The CEO of WiteSand, Praveen Jain, a graduate of Cisco where he started his career in enterprise networking in 1996, believes in bold statements and has declared that the cloud is the new networking operating system.
In a recent post on LinkedIn Pulse, Jain made the case for simplicity and unification, saying by pivoting to this Cloud Network OS, enterprise IT, and OT teams can “consolidate all your on-prem enterprise networking tools. This is the place to do boundless analytics. This is the place to enforce zero-trust policies in the network. And this is the single place to manage your worldwide locations with consistent policies.”
Clearly, on a mission with his team to simplify enterprise network operations, Jain is passionate about solving for the growing complexity associated with sprawling infrastructure, a mix of vendors, increasing applications benefitting from edge computing, including those in the IoT world, and the multi-hybrid combinations which were brought into the spotlight during the global pandemic when millions were forced to work from home.
Today, Jain’s latest adventure WiteSand announced they have come out of stealth mode after implementing this new cloud-native, multi-tenant solution in the field with enterprises who the company says are benefitting from asset discovery NAC, wired and wireless provisioning, monitoring, and flow analytics.
With WiteSand, the company claimed in their announcement, “all of the functionality that was previously contained within other tools is now available in a single cloud-based interface, and only the physical switches and access points remain on-premise.”
The integrated offering has been designed to support global networks reaching campuses, remote offices, factories, logistics centers, retail sites, and more.
WiteSand’s experienced founding team previously delivered several successful networking startups, including Insieme, Nuova Systems, and Andiamo that were acquired for more than $2.2 billion, and it has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to date from institutional and angel investors.
WiteSand is currently deployed by several companies to manage their enterprise campus networks. Planful, leading financial planning and analysis (FP&A) cloud platform chose WiteSand to address the threats introduced by its remote workforce returning to office environments post-pandemic. By using WiteSand’s cloud-based NAC, it found its problem identification was ten times faster, and the templatized approach reduced custom scripting by 90%.
“As we start to move back into the office and COVID starts to subside throughout our regional offices in the coming quarters, we can’t be sure they’ve followed security best practices at home and haven’t been exposed to potential threats,” said Hersh Mahavni, Planful’s Vice President of TechOps & Trust. “Because of those potentially insecure devices, we could be walking into the Wild West of all sorts of exploits, so we need something like WiteSand to help us contain and isolate any threats in an automated fashion.”
“Two of the markets in which WiteSand participates are large and growing,” said Chris DePuy, Technology Analyst and Founder of 650 Group. “In our June 7th Enhanced Network Access Control report, we forecasted that the NAC market will reach $1.1B in 2025. Additionally, in the fourth quarter 2020, Cloud-Managed Services associated with both Campus Switching and Enterprise WLAN grew nearly 30% Y/Y.”
In medium to large enterprises, networking has never been more complicated due to employee mobility and looming hybrid work environments.
In many cases, each campus has a slightly different technology stack— one vendor for switches, another for network access control (NAC), another for Wireless LAN, and still others for network monitoring and flow analytics.
Managing those solutions tends to be on-premise, tedious and time-consuming, and hard to troubleshoot due to numerous potential points of failure. Each component manages aspects of the network, but none have the complete picture.
These are the challenges WiteSands has been focused on addressing by moving network operations including provisioning, testing, monitoring, management, and maintenance to a single, unified cloud-based platform, which includes their “Network Time Machine,” a feature designed to reveal the complete history of events and changes in the network at any point in time.
The company says they achieved this “by pairing the limitless power of the cloud with global visibility, correlation, analytics, and recent advances in AI/ML.”
“Over the years, one thing kept bugging us,” Jain said. “Needing to be able to see past the state of the network for faster issue resolution. We always wanted to build a ‘network DVR’ to serve this function. We did make some progress but were largely limited by appliances. Also, general-purpose cloud analytics tools did not have enough context to give our networking customers the correlation they needed. We choose SaaS to be the vehicle to solve this next problem.”
Founded in 2019, WiteSand leverages templates for rapidly developing ideal campus configuration and policies which can be defined once and deployed in greenfield and brownfield environments, whether they are single or multi-vendor, on an intuitive admin portal which includes the Network Time Machine to provide a comprehensive forensic snapshot of network history and any changes at any point in time.
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