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flexiWAN SD-WAN Pricing Explained

flexiWAN Pricing

Which deployment option is best for you?

flexiWAN offers an innovative and disruptive approach to SD-WAN. This includes our technical differentiators of open source and modular architecture that opens our system for 3rd party vendors and reduces Total Cost of Ownership. flexiWAN’s market disruption continues also in our SD-WAN pricing through our business model by being the first SD-WAN company to offer a freemium model and 3 deployment options of our management system, flexiManage.

This post reviews the different deployment options and our unique pricing attributes that make flexiWAN easy to do business with.

Fair and easy to understand SD-WAN pricing

The pricing of SD-WAN products and services is typically one of the most kept secrets of SD-WAN companies. Prior to deciding on flexiWAN’s pricing, we conducted a survey asking our community to share with us what they view as the right price point. One of the comments received by many of the respondents was that SD-WAN pricing in general is too complicated, hard to know what you pay for and to predict the expected bill. Being bandwidth based is just one of the reasons for that.

We at flexiWAN took a different approach to SD-WAN pricing and decided on 3 differentiators:

  • Be transparent, we publish our pricing online
  • Make our pricing device based rather than bandwidth based
  • Remove long term commitments wherever possible

flexiWAN is an open source SD-WAN solution. We take the common open source approach in which we publish our code so everyone can see/download/use/contribute/find bugs….

and, offer services based on this code. AKA, we have a business model.

While flexiEdge is typically deployed by our customers on dedicated HW or in virtual environment (including public clouds), flexiManage (the flexiWAN management system)  can be deployed by our customers in 3 ways:

  • A multitenant, shared environment hosted by flexiWAN
  • A dedicated environment for a specific customer hosted by flexiWAN (also multitenant)
  • Self-hosting of the management by a specific customer in its cloud

In this blog post I want to provide more details about these 3 options and then explain what option fits which use case.

flexiManage deployment options

Shared Environment

flexiWAN hosts its management system, flexiManage, on AWS. The system is built in a multitenant architecture so an account on the system may have multiple organizations (e.g. enterprises or other managed networks) and users having access to different organizations or functions in the system. An MSP or enterprise, may open an account on flexiManage, install and manage several networks or enterprise customers.

The characteristics of the Shared Environment are:

  • Servers are hosted by flexiWAN
  • There are many accounts of flexiWAN customers on these servers
  • You access the account at https://manage.flexiwan.com/
  • flexiWAN’s logo is presented, no white label option
flexiWAN Shared Environment

Those who open a free account from our pricing page will have their account created in this shared environment. It is possible to increase the number of flexiEdge instances in your account beyond the first 3 free instances by adding a credit card to the account and paying on a monthly basis.

As for billing, the billing entity in flexiWAN’s scope is always the account so an MSP may serve multiple customers from his account and bill them based on any pricing structure it wishes to apply. flexiWAN is not involved or engaged directly with end customers of an MSP, only with flexiManage account owners.

Dedicated Environment

flexiWAN will spin up a complete set of servers and databases dedicated only for a single customer who selected this option. This will allow you to enjoy the best of 2 worlds. On one hand, you have an environment dedicated to your deployment with whitelable option. On the other hand, you don’t deal with installing, updating and maintaining the servers so you don’t need to invest DevOps resources for this.

The characteristics of the Dedicated Environment are:

  • Servers and databases are dedicated for you, no other flexiWAN customers using the system
  • You can use your domain name instead of flexiWAN’s domain name
  • You can put your logo in the system (powered by flexiWAN will still be there)
  • flexiWAN takes care of installation and maintenance of the servers
  • You may create accounts and organizations for your customers (3 tier multi tenancy)
  • No long term commitment, you pay month by month and may stop at any time. There is a small monthly minimum fee

The billing entity is the owner of the Dedicated Environment. If you are using flexiWAN to server your customers, you will be billing them.

Self-Hosting

In this case you will be self-hosting the SD-WAN system, this requires installing flexiManage and all the other required services in your cloud. This is a rather complex task that requires DevOps resources. flexiManage requires both Redis and MongoDB clusters as well as other services such as DNS, SMTP relay, server monitoring and more.

 The characteristics of the Self-Hosting option are:

  • The complete flexiManage system is installed in your cloud
  • You need to take care of installation, upgrade and maintenance of the servers
  • DevOps resources are mandatory
flexiWAN Self-Hosting
  • You can use your domain name instead of flexiWAN’s domain name
  • You can put your logo in the system (powered by flexiWAN will still be there)
  • You may create accounts and organizations for your customers (3 tier multi tenancy)
  • Prepayment for 1 year minimum fee is required

Billing is based on the minimum monthly fee (paid for 12 months in advance). This minimum fee includes a bunch of instances in it. Payment for usage beyond this is done at the end of each calendar month based on usage reports from the system.

Which option is best for you?

There is no one single rule based on which to decide which of these 3 options best serves your specific needs but here are some guidelines:

  • Shared Environment – For conducting lab POCs or for very small deployments. 
  • Dedicated Environment – This option is typically great for midsize to large deployments especially if you are offering SD-WAN as a service to your customers. MSPs should consider moving to a Dedicated Environment once you start preparing for deployment at customer sites
  • Self-Hosting – We recommend going for this option only if you have a large deployment (at least thousands of sites). It is also possible to start with a Dedicated Environment and later move to Self-Hosting

Closing Notes

flexiWAN came to market with a promise to democratise SD-WAN. This vision is realised through our technology innovation coupled with our SD-WAN pricing and business model innovation allowing for a freemium model and 3 different deployment options designed to support a multitude of market segments and requirements.

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Webinar Speakers: former Gartner analyst & CEO of flexiWAN