Under the deal, Versa customers can use Mode’s network alongside broadband links and private connections from traditional carriers and service providers. Customers can set up connections to Mode’s network within Versa’s portal, just as they would other links.
Mode also offers its own portal for customers who want operational and performance details about traffic on Mode’s links. Mode says it plans to deepen its integration with Versa’s portal over time.
A La Mode
Mode says its private network offers the same reliability and QoS of MPLS, but with greater flexibility: customers can change bandwidth on fly or adjust key characteristics. Mode claims it delivers its network with a price point closer to broadband Internet than MPLS.
The startup currently has 22 Points of Presence (PoPs) at Equinix data centers around the world. In concert with the Versa CPE, traffic destined for Mode is encrypted at the branch via IPSec, then delivered to the nearest physical Mode PoP.
Mode then routes traffic across its own private backbone, and exits it at the PoP closest to the destination. The traffic is not decrypted at the PoP; it stays within the tunnel until it reaches its destination.
As Ethan Banks notes in a Briefing In Brief podcast, Mode differentiates its private backbone with a control plane that allows customers to create a virtual network that can prioritize specific characteristics, such as throughput or latency, to meet your performance goals.
So why doesn’t Mode just offer its own SD-WAN services on top of its network, similar to Aryaka or Cato Networks?
“Our core competency revolves around new L3 routing we’ve developed,” said Paul Dawes, Mode CEO, in an interview. “Running a private backbone is a big task, so that’s where we focus.”
He also noted that the SD-WAN market is already teeming “…with sophisticated solutions: full orchestration, CPE, NFV solutions: trying to replicate that didn’t make a lot of sense.”
Rather than compete head-on, Dawes said partnerships are a better way to reach the market.
As for Versa, it already partners with dozens of service providers. Adding another option for customers aligns with its strategy. It also didn’t hurt that the two companies have customers in common.
The partnership between Mode and Versa is not exclusive.
As mentioned, Mode has 22 PoPs globally. The company anticipates it will have 50 PoPs by the end of 2019.