How Startup Ananda Networks Enables DIY Private Networks

eWEEK NETWORKING NEWS: Ananda is a cloud-based service with a Slack-like interface that finds the best internet connections for any type of enterprise use case, shows users how to make the connections, then remembers them for future use. It's all about automation.

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Ananda Networks, which launched out of stealth mode Aug. 18, has a very simple mission to accomplish: The new network software provider wants you to experience “network bliss,” which is what the name of the company means in Sanskrit.

The San Francisco-based startup, which describes itself as “the first cloud-managed service that allows organizations to create their own private networks,” used the occasion to announce that it has secured $6 million in seed funding from MizMaa Ventures, Citrix Systems, Gefen Capital, Cyber Mentor Fund, GreatPoint Ventures, South Korean cybersecurity firm Jiran, J-Ventures, and individual investors. 

So it’s a big day for a little company.

“The (internet) network we use every day was never designed for how we’re using it today,” CEO and co-founder Adi Ruppin told eWEEK. “Security was not on anybody’s mind (when the network was first being built), and neither was scale or performance. We’re basically trying to use the same old network that was built 60 years ago to connect millions of LANs (local area networks)--it’s amazing that it even works!”

No more Band-Aids on the network

“Basically, you need to put Band-Aids on the network in order to do business--you need the firewalls, the VPNs, the SD-WANs, and so on. As you think about it, you say: ‘Is this really how it’s supposed to work?’

“What we are doing is recreating how the network works, rather than making another patch. We enable our customers to create their own private network on top of the internet. They can connect their distributed workforce, cloud services, LANs, mobile devices--everything--no matter where they are, and it looks and feels like they are in a LAN.”

At its core, Ananda is a cloud-based service with a Slack-like interface that finds the best internet connections for any type of enterprise use case, shows users how to make the connections, then remembers them for future use. It also secures transactions from start to finish and all the mode connections in between. Automation is a key descriptor here.

Ruppin, a serial entrepreneur who specializes in security, and his co-founding partner, Elad Rave, a networking expert, comprise the core team that runs Ananda. Together they’ve started more than a half-dozen companies individually or between them.

What Ananda brings to the table

Key features of the Ananda Networks service are:

  • Faster speed: Ananda’s self-optimizing network uses machine learning to connect any two nodes on the network optimally without backhauling traffic or forcing it through proxies, and it leverages advanced communication protocols to provide unmatched performance.
  • End-to-end security: Ananda allows organizations to create their own fully private networks that are encrypted end-to-end, without entrusting their communication to a third party, and provides native zero-trust networking and micro-segmentation.
  • Simplicity: The Ananda service is fully cloud-managed, as easy to set up and use as a Slack channel or a group messaging app, and can replace multiple discrete solutions, such as firewalls, VPNs, SD-WAN, and MPLS.

“Ananda Networks is transforming the old networking and security models,” said Rick Kaplan, partner at MizMaa Ventures. “Companies can now extend their perimeter to allow easier, faster and more secure access to all cloud and on-prem resources for remote, mobile, and branch users.”

Connecting the modern enterprise calls for a new, cloud-native paradigm that will allow it to create its own private, secure, high-performance network connecting all users, devices and cloud services — converging both security and performance and doing so without requiring complex and costly hardware or infrastructure, Richard Stiennon, founding analyst of IT Harvest, said in a media advisory. 

“We are seeing a generational shift toward a fully distributed workforce. However, while the world has changed, our network hasn’t. To meet their connectivity and security challenges, organizations have to put band-aid over band-aid, while experiencing lower performance and security with higher cost and complexity. Ananda is rebuilding the network from the ground up to solve the core problem rather than its symptoms,” Ruppin said. 

The Ananda Networks service is available today. The company is offering a free version and several subscription options. To request an invitation, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...