Array Networks wants to be the Nutanix of networking and security for private clouds.
“What Nutanix did for compute and storage, and greatly simplify that into a single appliance that allows you to scale and consolidate and create a private cloud, we’re looking to do the same thing for the networking and security element of the private cloud,” said Paul Anderson, vice president for global sales and marketing at Array Networks.
The company recently announced the latest version of its AVX series hyperconverged appliances with software and hardware updates.
Array, which launched in 2000, got its start selling application delivery controllers and secure access gateways. IBM Cloud is one of the company’s biggest customers for these products. It uses them to provide secure remote access and load balancing capabilities in its global cloud data centers.
About two years ago Array rolled out its hyperconverged network functions platforms.
With these platforms, Array also seems to be taking a page from Nutanix’s early go-to-market strategy. Anderson said the company sees the most traction with medium-sized enterprises and tier-2 service providers. It’s also going after managed service providers.
“If you draw a parallel to Nutanix, they also seem to do really well with medium enterprises — large enterprises are still doing their Cisco and VMware,” Anderson said. “We think it’s very similar for our product wherein the large enterprises, maybe they’ll still go for big iron, big firewalls. Medium-sized enterprises value this simple, easy to use platform.”
The AVX series hyperconverged appliances run Array Network’s operating system (OS) software, which includes a KVM-based hypervisor. “This eliminated the need for an organization to pay an ongoing hypervisor service license fee like with VMware,” Anderson said.
Companies can run Array’s security and networking applications, open source applications, or those from third-party vendors like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, and F5 Networks on the platform.
And speaking of F5, Array this week said it hired Vinod Pisharody as its new CTO. Pisharody had served as architect for F5’s SSL Orchestrator, SSL VPN, Secure Web Gateway, and Web Access Management product lines.
When asked if bringing on Pisharody as CTO signals an expanded security focus for Array, Anderson replied, “that’s fair to say.”
Hyperconverged Platform Updates
The new AVX5800, AVX7800, and AVX9800 appliances offer up to a 10x improvement in ECC SSL encryption processing and up to a two-time performance increase across a number of core metrics compared to earlier versions, Array claims. The new appliances also offer optional 40GbE network interfaces.
Meanwhile, the new AVX 2.7 software release allows more flexible virtual appliance resource assignment so administrators can choose either one of the standard default instance sizes as before or fine-tune system resources for the specific needs of individual virtual appliances.
For applications such as next-generation firewalls and web application firewalls, the updated software also supports promiscuous mode, port mirroring, and other functions, and it includes a plug-in for integration with OpenStack.