Former Juniper Engineering Execs (And Brothers) Come Out Of Stealth With Versa Networks

Two brothers who were formerly top Juniper Networks engineers came out of stealth mode Tuesday with the launch of a new networking company: Versa Networks.

"We wanted to do something completely new because we know a new trend is coming," said Kumar Mehta, co-founder and CEO of Versa Networks, in an interview with CRN. "Our vision is to transform the business and operational model for managed services. We have a very good solution for that that nobody in the market has today."

Kumar Mehta was vice president of engineering at Juniper for eight years and was key in building multiple product lines, including Juniper's flagship MX series. His brother, Apruva, co-founder and CTO of Versa Networks, was formerly CTO and chief architect of Juniper's Mobility Business Unit.

Versa Networks is backed by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital, Mayfield Fund and Verizon Ventures.

Sponsored post

[Related: Juniper Potentially Going Private? Partners Say It Could Open The Door To New R&D Investments]

After three years of development, the Mehta brothers launched Cupertino, Calif.-based Versa Networks and introduced its software-defined WAN portfolio, which includes carrier-grade software solutions that run on white-box, commodity hardware.

The networking and security startup said it is providing next-generation WAN and branch solutions for service providers and enterprises, with its service provider offerings being sold 100 percent through the channel, according to Mark Weiner, CMO of Versa Networks.

"We're still building out the channel strategy in the enterprise, but the main channel strategy really is with the service provider -- that is directly a channel play," said Weiner. "Our channel play [revolves around how] channels build and run managed services. A core component of managed services is what do you put in the branch and what you do put in the data center to connect the circuits they sell? That is our channel strategy. To help the carrier change how they do it by using our software platform instead of legacy hardware on both ends."

The Versa VNF (virtualized network function) software solution consists of three components that work well in a multitenant environment and are designed to be easily upgraded and managed.

The solution starts with the Versa FlexVNF, which includes a broad set of virtualized network and security functions with carrier-grade multitenancy, programmability, service chaining, service elasticity and cost-effective deployment choices.

Next is the Versa Director, which centrally manages and provisions for both connectivity and services. The last piece of the puzzle is Versa Analytics, which gives real-time analytics that provides control, visibility, prediction and a feedback loop for adaptability.

The Versa offering enables the creation of complex managed services and branch network architectures with multiple networking and security functions, while having each function automatically integrated and interoperable without on-site support, according to Kumar Mehta.

"The branch has been stuck in the old architecture for the past 20 years, but the usage pattern has changed in the branch and on the WAN side," he said. "The WAN market is in need of disruption."

Versa Networks is targeting a $40 billion addressable market for branch and managed services and has filed around 35 technology patents, according to Kumar Mehta. He said he does not see Versa Networks directly competing against Juniper or networking leader Cisco Systems.

Versa Networks has more than three dozen proofs of concept in production, according to Wiener. The company’s software is now available.