Versa Networks enhances Lean IT SASE solution Versa Titan

Titan, Versa’s solution for SMBs and others who lack specialized teams of security and network-focused engineers and architects, has been enhanced with the addition of ZTNA and secure Web gateway capabilities from the enterprise VERSA SASE offering.

The new integrated analytics in Versa Titan

Today, San Jose-based Versa Networks is announcing the enhancement of their Lean IT solution, Versa Titan. It now has had all the capabilities of the Versa SASE enterprise-grade solution added, so that it becomes a full stack solution as well. In addition, the Versa Secure Access client is now available through Versa Titan for the first time, and the SASE analytics have also been extended to Titan. Finally, Versa is calling attention to the fact that they are now actively selling another solution aimed at the lower part of their market, the VERSA CSG 300 appliance, which is designed for small, Work From Home use cases.

Versa started out as an SD-WAN player, but with the recent rise of SASE has recently been emphasizing its broader capabilities around the whole stack, with tight integration of security, analytics, and networking, as well as SD-WAN.

“While the SASE term is new, the ingredients are not, and Versa has been developing those services for the last five years, and has integrated them into one software stack,” said Mike Wood, Versa’s CMO. “The Versa OS runs in very large enterprises and carriers and is used by SIs and VARs. But we found there were many businesses who wanted a much more simplified model, where the real difference comes down to the interface, which is simplified. That’s what we delivered with Titan, two years ago.”

Wood stressed that Versa Titan makes it easy for ‘Lean IT’ organizations.

“These Lean IT organizations want everything in one view,” he said. “To deploy SASE in the past, you had to go to multiple cloud and multiple box vendors. We bring it all together into one solution for them.”

The major enhancements to Versa Titan with this release is the addition of new functionality.

“Versa Titan has not had a couple of our SASE services before,” Wood said. “It has had next-gen firewall and IPS and IDS and unified threat management, but it  has not had secure web gateway, and it has not had ZTNA [Zero Trust Network Access]. Neither of these were built in before.”

The ZTNA in particular is something that customers value, said Nasser Jabakhanji, President and CEO of Versa Platinum partner Experteers.

“ZTNA is one of the very significant features that all users are looking for on their network, and our experience with Versa Titan was very successful on that part,” Jabakhani indicated. Experteers, a solution provider based in Georgetown at the western end of the Greater Toronto Area, has worked with Versa since 2018. They have a national MSP presence as well as traditional IT support throughout Ontario, and serve a broad range of customers, including Ontario municipalities, where they are particularly strong, and a range of utility and police customers, as well as smaller companies.

While most Versa partners either focus on the enterprise market with Versa SASE, or on the SMB market with Versa Titan, Experteers is one of those partners who sell both.

“Experteers works with both solutions, though SASE is not used widely with our customers yet, but Titan provides the best-in-class solution for all SMB customers,” Jabakhani stated. “Versa has focused on having Lean IT since day one, and the setup is both robust and simple to run. We always convey the message to our customers to turn their attention to this important factor in Canada.”

While Experteers is also a VMware partner, whose VeloCloud solution competes with Versa, Experteers focuses on Versa as their SD-WAN offering.

“Our network architects considered that Versa has the best solution in the market technically with limitless features and services, so our collective decision was to work Versa and we still believe that was a great decision after years of working closely with Versa,” Jabakhani said.

In addition to the new functionality, Versa has imported both Versa Secure Access and Versa Analytics from Versa SASE into Titan.

“With Versa SASE analytics now also built into Versa Titan, it is like having a consultant on the team,” Wood said. “With Versa Secure Access client on the devices now available through Versa Titan, no matter where employees are, they can get on the network securely with application segmentation. They just have to download the app and be on the network in a secure manner. They don’t need an appliance at home.”

For customers who do need an appliance at home, specifically for more robust use cases, Wood also emphasized that Versa is now selling a small appliance that is suitable for this situation.

“One thing that has been available but we haven’t made a big deal about, is that we are now strongly selling a very small home appliance, our VERSA CSG 300,” Wood said. “We were ramping up our production last year to produce them at the volume we needed, and we didn’t want to announce and create a spike in demand where we couldn’t deliver This kind of home appliance can bifurcate out kids doing schoolwork or Netflix.”

Experteers’ Jabakhani is a fan of the hardware Versa uses for its CSG appliances.

“I would like to emphasize the reliability of the equipment certified by Versa for its solutions, especially the CSG families 1XXX, 3XX, and 7XX, having them operational in tough conditions and passing hard POC testing procedures,” he noted.