Paul Edrich, CTO of IMS Evolve, an IoT leader managing over 2 million devices globally:“For IMS, working with the NetFoundry networking platform helps us best serve edge compute customers. We have been working to embed our IoT Edge solution with NetFoundry SDKs so that we can enable customers to meet their edge compute goals without the hassle of deploying VPNs, firewalls, or propriety hardware. In fact, we can jointly be deployed as part of golden image on any IoT or edge device to provide our customer a turn-key, zero trust networking solution which is secure, scalable and future-proof.”
IoT leaders, such as IMS Evolve, who need to manage IoT devices at 1000s of customer sites, were historically forced to nail up 1000s of VPNs. Add a customer site = nail up a new VPN. Complex VPNs – each customer has a different network, RFC 1918 space NAT traversal needs, local firewall configurations. So nailing up a VPN is more like building a home with just a hammer and nails. And then rebuilding it every time something changes.
Today, NetFoundry announced an alternative: cloud orchestrated, secure-by-design, high-performance networking for providers such as IMS Evolve. No more VPNs or custom hardware. Code replaces configuration. Instead, an IoT application provider or managed services provider manages their devices as a cloud orchestrated fleet. The cloud paradigm – simplicity, agility, automation – is now available at the edge. We’ll need to nail up VPNs somewhere else.
Edge computing environments are diverse and distributed
NetFoundry’s cloud orchestrated networking provides central management of highly distributed edge compute, IoT apps and devices for providers who may manage across 100s of customer sites. However, that’s only half of this problem.
Each edge computing environment is diverse. And often difficult. These are not private data centers with engineered space, power, cooling and networking. The edge compute environment could be a retail store, farm, manufacturing plant or remote oil & gas site. Indoors, outdoors, on a roof, under a shelf. We could play Cat in the Hat with IoT device locations if we had the time. Let’s just leave it at “diverse” for now.
The solution is to offer ultimate flexibility, while ensuring that each local option is managed consistently. NetFoundry therefore offers a few options:
Application providers compile their apps on NetFoundry SDKs. The zero trust networking then goes everywhere the app goes – it is embedded in the app. To any edge. IoT device, Pi, mobile, tablet, laptop. No additional deployment – not even software.
Solution and hardware providers offer NetFoundry-integrated edge compute. Plug-in the edge compute and get both edge optimized compute and built-in zero trust, high performance networking! No extra hardware deployment. Minimal footprint. NetFoundry has partnered with leading providers such as Supermicro, as Supermicro provides support for every form factor that diverse edge deployments need, whether hardened to survive drops, weather-proofed to survive the elements, or rack-mounted for back-of-house.
Device-loaded NetFoundry. No edge compute? No problem (although we highly recommend edge compute to take advantage of local processing, video inferencing and voice recognition). The store or factory or warehouse just loads NetFoundry software on whatever local compute you have – a modem, WiFi router, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux. Containers or VMs. No extra networking hardware. No controllers. Your device will securely register to the NetFoundry cloud, without requiring inbound firewall ports, local configuration, etc. No certificates to manage (bundled in the service by NetFoundry). Not even any nails or NATs.
Critically, as the provider managing all these distributed, diverse edges, you end up with a centralized, cloud-orchestrated, micro-segmented network (so every customer is its own mini-network, completely isolated from any other network, while still being centrally managed), regardless of which endpoint types:
Edge compute and IoT needs “no compromise” security and performance
NetFoundry’s networking is zero trust and application micro-segmented. Other than being a mouthful, what does that mean? Networks can no longer be trusted. Zero trust security therefore ensures applications are secure, even if the network is not.
No compromise? Unfortunately, we have often compromised security in the name of performance, or performance in the name of security. Think about corporate VPNs. We would avoid the corporate VPN, backdoor it or route their voice and video apps around it. We bypassed the security. Lesson learned – if you compromise performance, then security gets compromised too. NetFoundry’s networking provides at least 200% better performance than VPN or SD-WAN. Learn more about high performance, NaaS networking here.
Edge compute and networking platforms – ecosystem approach with open source commitment
Cloud orchestrated, zero trust, high performance edge and IoT networking is cool. Really cool. But it only truly powerful as an integrated part of the edge compute ecosystem. NetFoundry’s platform is built for ecosystem integrations, with an API-first approach, which enables integrations with partners such as IMS Evolve and Supermicro. NetFoundry has also open sourced our programmable networking platform, Ziti, the underlying software for our NaaS services, so that any developer, application provider, solution integrator, solution provider or managed services provider can contribute and customize.
Go here to jump start your Edge and IoT networking today. You can get started right away with a free trial, or schedule a briefing and demo. After the demo, we will hand you the keys.