -- is an enterprise offering that reportedly simplifies and optimizes the cost of branch and wide-area networks (WANs) via the consolidation of multiple functions like routing, SD-WAN, firewall, UTM and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) optimization.

"The Versa Cloud IP Platform now features embedded voice and video codec support to provide native mean opinion score (MOS)-based traffic engineering and reporting for unified communications (UC) services (voice and video)," the company said in a statement last month.

The Versa Cloud IP Platform is described as a cloud-native, multi-tenant, multi-service software for software-defined networks.

Versa said it added new capabilities to identify business-class voice and video traffic in order address current problems with SD-WAN solutions that don't assess actual user experiences in real-time. Current solutions, the company said, can ID such traffic but only in order to follow policy guidelines related to factors such as loss, latency, jitter and delay.

"This means that typical SD-WAN solutions are not making decisions based on the quality of the actual user experience; rather, they are making them based on the quality and behavior of a set of transport circuits," Versa said.

Versa's SD-Branch
[Click on image for larger view.] Versa's SD-Branch (source: Versa).

In contrast, the company's new functionality can ID such traffic and assess the UX as it's captured by a MOS score, which stands for Mean Opinion Score, a measure from 1 (the worst) to 5 (the best).

Specifically, Versa identified the following features that help provide deeper analysis of voice/video traffic, reporting and traffic steering in order to optimize the best UX:

  • The ability to create MOS-based voice and video traffic-steering policies to provide the best user experience across the WAN end-to-end
  • The ability to decode and encode voice and video traffic streams to further extrapolate additional quality information in real time based on embedded MOS data
  • Native real-time and historical reporting and analysis of voice and video quality based on MOS and codec type to enhance the quality of critical services
  • Dynamic distribution and sharing of MOS metrics to all nodes within the SD-WAN to ensure end-to-end optimization based on the user's voice and video experience

Versa claimed that by optimizing and leveraging real-time MOS data in a SD-WAN, enterprises can ensure almost 100 percent uptime while providing a positive experience for business multimedia services.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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