Pertino a year ago came out of stealth mode with a limited release of its namesake cloud-based networking technology that enables organizations to spin up secure networks over the Internet and manage them through a single interface.
After a year in beta, the company's Cloud Network Engine is now generally available. The technology leverages cloud computing, virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN) to enable small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to gain access to enterprise-class networking capabilities, according to Todd Krautkremer, vice president of marketing and sales at Pertino.
It comes at a time of increased worker mobility and the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD), with remote and mobile employees demanding access to the corporate network and data from anywhere and any device. With Pertino's Cloud Network Engine, businesses can skip the complexity and cost associated with hardware-based virtual private networks (VPNs) and instead use the Pertino technology to create a cloud-based network that's easily accessible and secure. Through the network, users can access cloud-based documents and files.
"That's the cool thing about Pertino," Krautkremer told eWEEK. "If your system is on, it's connected to the network."
Other vendors also are looking at the cloud for delivering network services. Aryaka offers a cloud-based networking service that is delivered via what officials call a network of distributed points of presence (POPs) that are connected with a dedicated private core network. For its part, Cisco Systems in 2012 spent $1.2 billion to buy Meraki, which offered a range of network capabilities—such as WiFi, switch and mobile device management—that is managed from the cloud. Like Pertino, Meraki focused its efforts on the SMB space.
In a demonstration, Krautkremer showed how a network can be spun up in a matter of seconds, and via the interface a cloud management console can show a visual display of all the people, devices and services on the network. IT administrators can see who is connected to the network, how long they've been on and what applications they're accessing, as well as what devices they're using and where those devices are.
People can be added and deleted from the network through a few clicks, giving administrators easy and wide control over the network.
In addition, the Cloud Network Engine removes a lot of the cost and complexity associated with traditional wide-area networks (WANs). Creating a network only takes a few minutes, there's no upfront infrastructure costs, and the technology enables users to take advantage of the programmability and automation found in SDNs.
"It all represents a real mind shift for the IT pro," Krautkremer said.
According to Pertino officials, during its year in beta—which included participation in the Spiceworks site—more than 5,000 people created cloud networks using the company's technology, and the feedback was important. Krautkremer said a number of changes were made to the technology based on the feedback, in particular tweaks to the interface that made it more user-friendly.
In November 2013, Pertino announced AppScape, a network services app store. The online store currently has two apps in it, but Krautkremer said a goal of Pertino officials for 2014 is to grow the offerings by three to four apps every quarter, with the apps hitting on such areas as security and filtering.
Pertino is offering users a free Personal plan that allows for up to three devices, and a paid plan starting at $29 a month or $290 for a year.