by Gina Narcisi

Khalid Raza, former co-founder and CTO for Viptela and dubbed the "father" of SD-WAN, has started a new edge networking company that is taking aim at Cisco and other formidable SD-WAN providers.

Graphiant emerged from stealth mode on Thursday and is ready to deliver MPLS-level connectivity between the enterprise WAN, hybrid cloud, network edge, customers and partners. Its solution is delivered as a service through the Graphiant Network Edge, Raza, founder and CEO of Graphiant told CRN in an interview before the launch of his new company.

The San Jose, Calif.-based startup is solving a big networking problem that existing SD-WAN players, like Cisco, are "not listening to," Raza said — increasingly distributed workloads and network complexity that is in turn creating more complexity and security issues for businesses.

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Graphiant's platform eliminates the need to build bespoke networks between every resource, hybrid cloud, edge network, customer and partner. The technology instead connects each resource to the Graphiant Stateless Core, which handles all routing, and can be accessed via a portal. Traffic stays encrypted from edge to edge, the Core does not contain customer information of any kind, and SLA-grade performance is guaranteed, according to the company.

Global solution provider World Wide Technology (WWT) has been partnering with Graphiant in stealth mode. The solution will help remove the barrier of entry to SD-WAN that still exists for many businesses, according to Neil Anderson, area vice president, cloud and infrastructure solutions for WWT.

Part of Anderson's job is to assess emerging technologies and startups. WWT was an early adopter of Viptela prior to the Cisco acquisition and still is to this day. When Raza and his team reached out to WWT, the two companies immediately began working together as WWT began evaluating Graphiant in stealth mode.

Graphiant's technology is very unique in the SD-WAN space, Anderson said. "They've taken the learnings from the SD-WAN market and really thought really deeply about what the complexity is for most customers," he said. "Most of the solutions are still built on SD-WAN as a foundation and they're trying to go after the market that way … being able to kind of do the similar things that you could do with SD-WAN, but not require such complexity to get there. That's what really stood out about them to us."



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