EdgeIR Fireside Chat: Alkira takes on simplifying cloud-to-edge network services

In a new Edge Industry Review Fireside Chat interview, we discuss the evolution of SD-WAN and cloud networking in the context of edge computing.

Alkira earlier this year launched services it calls “cloud area” networking. The services are described as a next-generation network that offers edge-to-cloud connectivity services built in the cloud and requires no hardware to buy or agents to install and will allow enterprises to programmatically build connectivity from the office to multiple clouds.

Networks are critical to the edge computing ecosystem. Edge services at some time or another, typically connect to other devices and other applications via a network.

EdgeIR interviewed Amir Khan, founder and CEO of Alkira.  Khan is an industry veteran who was the founder and former CEO of Viptela, an SD-WAN provider that Cisco acquired in 2017 for over $600M.

We talked with Khan about what cloud area networking is, how it is similar or not to SD-WAN services that enterprises are familiar with, and to find out about Alkira’s view of edge computing and networks.

You can watch the full interview on our YouTube channel here and on our Vimeo channel here.

Show timestamps

(01:28) SD-WAN was implemented as a solution to optimize private connectivity for wide area networking and to interconnect branches to data centers and the clouds. However, many existing vendors use an approach where virtual instances are stitched together to create tunnels, which can become very tedious. Alkira solves these problems for customers by creating an abstraction layer to bring multiple clouds together from a computer networking perspective.

(05:29) Network as a service is a term that is used loosely in the industry. Many solutions don’t scale for enterprise or carrier customers. Alkira has built carrier-class infrastructure that allows customers to secure and deploy higher layer services while optimizing traffic and reducing the number of firewalls needed.

(07:14) Customers have been able to use the solution across multiple geographies to reduce latency sixfold. Other customers have reduced the number of firewalls by 75% for significant cost savings.

(09:39) Alkira’s vision of cloud area networking as it applies to edge computing scenarios and how they are building out their infrastructure beyond “NFL” cities.

(12:09) The growth of AWS Outpost and other on-premise cloud offerings will benefit companies that can provide control over virtualized network services.

(13:37) Building network services with security in mind include the ability to automate operations.

(15:41) Securing network boundaries will be the job of security vendors. Customers still want a separation of security and networking services, so the company will likely stay focused on the networking layer.

(18:23) A discussion of customer deployments in multi-cloud scenarios.

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