RCN Business is partnering with NFV startup Versa Networks to offer a managed security service that leverages virtualized security functions. The tiered offering, called RCN Business Managed Security, includes stateful and next-gen firewalls, DDoS protection, and Web content filtering. Its primary targets are branch and remote offices.
The security offering requires RCN’s fiber Internet service, including a hardware device at each location. All network traffic from each location goes to an RCN data center and passes through virtualized security functions, which have been built from scratch by Versa and run on off-the-shelf hardware.
Versa was founded by two former Juniper engineers, Kumar and Apurva Mehta. The company provides virtualized network functions to enable WAN services, including security and SD-WAN. Versa has a particular focus on service providers, but also targets large enterprises. The startup has rasied $43 million in VC money to date.
“We started talking to Versa because we wanted to offer services,” said Peter Jacoby, RCN’s VP of Network Services, in an interview. RCN already offers managed switches and routers, and wanted additional options to entice customers to stick with the company. Security seemed like a good choice.
“What we liked was that it’s an additive service,” said Jacoby. “It’s greenfield.”
Tiers For Fears
Customers of RCN Business Managed Security can choose from a couple of tiers. The base tier includes stateful firewalling and DDoS protection. Customers also have access to a portal that provides high-level analytics, such as application tracking (i.e., who’s using NetFlix at the office), and bandwidth consumption.
A higher tier adds next-gen firewall services, allowing organizations to implement policy-based application control; and URL filtering with an IP-based reputation service to screen out malicious sites.
Versa Networks also offers SD-WAN options (aggregating MPLS and broadband connections, enabling appliation-aware routing, and so on), but the RCN service is strictly about security.
“This is meant to be a stand-alone security service,” said Jacoby. “If customers see this and want to add SD-WAN, that would be an interesting problem to have.”
The RCN Business Managed Security service is available now. Pricing starts at $60 a month, but you’ll have to contact RCN for details.