Meta Networks Unfurls NaaS


By: Michael Vizard

Now that compute and storage resources are routinely invoked as a cloud service, it’s only natural that same concept would be applied to networking. With that idea in mind, Meta Networks yesterday launched a global network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering to provide access to a virtual private network (VPN) on demand from anywhere.

Meta NaaS is based on points-of-presence for a software-defined network (SDN) overlay that Meta Networks has established in various hosting facilities around the world, says company CEO Etay Bogner. That approach provides access to one unified set of L2/L3 networking services that are secured by Meta Networks.

“The biggest problem with networking today is everything is fragmented," says Bogner.

To drive the development of MetaNaaS, the company also revealed today it has lined up $10 million in seed funding.

Cybersecurity for the Meta NaaS is achieved using a combination of technologies from the Blue Coat Systems, an arm of Symantec, and Sygen, a provider of anti-malware software, to create a zero-trust network that is managed by Meta Networks.

Each customer is presented with its own set of VLAN segments to manage, which Bogner says provides customers with their own dedicated VLANs on a shared global physical network. Customers can either access that service via a console or invoke it using application programming interfaces (APIs) that Meta Networks exposes.

Bogner says Meta Networks is not advocating organizations should rip and replace their local network, but rather rely on Meta NaaS to provide federated VPN access to any number of distributed branch offices or end points. That always-on VPN enables organizations to divert resources away from building networks to managing the applications that run on them, says Bogner.

Naturally, Meta Networks will find itself in competition with many of the local telecommunications services providers. But Bogner says it’s not feasible to use multiple carriers to create a single global VPN network that can be managed via a single console. Meta NaaS essentially provides an overlay from a single source rather than forcing organizations to negotiate separate contracts with various carriers around the world, says Bogner.

As Meta Networks moves into uncharted networking territory, it’s not clear how the company will navigate VPN issues in places such as China. But Bogner say countries around the world have been willing to allow international companies to set up their own VPNs.

In the meantime, it appears that a dedicated NaaS is finally about to take its place in the cloud alongside infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings that have been around now for well over a decade.