“People get digital transformation but not network transformation,” said Galeal Zino, Founder and CEO of NetFoundry in an exclusive interview about his new company which is a spin-off of Tata Communications.
Through Tata Communications’ Shape the Future, NetFoundry has received guidance to help us scale the business along with the freedom to learn and refine our offering as a start-up. So, we’ve had the best of both worlds: the backing of a leading global digital infrastructure services provider, with the autonomy to innovate independently. We look forward to enabling customer innovation globally, as developers use NetFoundryto spin up networking in the same way that they use IaaS providers to spin up compute.
A bit of history – we have been covering the IP communications space since its inception. ITXC was one of the first companies to build a global network for these communications – back when it was very hard to do. This is Galeal’s background – he was there when this happened – when communications went from fixed lines to IP over global networks. It was messy. It was full of errors and poor quality… Yet, we learned from the experience and routers and other networking equipment got better. In addition, many of the challenges went away.
He said, digital transformation doesn’t happen without network transformation and enterprise communications are on the precipice – what is happening there is what happened to VoIP. In fact, it is – it is the same evolution that took place when IP telephony became internet telephony.
Another analogy is the evolution from MPLS to SD-WAN.
He discussed how companies have evolved from having private data centers that were wired up with Cisco routers to connect the data centers together like train tracks.
He said, “Now we have apps everywhere; Edge, cloud, mobile. Wherever there is compute. They are no longer in a private data center.” Continuing, “In large enterprises, not too many apps are site-to-site… They are mostly edge-to-cloud, and cloud-to-cloud. Just like at ITXC.”
How do we make apps secure and reliable over the internet?
This was the founding basis of NetFoundry.
“We are a platform. Not SD-WAN, MPLS, etc.”Galeal Zino
What is it, you may be wondering? Simply stated, imagine Twilio for networking but in addition to APIs, you have SDKs enabling developers to add calls to spin up networking as needed. Just as Twilio might have to spin up extra servers to handle capacity when a football game ends, to handle stadium traffic, NetFoundry spins up global VMs to handle the routing and associated cloud-based orchestration needs.
It is an overlay network similar to Cato Networks, Adaptiv Networks, Aryaka or Teridion.
Galeal thinks their cost-basis is lower than other companies as they use newer architecture. This is why their “Ephemeral transient developer network” can afford to be spun up for developers.
One customer, OmniSYS provides pharmaceutical manufacturer solutions used to supply their services via a VPN, connected to each pharmacy location. When there was a delay with the VPN, customers blamed OmniSYS. By using the NetFoundry SDK and APIs, they were able to eliminate VPNs while ensuring greater security as the data is not only encrypted in transit but the data is protected at the sites and apps.
There are applications in IoT as well – especially when 5G and edge are brought into the mix.
The future of the enterprise has to do with speed and agility… Digital transformation. Using AI and edge-computing to spot defects on production lines. Spotting potential criminal activity via video surveillance and allowing ML to run organizations more efficiently.
The question is, how will all of this work?
According to Galeal:
AI is faster than realtime.
We need secure, reliable, programmable networking.
The internet is the only network that can scale and solve for all this demand.
I’m not sure any other WAN can economically meet that challenge.
So there you have it… Tata Communications spin-off NetFoundry is where SD-WAN meets Twilio and network transformation.
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