Prosimo Free Offering Gives MCN a Boost


By: R. Scott Raynovich

Prosimo made an interesting move this week -- it's giving away the base level of its multicloud networking (MCN) platform, for free.

The newly announced Prosimo MCN Foundation, a cloud-native MCN solution, will be available to customers for free. MCN foundation will provide basic cloud networking and connectivity to cloud platforms. Prosimo says it takes seven minutes to onboard and can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in cloud networking costs.

The basic functionality of MCN Foundation includes visual network onboarding, cloud discovery, end-to-end traceability, cloud transit visibility, Terraform automation, network transit visibility, policy control, and troubleshooting. Premium features which will require purchase include a wide range of tools for zero-trust network access (ZTNA), service networking, network segmentation, and cost control (among many others).

The goal is to show customers how MCN can more efficiently route cloud-native application traffic through the myriad of networks and optimize applications performance, while saving on network connectivity costs.

Looking to Accelerate MCN

Prosimo's strategy points to one of the challenges in the MCN market. Experts in the industry have told us that while the growing features of MCN platforms are attractive to network engineers as well development teams, the challenge for vendors such as Prosimo and others such as Aviatrix is to sell new platforms that displace traditional networking solutions. Prosimo's new service shows a trend toward more practical tools to promote adoption of MCN as a whole.

While Futuriom believes that MCN will eventually take hold, many of the purchasers in the market are still in the education and evaluation phase. Most networking experts are tied into traditional networking boxes and they're evaluating platforms that help them connect to cloud networks using MCN software. Eventually the promise is better automation, more efficient cloud connectivity, and optimization of cloud-native application performance.

Prosimo's Push to the Third Wave of MCN

The move to MCN solutions is something that Futuriom calls the Third Wave of Cloud Networking. The first wave was datacenter software-defined networking (SDN), which automated connectivity among server racks and pods in datacenters. The second wave was software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), which separated the software management of branch WAN access from the hardware, and enabled cloud-based automation of WAN connectivity as well as security.

The third wave will be MCN, which will take SDN and SD-WAN a step deeper -- enabling all networks, including cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to be connected to enterprise networks.

Our research shows that one of the main challenges of enterprise networking is complexity -- which has increased with the rise of cloud platforms and networks. For example, in our recent SD-WAN/SASE Managed Service report, network complexity was cited as the number one challenge in a survey of 196 enterprise users.

The thrust of MCN Foundation is to expand the market more rapidly. Prosimo's move shows a push to get these tools into the hands of technology teams to try out and realize benefits. Prosimo believes that by making a substantial portion of its offering free, it can demonstrate the value to customers who will adopt the platform and sign on for premium features.

Futuriom Take: This "freemium" approach is a classic way to accelerate adoption. Prosimo's move to get more customers trialing a free version of the software will help build awareness and expand the MCN market as a whole.