Nuage SD-WAN Goes Mobile with Asavie


By: Mary Jander

The Nuage Networks unit of Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has announced a partnership with Asavie that incorporates mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints into applications based on the Nuage SD-WAN 2.0.

The arrangement is hot on a number of fronts. First, it opens the way for Nuage to extend its capabilities at the network edge, where the smart money is focused on the trends toward remote work, IoT, and emerging 5G services.

The announcement could also boost Nuage’s presence among providers of software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) managed services. Nuage is already a top supplier for service provider deals, but competition is increasing, making it vital to beef up security and control at the edge.

Unified Management, No VPNs

Nuage claims a key benefit of its enhanced SD-WAN 2.0 is the ability to dispense with separate VPNs and support products for mobile users and IoT devices. This is because Asavie’s clientless software-as-a-service, called SD Edge, automatically integrates these “endpoint estate” devices within the Nuage SD-WAN.

“What we are announcing today is an extension to the virtual networking domain coverage of our [SD-WAN]," said James McInroe, marketing director for Nuage Networks, in a video. "[We have added]
both mobile and IoT device support within the same centralized policy
management systems we have for branch, cloud, and software-as-a-service

Up to now, Nuage says, SD-WAN applications haven’t been so easily managed at scale. Mobile and remote users often must be connected to the SD-WAN via separate links. This affects cost, control, performance, and security.

What’s New Here

Eliminating VPNs is, of course, one of the original selling points of SD-WAN. Aryaka touted it as a differentiator for its network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering back in 2017. And vendors such as NetFoundry and VeloCloud extended SD-WAN to IoT devices in applications-specific networks (ASNs) years ago.

But over time, it’s become clear that no single SD-WAN approach can really do it all — unless it’s based on a provider’s own network a la Cato Networks. As a result, many vendors are reaching out to partners with application programming interfaces (APIs), API gateways, or software development kits (SDKs) that pack security, policy management, network orchestration, and other features into SD-WAN applications.

Asavie In the Spotlight

Nokia’s partnership with Asavie is also interesting. The small company has built a reputation for contributing to digital transformation services from a range of providers — including ones involved with trendy applications such as smart cities. Its list of partners includes all of the major cloud players and systems integrators, as well as service providers worldwide — including AT&T, Eir, O2, Singtel, Telefonica, Three, Verizon, and Vodafone.

Asavie was co-founded in Ireland in 2004 by Tom Maher (now CTO). He and the CEO Ralph Shaw worked at Baltimore Technologies, an Irish firm that specialized in digital certificates and e-commerce in the 1990s. Other execs hail from Tata Communications, Google, and IBM, as well as the former Alacatel/Lucent and AT&T Network Systems, among others.

Asavie is venture funded, but details are scarce. Some funding came from Ireland's economic development agency Enterprise Ireland. And Asavie’s board of directors is now led by angel investor Paddy Holahan, who has invested as an individual in several other startups, including Dublin-based Roomex, an online business travel booking agency. Another board member is Barry O’Sullivan, who heads business and investor consultancy Palo Alto Technology Partners (no relation to the networking company). Still, what these or other interested parties may have contributed to Asavie -- or what they may be helping the company toward achieving -- is on the QT.

Whatever the backstory, Asavie has found its spot among the movers and shakers in hybrid cloud services, among them Nuage Networks. It's one to watch.