Networking start-up Pertino Inc. has an interesting proposition: build your network in the cloud without the use of any hardware. The idea is to circumvent the traditional issues of VPN, branch office connectivity appliances and port-forwarding problems by using the cloud as the single conduit to connect all devices.
Dubbed the “cloud network engine,” Pertino has joined together the benefits of cloud connectivity with virtualization and software defined networking (SDN) to adress the needs of the “workforce raised on always-on connectivity” and a workforce embracing mobility in all forms.
Pertino’s cloud engine can provide instant-on networks, allowing a user spin-up an entire networking system, configure it and then spin it down when it’s no longer needed. Remote desktop connectivity is also available, providing access to traditional productivity applications while also providing room for administration operations. File sharing is no longer is an issue, as the secure cloud network provides local-like protection. Added bonus? Mobile devices are now given the flexibility of local network access, even if that access point is through a cellular connection.
The cloud engine promises “no expertise” connectivity of existing cloud resources and users can be invited to join cloud networks through a simple “LinkedIn”-esque interface. There is no initial cost to start spinning up the networks. It’s purely per-user and subscription based. Essentially, this is a network-as-a-service (NaaS) platform.
Big picture for the channel? Networking solutions like these reshape the level of complexity that’s required to deliver a full end-to-end service to a customer. That puts partners in a better position to focus energy and resources on services brokerage instead of break-fix services.
The focus on ease of use comes not from new tech players, but intelligent industry veterans looking to maximize their wealth of experience from companies like Blue Coat Systems Inc, Gearworks Inc., Greenplum Inc, Juniper Networks Inc, Packeteer Inc and Zscaler Inc., to reshape the paradigm of next-generation networking .
CEO and co-founder Craig Elliot spent 10 years with Apple Inc., heading up marketing and management roles management roles while CTO and co-founder Scott Hankins once built robots for NASA and has filed patents for deep-packet inspection. A longer list of co-founders and network architects are also in play.
Pertino’s technology is almost ready for prime time –but not quite yet. It’s just completed a six month beta program within the professional Spiceworks IT community and Pertino says it is still responding to ongoing feedback and feature requests before an official release.
However, the platform is more than functional and a limited release is available now, with support for Windows 7, Windows Server and Mac OS X systems. The promise of mobile device support will arrive “later in 2013,” but anxious users can use a free personal plan that supports three users and three devices and test it out for themselves. A professional plan is also slated for $10/month per connected user and will be targeted at the on-the-go SMB community.
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