NetFoundry pushes software-only edge embedded networking

NetFoundry pushes software-only edge embedded networking

Targeting edge and Internet-of-Things service firms, NetFoundry has launched software-only edge embedded networking. The company says the new offering will make it easier to securely manage edge systems.

NetFoundry executives claim their turnkey service provides low-latency, micro-segmented networking for edge applications in a package that easily integrates with widely used application and edge compute products, including Microsoft Corp. Azure and Azure Virtual WAN, Amazon.com’s AWS and DigitalOcean Inc. products.

An edge services company can embed its edge product with NetFoundry’s software development kits, which means service subscribers can forego a need to deploy their own virtual private networks and firewalls or to buy proprietary hardware.

The role of microsegmentation in edge networks, IoT

Microsegmentation is a networking term that is related to the concept of a VLAN (virtual LAN), where devices on a network are securely connected and talk to each other via virtual routers using device addresses in pre-defined network paths. VLANs typically apply to what is referred to as “north-south” traffic, meaning that goes into and out of a datacenter.

Microsegmentation allows further control over data traffic based on workload types and other granular policies defined around application behaviors rather than user identities. Networking services using microsegmentation are also typically dealing with “east-west” traffic that flows between devices inside a datacenter.

Security is an important reason that companies consider the implementation of microsegmentation. By strictly defining communication pathways, hackers have fewer opportunities to move laterally to other systems. For example, hackers can’t target the remote management system for a fish tank to get into other systems to steal company information.

With typical enterprises running hundreds of different applications, a software-based networking infrastructure is needed to control and manage policies and infrastructure.

NetFoundry’s SDK enables developers to embed software-defined controls down to the IoT device, a critical capability owing to the number of sensors and gateway devices that a typical IoT use case would require. It already has some traction with partners.

IMS Evolve, a UK-based company specializing in IoT systems management and monitoring, has been working to embed the SDK with its IoT Edge offering to make it easier for customers to manage IoT systems. The company claims to have over 2 million devices under management and has itself partnered with companies like Dell to provide integrated hardware and software systems for retailers. Grocery companies, for instance, use IMS Evolve to manage refrigeration systems.

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