Ananda Networks launches with Secure Global LAN promising Slack-like simplicity

Ananda is pitching its new conception of networking at the Work From Home market, but its market is broader than that, and includes small firms as well as large. The channel is critical to their strategy.

Today, Ananda Networks is emerging from stealth with a new cloud-managed service that they say will rethink the way that networking works. The Ananda Secure Global LAN [SG-LAN] lets customers create their own private networks and have them behave as if they were on a single LAN, with great speed, and amazing simplicity.

“There has been a generational shift with enterprises becoming almost completely distributed, and a trend to people being on the edge of the network,” said Adi Ruppin, Ananda Networks’ co-founder and CEO. “Nobody ever envisioned the network doing what we do today. The result is that networking in these highly distributed enterprises is slow, unsecure and complex.”

Ruppin said that Ananda rebuilt the concept of the network from the ground up.

“We want to rebuild the network the right way,” he stated. “We allow enterprises to create their own private networks as if they were all on a single LAN.  It’s very fast – up to 10x the speed of legacy VPNs. It’s also fully secure, and a joy to use,with Slack-like simplicity.”

Ruppin emphasized that the technological innovation here is the ability to build the network in an integrated single level on top of the public Internet, which is what provides both the efficiencies and improved user experience.

Adi Ruppin, Ananda Networks’ co-founder and CEO

“Typically there are multiple layers to the network,” he said. “Our approach is that this doesn’t make sense. You need one layer to do it all in an integrated way. Because it is designed right, it can be 5-10x faster than VPN. It connects everything optimally, so no firewalls or gateways are needed, there is no need to backhaul, and you can accelerate further with cloud-based relays which use machine learning to set up relay points. Our control plane connects everything in an optimal way. It gives you the technology to create your own network on top of the public Internet.”

Ruppin stressed, however, that SG-LAN is not simply another next-gen VPN replacement.

“It’s much more than that,” he said. “It doesn’t sound that exciting to replace your VPN with something a little more secure. Ananda means the highest state of bliss or joy. People hate their VPN, but just replacing it doesn’t bring them joy. There was a lot of complexity in building this, but it is very simple to use in terms of operating it, and the value that it brings.”

Ruppin also indicated that while the timing of the release is a fortunate coincidence because of the need today for solutions that facilitate effective Work From Home.

“There’s an opportunity regardless of COVID  to make peoples’ lives easier,” he said. “At the end of the day, this can do a lot of different things, including connecting IoT devices across different locations, and more traditional remote work.”

Ruppin emphasized as well that SG-LAN will fit nicely within customers existing infrastructure.

“It’s not a rip and replace,” he said. “A big advantage is that its very incremental. You don’t need to change your underlying infrastructure or anyone else’s access.  We don’t want to tell people to get rid of their Check Point and Palo Alto Networks.”

Along with its existence, the company also announced its funding. They have secured $6 million in seed funding from MizMaa Ventures, Citrix Systems, Gefen Capital, Cyber Mentor Fund, GreatPoint Ventures, South Korean cybersecurity firm Jiran, J-Ventures, and individual investors.

Ruppin, one of the two cofounders, has a cybersecurity background and is now on his fourth company, with the others having been successfully sold. They include SofaWare, which Check Point acquired, and WatchDox, which was sold to BlackBerry in 2015. Co-founder Elad Rave is the networking specialist, and is on his sixth company, with the best known being Teridion.

While Ananda is just coming out of the gate, the channel is an important part of their plans.

“Both my partner and myself have done a few companies in this space before, and we have close relationships with the channel,” Ruppin said. “We know how to work with these guys. We have already received interest from partners who have been selling VPN and SD-WAN. They have sold these competing overlapping products, and they see the value here.”

Ruppin said that Ananda’s attractiveness to the channel is increased because this is not purely an enterprise product.

“We have a few resellers and MSPs who are targeting companies which are as small as doctors’ offices,” he indicated. “It definitely applies to any type of enterprise.”