Mushroom Networks Launches 'Autopilot' SD-WAN Service For Partners

Mushroom Networks Tuesday unveiled a new take on SD-WAN that lets channel partners and service providers build custom WANs specifically for each of their end customers.

The new service gives VARs, MSPs, telecom agents and systems integrators access to the network performance vendor's collection of application-centric overlay tunnels and virtual network functions (VNFs) that they can use to automate their clients' networks, the "first step" toward cognitive networking, Cahit Akin, CEO of Mushroom Networks, told CRN.

Mushroom Networks' Gold Partnership Program members have access to the latest SD-WAN service today, according to the San Diego-based company.

[Related: Mushroom Networks' CEO: Why VoIP Is 'Ready For Mass Adoption' And How Partners Can Cash In]

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The application-centric overlay tunnels work by optimizing specific traffic flows automatically, such as "chatty" remote desktop applications or VoIP, Akin said.

"This gives our channel partners the ability to create really unique offerings for their clients, and they can package [the SD-WAN service] with their services, like a hosted PBX or cloud offering," he said.

The "autopilot" nature of the service is win for partners as they who won't have to actively manage traffic flows. Partners do have insight into network statistics and configurations, however, via an easy-to-use portal, Akin said.

"Our strategy is to give networks a 'set it and forget it' feel so the heavy lifting is done by the VNFs [and] the partner or end client won't have to go through the traditional efforts of fixing networks," he said.

Managed services provider LightHouse Technology Consultants, a Mushroom Networks partner, has been successfully selling the SD-WAN service prior to its official rollout, with about 20 customer deployments under its belt.

LightHouse is testing the SD-WAN service with the existing voice systems its customers are using today, said Philip Lewis, partner of New York-based LightHouse Technology Consultants.

"The service has definitely been a value-add, especially with certain locations, because it helps to guarantee [voice] quality," Lewis said.

LightHouse is only selling Mushroom Networks' flavor of SD-WAN to its base of nationwide customers. The MSP is especially seeing interest in SD-WAN from its larger customers in the construction and hospitality verticals, whose critical applications are running over multiple locations and can't tolerate any downtime, Lewis said.

The MSP has been able to use the latest SD-WAN service to identify and remediate network issues or outages even before the customer notices there has been an issue, he said.

"We've been able to fix issues even before a client gets the aler, so they haven't missed a step," Lewis added.

Mushroom Networks does nearly 100 percent of its business through the channel. The provider's Gold Partner Program includes technical educational programs and an equipment rental business model for specific partners, according to the company.