Building private networks with Ananda Networks
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been struggling to allow their staff remote access to the resources they need without flooding out existing virtual private networks (VPNs) or purchasing expensive upgrades.
When fighting to stay solvent, many businesses have had to make do with the existing infrastructure until their staff can return to the office. This has left staff struggling to access open seats on the VPN so they can do their jobs or waiting for resources to load because of over-used VPN bandwidth.
“Our core centralised, hardware-heavy, and IP-based paradigms for networking and security are fast becoming obsolete. To enable and support this modern enterprise, CIOs must cost-effectively deliver reliable, performant, secure connectivity among offices, remote users, data centres and cloud services. We have been essentially trying to fix the Internet’s design flaws in the form of firewalls, VPNs, SD-WAN, MPLS, CASB, WAN optimisers, SASE, and many other solutions,” says Paul Stuttard of Duxbury Networking, local distributor of Ananda Networking technology solutions.
This resulted in:
- Poor performance and resiliency, as solutions backhaul traffic or route it sub-optimally through multiple centralised proxies and rely on the Internet’s legacy routing and protocols.
- High complexity and cost, since many discrete hardware and software components are required to make the network perform the simplest tasks securely and efficiently.
- Inadequate security, as a result of orchestrating many discrete products and lacking a true zero-trust and segmentation that applies to all network traffic. Research in fact shows that 60% of organisations have suffered an increase in cyber attacks.
“Ananda Networks is rebuilding the network from the ground up by converging the key security and networking aspects into a single layer that doesn’t require any hardware deployment. This also makes the network up to 25 times faster, fully secured, and managed with the same ease of use as creating a Slack channel,” says Stuttard.
Ananda Networks is fully cloud-managed and implements an identity-defined perimeter, whereby members are defined based on their identities, rather than their IP addresses or network attributes.
“Ananda has built the first virtualised, distributed network that can connect all nodes securely and optimally, regardless of their physical location or network configuration – whether they are in the same data centre, cloud, nearby city, or across the world. There is no need to backhaul traffic or force it to go through a potentially much longer route as is the case with existing solutions that rely on centralised gateways. Ananda’s solution allows you to use commodity hardware to achieve optimal results,” says Stuttard.
Features of the software include:
- Authentication and authorisation: Before a user can gain access to the Ananda network and initiate a connection, the Ananda cloud-based control plane first authenticates and authorises the user.
- Private, zero-trust network: Unless explicitly authorised by the Ananda control plane per the policies set by the organisation, no connections are allowed on the network and no ports are open on any individual member device.
- Advanced protocols: Ananda’s network establishes lightweight ad hoc tunnels between any two nodes that leverage advanced, faster communication protocols that provide significant performance boost compared to legacy VPN protocols.
- SmartPath™ technology: The technology allows organisations to easily create a self-optimising network, accelerating communications to make it the industry’s fastest and most reliable.
- Identity-based routing: To establish any network connection, Ananda does not use IP addresses.
- Multi-WAN support: Ananda allows any individual user to leverage multiple WAN connections without requiring hardware deployment or expensive SD-WAN equipment.
- End-to-end encryption: All communication traversing the network is encrypted.
- Native micro-segmentation: Each Ananda private network (V2LAN) is only visible to its members and is essentially invisible to anyone from other V2LANs or from the outside.
- Full visibility: Ananda logs all network activity to provide complete visibility to the enterprise.
“Unlike centralised solutions such as firewalls, VPNs, SD-WAN and SASE that backhaul traffic or force it through their own, finite number of data centres, Ananda Networks is distributed and allows organisations to build their own networks that optimally and directly connects any two nodes without any traffic backhaul and without entrusting their traffic to a third-party,” says Stuttard.