Cool Startup: Glue Networks

Glue Networks, a cloud-based Software-defined WAN (SDWAN) based in Sacramento CA, has raised $29M in funding. The company was founded in 2007, making them one of the first cloud-based WAN Service Providers, also known as WAN as-a-service. The executive team are veterans from the networking industry. Their mission is to replace legacy MPLS networks, with a next generation WAN as-a-service platform called Glueware. Glueware, automates the configuration and management of large WAN deployments, simplifying the complex deployment process for network managers. The current choices are 1) deploy an MPLS network, and configure each of the router’s policies manually, in order to secure, and support the different types of applications 2) Implement the Glueware software platform, which is plug-and-play, that automates the creation of policies, via a management console, and pushes the configurations to all branch routers at once.

One of the major benefits of Glueware, is that branch locations don’t need an onsite network manager to deploy the router. Anyone can do it. Just plug in the router, and make sure it has an Internet connection, Glueware takes over from there. Glue Networks, Pertino & Aryaka are in the same category, WAN as-a-service. All three providers replace MPLS. However, all three accomplish the same thing differently. Aryaka provides the most robust platform of the three, by providing WAN as-a-service & WAN Optimization-as-a-service, in the same offering, that supports the exchange of a dozen application formats such as Sharepoint.

Aryaka works at layers 2 through 7, whereas Glue Networks works at Layer 2 & 3. Although it might seem that Aryaka and Glue are not direct competitors, the use of one provider means the other provider is out of the picture. Glue Networks only offers WAN as-a-service, not WAN Optimization as-a-service. WAN Optimization-as-a-service offers more functionality, like file compression and TCP/IP middle mile optimization.

What do you get when Cisco and a Value Added Reseller decide to launch a startup? You get Glue Networks. Glue Networks is no-brainer acquisition for Cisco. However, Akamai should consider acquiring them, for reasons I’ll discuss in another post.