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128 Technology SD-WAN Update Tackles Branch, Remote Work, 5G

By Tobias Mann | Editor
May 20, 2020

128 Technology rolled out a bevy of updates to its Session Smart SD-WAN router that includes enhancements for branch locations, remote workers, and support for 5G.

The SD-WAN vendor‘s Session Smart routers are designed to streamline deployments and eliminate the need for traditional IPsec tunnels even when scaling well beyond 1,000 sites. The updated features are based on the lessons learned over the course of several large deployments, some of which have more than 10,000 systems, said Mike Baj, co-founder and VP of engineer at 128 Technology, in a recent web broadcast.

The update brings with it support for Layer-2 connections over any uplink, eliminating the need for a separate MPLS customer edge router or pseudowires for multi-path resiliency.

Additionally, 128 Technology has partnered with Alexa — not the AI assistant that lives in the hockey puck on your nightstand, but instead Amazon’s traffic analysis division — to improve application detection and classification, and perform server health checks.

For remote workers — a market that has ballooned since the start of the pandemic — 128 Technology has implemented what it’s calling a hybrid SD-WAN approach, which enables connectivity to either a home appliance or an agent running on the user’s computer. Both options leverage 128 Technology’s core SD-WAN capabilities, but offer more flexibility to customers depending on whether identity-based policy enforcement is required.

Finally, the company announced support for multi-access edge compute (MEC) in preparation for the widespread availability of 5G networks. This technology ensures users are connecting to the closest possible services as well as making network slicing at the application level possible.

According to Ritesh Mukerjee, VP of product management at 128 Technology, these advancements are largely targeted at highly distributed enterprises, particularly those in retail, energy, and health care.

“Some of our largest customers range from a large automotive store who is simplifying their retail locations and also wants to have 100% unified communications connectivity,” he said. “We have also helped in deployments for hospitals. A large hospital chain has deployed us for [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] compliance and for visibility.”