Virtela Communications Inc., a managed VPN services provider, officially opened for business last week targeting enterprises looking for the security and reliability of private networks without the cost of building or managing them.
AnalytX Inc., a Boston software developer for the venture capital and private equity industry, is using Virtelas managed virtual private network services to connect its offices in London, Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco and Alexandria, Va. The 6-year-old company with 65 employees was looking for a cost-effective way to transmit secure data without having to invest in, or manage, its own infrastructure.
"We dont have IT people in each of our offices, and the ones we have are not solely focused on the network," said Mark Dellasanta, regional director at AnalytX. "The most important purpose [in purchasing service from Virtela] was to share information in a secure fashion."
AnalytX began testing the managed VPN services in the spring. For now, it is using them primarily for e-mail, but it is also in the process of implementing videoconferencing.
Virtela—which derives its name from the first part of "virtual" and the word "tela," meaning "web" or "woven fabric" in Latin—touts its services as more cost-effective than similar VPN offerings from legacy carriers because it leverages the Internet to connect customers via one network. The services are provided over its own network-enabled architecture, called IP Service Fabric, which uses proprietary performance routing algorithms to optimize traffic transport over multiple IP backbones.
"Customers can experience the public network with the dedication and reliability of a private network," said Vab Goel, chairman and CEO of Virtela, in Denver. "Enterprises have not taken advantage of IP networking yet."
Access technology agnostic, Virtela can connect an enterprise headquarters that uses frame relay with branch offices that use digital subscriber line and home offices that use cable, or any other combination of access technologies. Basically, Virtela resells the "last mile" connection and builds services on top of it. The enterprise saves money because it does not have to buy separate circuits or hardware for each site.
"Carriers have multiple networks, and they want to see you connect to as many networks as possible," Goel said. "Legacy players will ask you to order a new circuit to their nearest [point of presence]."
With Virtela, enterprises do not need to purchase multiple customer premise hardware, either. Applications such as virtual firewalls; virus scanning programs; and encrypted, TV-quality videoconferencing services are created at the network core. The company asserts that enterprises can save 50 percent to 90 percent over legacy networks.