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Versa FlexVNF OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Versa FlexVNF is #4 ranked solution in SD-WAN tools, #4 ranked solution in top WAN Edge tools, and #8 ranked solution in top Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) tools. PeerSpot users give Versa FlexVNF an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. Versa FlexVNF is most commonly compared to Cisco SD-WAN: Versa FlexVNF vs Cisco SD-WAN. Versa FlexVNF is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 64% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 21% of all views.
Versa FlexVNF Buyer's Guide

Download the Versa FlexVNF Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is Versa FlexVNF?

Versa Networks Versa Operating System (VOS) is a next-generation operating system that is highly pliable. VOS empowers service providers, organizations, and businesses to deploy an extensive variety of software-defined solutions, including Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Secure SD-WAN in satellite offices, cloud, campus, and data centers.

The Versa Director, a single-pane-of-glass management platform, administers and provisions all security and network functions of a VOS deployment for either cloud or on premises. Versa Analytics collaborates with Versa Director to deliver full transparency, predictive analysis, baselining, and correlation for application, network usage, and security events. Versa Analytics will thoroughly analyze and filter all logs, export reports, application usage, and network security. The information is collated to make searching events super fast and easy, and will deliver comprehensive intuitive directives.

VOS is a multi-tenant, cloud-native, and multi-service software stack with a complete set of networking functionalities, such as advanced scalable routing and full-featured SD-WAN. This makes it feasible to easily create dynamic managed services and software-defined enterprise architectures that are very flexible and scale easily.

VOS is specifically created using enterprise-class carrier-grade operational functionalities such as distributed management and data plane fabric with on-demand capacity and embedded elasticity. Enterprises and service providers are empowered to seamlessly integrate advanced networks and security functions into any desired process using robust service chaining for third-party services and appliances.

Versa Operating System Benefits

  • Cost-effective: Versa VOS is deployed using a low-cost x86 architecture and appliances. VOS makes use of next-generation developments in virtualized infrastructures and processors. This minimizes the need for excessive capital purchases and costly upgrades that are customary with traditional legacy network hardware devices.
  • Flexible deployment options: Versa VOS offers the broadest offering of deployment options in the marketplace today. VOS can be deployed in SASE, new SDN environments, cloud, and legacy environments. VOS has been developed to run seamlessly on bare metal Versa Cloud Gateway (CSG) groups of appliances using cost-effective pricing and industry-leading next-generation features. VOS is able to run on preconfigured certified white box platforms, IaaS platforms (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Oracle), and hypervisor VMs (Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, VMware ESXI). VOS delivers high performance and throughput by fully utilizing Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) support and robust multi-core processors.
  • Seamless operations: VOS is out-of-box operational and fully supports industry standard protocols and log formats such as SNMP, IPFIX, Netconf, and Syslog. This makes VOS easily compatible with existing reporting, monitoring, and network management systems.
  • Scalable: The multi-tenant and cloud-native software services platform seamlessly integrates networking and security services, which enables VOS to scale easily on demand and maintain high availability, service continuity, and delivery of both third-party network security functions and Versa VOS.

Reviews from Real Users

“They are pretty transparent on every layer of the networking to build the SD-WAN. Troubleshooting is easier due to that. They, it seems like, do not try to cover or wrap the SD-WAN into my interface, which would make it difficult to troubleshoot. They really open up every part of the technology so that if there is an issue, it would be easier to troubleshoot. It's very powerful, especially for engineering teams. And yet, they manage also to keep it from being too complex.” - Networking Consultant / Networking Business Manager at a tech vendor

Versa FlexVNF was previously known as FlexVNF.

Versa FlexVNF Customers

CenturyLink, RCN Business, Colt Technology Services

Archived Versa FlexVNF Reviews (more than two years old)

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Corey Taub - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Network Administrator at RS&H
Real User
Straightforward with excellent next-generation firewall features and geo-blocking capabilities.
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable aspects of the solution are the next-generation firewall features and geo-blocking capabilities."
  • "The smaller units lack a lot of functionality."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for multi-link aggregated circuits that are co-managed with our provider.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspects of the solution are the next-generation firewall features and geo-blocking capabilities. 

The high availability failover has been also been very important to our organization. Failover is when you have dual boxes and if one of them goes down, the other one picks up the traffic.

The entire solution is very straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The configuration is very much a command line. Some people don't like working with command lines. I don't know if this particular model can support it, however, if it had more of a GUI, I'd like to see that. It would be nice to see that they had a webpage to configure the solution on versus doing it as a prompt.

It would help if the solution offered artificial intelligence that can actually make real-time decisions on traffic flow.

The smaller units lack a lot of functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two and a half to three years now.

Buyer's Guide
Versa FlexVNF
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about Versa FlexVNF. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
633,184 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We definitely went over a few variations of the firmware. The initial firmware configurations had some issues, however, I think they've got it down now. I would say it's very reliable at this point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is extremely scalable. We find that having a control center and being able to monitor in one location is very scalable. If organizations need to expand the offering, they can do so rather easily.

Everyone in the organization really uses the solution due to the fact that it's a network edge. Anyone who wants to get out of the network has to use the solution. If you're looking at it from that point of view, if you're looking at it from how many people within the organization actually deal with the daily grind of monitoring and keeping up, we have a small team that takes care of it. The team contains anywhere from five to ten people at any given time.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support has been responsive. This has been a co-managed implementation so when there are any high-end technical caveats, the provider has to deal with the back and forth with Versa. It hasn't been a first-person type interface with them. That said, when I've seen questions being asked, I've seen their responses, and they've been quick to help and reply.

How was the initial setup?

I helped with the initial setup.

It was not straightforward. It was definitely complex. Especially since it was a new product for us. We had a big learning curve from the get-go. 

Other than that, though, once you understood the setup, although I wouldn't say it was straightforward, it wasn't that difficult.

Implementation was over a six month period. We had to swap out upwards of over 35 different sites. We had to schedule downtime and switch out our infrastructure to support it and then bring it back up. Each side had to be done one at a time, without losing business continuity. It was a bit tedious. 

There was a lot of strategy and preparation that went into the project before we even began the setup. You can only take a site down for a certain amount of time without interrupting people's flow. However, our goal was to keep business as usual at up to 90% so that our clients didn't really notice the changeover.

What about the implementation team?

The deployment was co-managed with our providers. The provider brought in support and they had the expertise on the product itself. With their assistance, we strategized and came up with configurations. Then we worked out a schedule and came up with an implementation plan. We started the implementation and checked off each site one at a time as we went through.

What was our ROI?

Our original network diagram had single circuit MPLS network. And if that circuit went down, the site was down. So this network uses IQ circuit and a broadband circuit for the most part to aggregate and give you greater speeds.

We went from a single circuit MPLS to dual circuits. Therefore, between the cost of one circuit and then two circuits, the one circuit was an expensive circuit. The two are less expensive, but they kind of matched. So the pricing with the service, the new service add on that we did with the provider versus what we had, where it was a self-managed, kind-of washed out. I can't say that we really saved money, however, I don't know the full balance sheet all the way from top to bottom.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'm not sure what the pricing is on the solution. We're looking at a variety of options, and we're looking to choose a technology and then push forward with a proof of concept as well as a pricing model. We're not there yet.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are looking at other options. The implementation that we're looking to go forward with is going to be more app-centric based networking. We're looking to see if we can try and bring in something that is not too technical.

There are a few different SD-WAN providers that monitor what's called S-flow data and will take your traffic and balance it depending on what's happening in real-time versus just a straight "here's your internet circuits and use whatever you can" type of setup. As an analogy, if you are in a car, going from A to B, you can use an app like Waze that can warn you about traffic and can reroute you so that you get from A to B in the shortest time. That's what we're looking for. CloudGenix or Palo Alto Networks have SD-WAN solutions that not only aggregate your circuits but can actually push certain traffic certain ways on those circuits, depending on if you're being bottlenecked or if there's an over-bandwidth usage issue. Basically, what we're looking for is something that manages the flow of traffic better.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We aren't a consultant or reseller.We have a couple of different models. We have the smaller models and the medium-sized models, however, I'm unsure of the exact model numbers.

New users should be aware of sizing. Making sure that the size is correct is important. There are small, medium, and large units, however, the smaller units only support certain functionality. In saying that, they seem to have some issues with some of the functionality on the small units not working. It's best to get a medium-sized unit to get some of the next-generation firewall stuff.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Core Network Manager at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees
Real User
Excellent integration capabilities, good UI and offers great security features
Pros and Cons
  • "Overall, it's nice and very user friendly. That's what makes it so successful. They give you complicated features but with a very simple user interface, and that's been a big success for them."
  • "The support needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We mostly implement this product for our clients.

What is most valuable?

There are many great aspects to the product. 

It's flexible. It's possible to have it on a universal CPE. The CPE is a small server or device that can be installed on the client's premises which the FlexVNF software can be installed onto. It doesn't have to be a vendor-specific CPE. This can help users reduce costs. Other solutions don't offer such flexibility.

One of the interesting things about the solution, which is not an easy feat, is that they offer a multi-tenancy solution at the CPE level.

They also allow for the integration of their solution as a provider with other security vendors, like Fortinet, Palo Alto, and Forcepoint. With other vendors, they stick with their own security appliances or images. This solution, however, really does try to integrate with everything.

In terms of support, they are very focused on SD-Wan technology. They are not working on multiple technologies. This ensures your business is very focused. It allows you to be very focused on your support and ensures your level of support will be very high. The customers will be satisfied with the results. 

The development is fast because they are only focused on one direction. Of course, SD-WAN not only means that you are optimizing the routing and the speed of the internet but also it allows you to optimize the security. Users can have better, more advanced security features. 

They are focusing on integrating their security features right now. They are growing quickly in this direction. That means they're giving a lot of attention to the security within the product. It's making it a more complete product without forcing you to just use Versa.

Overall, it's nice and very user friendly. That's what makes it so successful. They give you complicated features but with a very simple user interface, and that's been a big success for them.

What needs improvement?

The support needs to be improved. 

The interface does still need enhancements to make it even easier to operate in the future. They have complicated policies that need to be applied.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about one and a half years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If the setup is done properly, the solution is quite stable. There's no need to worry about bugs and glitches. It doesn't crash.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale. The solution has considered various roadmaps and focused on future growth for organizations. Some features may not be active just yet, however, they are in the roadmap.  They are looking at, for example, delivering Ethernet over two or three layers, over the internet, which is very interesting and is, in my opinion, revolutionary.

The solution benefits huge companies, more so than smaller ones. Currently, various product features are capable of fulfilling any big enterprise requirements. They are trying to get the certifications from international security communities like Gardner. Their focus is more so on the larger scale organizations and they are trying to compete with companies like Cisco, Palo Alto, etc. Since it is meant for bigger companies, it can get pretty big itself.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is okay, but they need to grow it out faster. They need a better mechanism for getting quick responses to clients and to hire more people on the support level. The gold standard is Cisco, and they should try to be more like that. 

They have a very focused product and because of that, they need a very focused support staff. They should have different people who are specialized on different aspects. They don't have to spend a lot of money to do this, they just need to ensure they have the right people in place to answer questions.

It seems a bit unfair to judge them in totality, however, as I just had one instance with them so far. 

How was the initial setup?

The solution's initial setup is complex in that it's not plug-and-play. You won't face zero-touch provisioning with this solution. Instead, there will be a staging process. It requires certain commands and you need to run it on Linux or Unix.

The solution has some issues with staging, and, if you compare it to other products, you'll see other vendors are much more straightforward. Zillow Clouds and Meraki are two good examples of a straightforward setup.

For myself, I have a technical background. These things are interesting for me, and I'm happy to do it, but on the commercial side of things, the customers don't really want to deal with difficult setups. Usually, however, it's the partner that provisions for the client, so the client never has to really deal with these issues. If you are a partner or a supplier, you'll end up doing this part yourselves. So, for those that know the product, it can be considered straightforward.

After that, users will enjoy a lot of features. 

It only takes about one hour to deploy the solution. I handled the POC myself and I've done some extensive training. I didn't feel comfortable in staging Versa devices. This was a problem. For comparison, if you would like to stage a VeloCloud device, it may take from you 10 minutes, whereas Versa could take about an hour.

If you are facing complications, you need to spend time understanding them before doing the provisioning. It will take some effort to understand the staging process, but it's worth it to take a step back. 

What about the implementation team?

I handled the POC myself and I've done some extensive training, so I was able to handle all the provisioning and staging. We found we struggled a bit with our engineers figuring out how to write everything correctly. Unlike other deployments where it's a very straightforward couple of clicks, if you make a mistake in provisioning there is a receipt required, and you need to call the engineer from your Versa vendor to help troubleshoot problems.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In the end, it's not only about cost. A lot of big enterprises don't care about the cost. They care about having a single point of contact to take care of their security and internet routing optimization. Having one support ultimately reduces costs, as there would only be one maintenance contract and one device.  

What other advice do I have?

We have a lifetime implementation. We're using the latest version of the solution.

It's a good product for high-end and large enterprises, but smaller enterprises might not be a good fit.

I'd just advise that especially surrounding the initial setup, a new company needs to ensure they have the right support in place. Companies need to make sure their SLA's are very clear so they can get the support they need from the outset and into the future. Compare companies and be clear about the requirements and you will have an easier time.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. I'd give it full marks, however, I do believe that they can continue to improve on the existing product in various ways. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Versa FlexVNF
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about Versa FlexVNF. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
633,184 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Directior of product line at China Telecom Global
Real User
Can easily be scanned or installed in a virtual environment and has good stability
Pros and Cons
    • "We are thinking about how to make customers consolidate the loads to an SD-WAN network so that the customers can have bigger chunk from the SD-WAN side so that customers can have critical data be transferred with NPS VPN and non-critical data or some labeled traffic can be transferred by the SD-WAN network. I think it's a very important direction for digital transformation."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's a purely internet-based solution. That means the customer already has their Ownned up-link(s), which we call DIA(Direct Internet Access). That means the customer brings their own connections to set up the virtual SD-WAN network and just use our white-box solution. On top of it, we set out an SD-WAN appliance which can be controlled by the setup on the CTG side.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Versa FlexVNF helps customer uses existing infrastructure to quickly complete the SD-WAN deployment through software appliance. Except for the edge hardware equipment used in customer case(s), SD-WAN provider no need invested in any hardware inside, but completely uses the existing Cloud platform.

    What is most valuable?

    Versa FlexVNF supports multi-tenancy, which is very important for ISP's TCO in running a SD-WAN network. Meanwhile,Versa FlexVNF is purely software based solution that help CSP(cloud service provider) upsell SD-WAN business.

    What needs improvement?

    We need to think about how to leverage the MPLS-VPN customers, so to integrate the SD-WAN network. We are thinking about how to make customers consolidate the loads to an SD-WAN network so that the customers can have a bigger chunk from the SD-WAN plane.Under the trend of Digital Transformation, enterprise customers looking for lower price with border bandwidth. In the designed direction,customers can have critical data be transferred by MPLS-VPN network while non-critical data or some labeled traffic can be transferred by the SD-WAN network. Considering the uncertainty of the economic situation, perhaps more companies will seek to expand data pipe based on the original network instead of building a new network. For new business areas which requires more flexible contract term,and shorter provision time, SD-WAN integrated with MPLS-VPN would be a important direction.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Versa since 2017. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability has been quite good. It's a purely software-based solution, so it can easily be scanned or installed in a virtual environment. It's very adaptive to those environments.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Good and stable

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It is generally stable but when we have trouble with deploying or configuration we encounter certain issues. Their support is helpful and they respond in a timely manner. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price is consist of several aspects but it makes sense for the market.

    For the SD-WAN solution, it's not just the pricing for accreditations from the solution side. We need to combine the hardware and the connections, even managing service ourselves. Customers need to have a integrated solution from a skilled engineer team, but not just to judge if the solution providers are fair or not. But generally, when we compare with other brands, I think this solution is lean and agile.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate it an eight out of ten. There's no brand that can rank a 10. A ten from my perspective, means good enough to ramp-up. Eight is the highest that can be scored amongst the choices of SD-WAN brands. I think the SD-WAN products Versa has have great space to improve. For example, automation. We are saying it's an SD-WAN solution, but it's not fully automatic for the service provider side. It requires a skilled managed service team to handle service delivery, even senior technical team involved.Their expertise is very important in customer solutions deploy and operation.

    It takes a lot of manpower to go to market which is why I'm not fully satisfied. Also, currently, we have to treat the solution as an isolated direction to go with. If the customer has invested a lot in their network, like Cisco, Huawei, or even Juniper, the customer needs to abandon their current invest. In that case, we hope that Versa will allow the customer to leverage their current and past investments.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
    PeerSpot user
    Mehmet PALA - PeerSpot reviewer
    Expert IP Access Engineer at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Excellent virtualization and routing features with good technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "Our organization finds the application routing features extremely useful."
    • "The UTM features can be improved. It should offer better functionality."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution for connecting to other branches via SD-WAN tunnels. The solution is routing data via application area polices and deprecation tools. It's a mix of a firewall and prevention software.

    What is most valuable?

    Versa's virtualization features are very good.

    Our organization finds the application routing features extremely useful.

    What needs improvement?

    The UTM features can be improved. It should offer better functionality. 

    The features, overall, could be improved upon. There aren't in general, enough of them. It's my understanding that it's part of the roadmap, so we're likely to get some functionality in the future.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using the solution for about two years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is quite stable. We've found it to be reliable. There haven't been any noticeable bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is scalable. If a company needs to increase its capacity, it's easy enough to do so.

    We have about 500 users on the platform currently. Some of them are hosting on the VNF, and some them are hosting on the physical advisors. It's a mixed platform. Our team uses it on a daily basis.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support that the company offers is very good. They've been very supportive. We're satisfied with the level of attention they provide us.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was challenging for us. It was a little bit difficult because the customer interface had too much audio which made it challenging. Other than that, it was pretty straightforward.

    In terms of deployment, and how long it will take, it depends on the customer requirements. Sometimes it only takes 30 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour. It depends on the configuration.

    We have a team of about 16 people who help deploy the solution. You only need two people to maintain the solution once you have everything up and running. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We had both an internal team and an integrator that handled the implementation. If there was some aspect our team couldn't handle, like clustering or extending, we had the integrator come in and assist.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're telecom operators and customers. We don't have a special relationship with the company and we aren't partners.

    I would recommend the solution. I would also recommend that people have some specialists deploy and maintain it to make it easy to use.

    I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Versa FlexVNF Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: September 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Versa FlexVNF Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.