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128 Technology Enhances SD-Branch, Remote Work Capabilities: Exclusive

The networking software firm is introducing SD-Branch, Remote Work, and 5G software updates geared toward helping customers work from home and with mobile and IoT use cases.

Networking software startup 128 Technology has launched a series of updates geared toward helping customers ready their networks for the new demands they're now facing with work-from-home requirements.

Six-year-old 128 Technology learned a lot as it grew from having hundreds to thousands of customer sites. The firm, which specializes in software-based routing and SD-WAN solutions, has unveiled Version 4 of its Session Smart Router which has been enhanced in three areas: SD-Branch, Remote Work, and 5G. The software updates will help businesses save money and operate more efficiently by lowering bandwidth usage and reducing hardware costs, said Ritesh Mukherjee, vice president of product management for 128 Technology.

"We want customers to take advantage of these updates. You can take the network much further than where it has gone with legacy protocols. You can really set apart your network and bring breakthrough economics and seamless application delivery," Mukherjee said.

[Related: 128 Technology Nabs Mark Vella To Head Partner Relations: Exclusive]

SD-Branch goes beyond 128's SD-WAN offering by completing automating branch sites and eliminating room for configuration errors at these locations, Mukherjee said. The software update supports Layer 2 connections, which many 128 customers have in place today, and removes the need for expensive MPLS connections, he said. "We are basically proving Layer 2 connectivity over Layer 3 networks. We can bring all our visibility capabilities that we have for SD-WAN to this network," Mukherjee added.

128 SD-Branch technology can also work with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant AI technology, for automated application categorization, taking out another manual step for IT administrators, Mukherjee said.

128 recently needed to suddenly support more customers that were working from home, which used to be easy for businesses with the Session Smart Router on-site or using the routers at home. But with most employees now working remotely, having a separate router in every home isn't feasible, Mukherjee said. That's why 128 has introduced software clients that can run on end-user mobile devices to support universal work from home connectivity. The software update can also support IoT endpoints, he said.

128 partners with wireless networking and cloud providers bringing applications closer to the network edge in 5G. To do this, these providers need to support multi-access edge computing and mobility. 128's latest 5G capabilities allows for the discovery of services located closest to the user, as well as network slicing based on the needs of the application. It also now supports session continuity when an application is on the move, like when traveling in a vehicle, Mukherjee said.

For channel partners, the latest changes mark one of the biggest feature set updates from 128 to date, Mukherjee said.

"We're proud because it's a differentiator and puts us in a different league than what SD-WAN or traditional WAN companies are doing," he said.

Burlington, Mass.-based 128 Technology in 2019 brought on Mark Vella as vice president of business development and alliances and channel chief. Vella has been working to grow the firm's partnerships with technology partners, solution providers and MSPs.

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