Cradlepoint Unveils SD-WAN Service, SoftBank Partnership

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  November 02, 2016

Like many businesses, Cradlepoint is working to transform itself into a cloud-based service provider. But the company, which is best known for selling wireless routers, is unique in that it has technology powerhouse SoftBank as its partner for the ride.

The companies announced their alliance late this summer. At the same time, Cradlepoint issued news about the release of its new NetCloud platform. NetCloud is a cloud-based solution that combines previously available Cradlepoint offerings with the software-defined networking technology it got through its recent acquisition of Pertino.

Cradlepoint and SoftBank have co-branded a service based on NetCloud. It’s called WhiteCloud OneLayer on Cradlepoint NetCloud, and it helps organizations instantly create branch, mobile, and IoT networks in the cloud. And, importantly, it allows for end-to-end control and security, and the creation of policy-based services in the process.

SoftBank will be the first service provider to offer it as a managed service. That’s a pretty nice relationship for Cradlepoint given that SoftBank is the second largest wireless and wireline service provider in Japan, has more than 3,000 sales people, and also plans to offer the solution through its subsidiaries and partnerships around the world.

NetCloud, an SD-WAN service, is an amalgamation of Cradlepoint and Pertino’s technologies under a single brand, said Todd Krautkremer, Cradlepoint’s senior vice president of strategy and strategic partnerships. Cradlepoint will still sell gateways and routers, and the cloud-based management it has been offering along with them, he explained, but now the emphasis will be on the software and services it delivers along with them.

The NetCloud service is noteworthy, he added, because it allows businesses to leverage the public cloud, but ensure their traffic running over that consumer-grade infrastructure gets enterprise-quality treatment. In addition to NetCloud’s traffic control and visibility, it features network access control, which prevents devices from coming on the network until they are accepted by the network administrator or profiled to be compliant. And because it is automated and is an over-the-top service running over broadband connections, businesses that use NetCloud stand to save 90 percent over MPLS, be able to reduce their WAN staffing by 50 percent and their hardware costs by three times, and deploy a virtual network in less than 5 minutes.

Various sources indicate the SD-WAN space will reach $3.2 billion by 2018, $12.1 billion by 2019, and $7.5 billion by 2020. Among the companies in the SD-WAN space are Cisco, Citrix, CloudGenix, FatPipe Networks, Glue Networks, Ipanema technologies, Riverbed, SimpleWAN, Silver Peak (News - Alert), Talari, VeloCloud, Versa Networks, and Viptela.

Edited by Alicia Young