**Editor’s Note: Read our list of 20 top SD-WAN providers offering products and services via channel partners.**
If I asked you to name the five biggest software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) vendors in the world, who would come to mind?
IHS Markit listed the French company as fifth in its SD-WAN revenue rankings for the first quarter of 2018. A year ago, InfoVista trailed Talari, Citrix and TELoIP, but it grew from $4.4 million in revenue to $12.3 million in 2017, according to the study. It remains locked in a battle with Citrix and Talari for the fifth spot. The vendor has stayed active this year, announcing partnerships and integrations with companies like ZTE, Huawei and Nuage Networks
We spoke to Andy Asava, InfoVista’s senior vice president of sales for the Americas, to learn how the company sets itself apart. Asava tells us his company focuses on three main categories of solution and products: service assurance built into the heart of carrier networks; testing and measurement of mobility products; and “application-aware” SD-WAN.
The journey into SD-WAN began in 2015 when InfoVista acquired Ipanema Technologies, a French company that described itself as a WAN optimization provider at the time
“You can say that Ipanema was the first true pioneer when it came to SD-WAN,” Asava said. “They were providing SD-WAN before that was the terminology that was adopted in the marketplace. But that’s why we have such a massive footprint when it comes to SD-WAN solutions.”
Following the completed integration, InfoVista offers SD-WAN through its Ipanema product line. Asava says one of the original goals was to look at the WAN edge of enterprises and provide deep-packet inspection (DPI). Meantime, it would take a hybrid approach to connectivity.
“Regardless of what kind of interconnect it is – whether it’s all MPLS, whether it’s hybrid, whether it’s internet – we want to make sure that the application experience is always the same,” he said.
InfoVista uses DPI to ensure application consistency on the dynamic WAN. That differs differs from two of the more traditional approaches vendors use, according to Asava: marking a TOS bit or using the 5-tuple criteria.
“We have a DPI engine that enables us to get a deeper sense of what the packet flow needs to be and packet flow requirement needs to be, and we will do the WAN selection based on that,” Asava said. “While our competitors are still on the TOS page, we are already two generations ahead of them because of our DPI capability.”
This type of inspection can also be session-based. Take Office 365 for example. It’s a single application, but it contains a variety of packets and payloads.
“There’s voice and there’s video; there’s IM and email. And each one has a different tolerance requirement from a performance perspective. So we have an ability not just doing the markings and DPI on an application level, but we can do it on a per-session level,” he said.
Asava says his company’s solution is …