Recap of Our Launch:

Converting Enterprise Networking into a Cloud-Delivered Utility

We launched WiteSand earlier this week in an event at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. If you missed the event, you can watch the recast here. Also check out our new website for more detailed information about our bold vision.

The foundation of our network-as-utility vision came from reflecting on the experience of home internet users. The internet in our home is truly a utility, just like water or electricity. Your home ISP provides a router which is managed remotely. You really don’t care about what IP address you have, or the manufacturer of the router, etc. You simply connect your devices to Wi-Fi or Wired and BOOM you are connected. It’s a utility.

Imagine a corporate office where instead of a few users at home, there are hundreds. In this environment you need, of course, many more Wi-Fi Access Points and Wired connectivity points. This more complex corporate office network consists of Access Points, a variety of Access Switches, Distribution Switches, and other hardware. With such a large set of disparate systems and equipment, IT Network Operations teams need tools to provision, orchestrate, manage, operationalize, and troubleshoot everything that happens in the network. In our recent blog, “The Enterprise Networking Complexity Calculator”, we discussed the increasing complexity of enterprise networks and provided a tool for assessing it. WiteSand can reduce the complexity and improve operational efficiency by removing the following tools from your offices and moving them into our integrated Cloud. With WiteSand no tool remains on-premise except physical switches and access points.

  • Switch Provisioning – WiteSand can provision any switch you have, regardless of vendor. This is far easier than using CLI commands, home grown ansible scripts, or any vendor specific management tools you may be using today.
  • WiFi Provisioning – WiteSand can provision your individual APs, virtual controller, physical controller, or cloud based controller.
  • Network Monitoring Tools – With WiteSand, there is no more requirement to use separate tools for Switches and Access Points .
  • Syslog/Events – WiteSand collects all syslogs/events with the ability to intelligently analyze them and optionally send them to systems like Splunk.
  • Netflow/sFlow – WiteSand supports NetFlow/sFlow/JFlow for flow visibility and troubleshooting.
  • Network Access Control – More on this topic below.

Here’s the big news: Depending on your environment, the WiteSand cloud may replace 3-5 tools from each of your enterprise locations.

Regarding NAC, your office environment includes staff employees, contractors, guests, and connected IoT devices. In our “Zero Trust: 3 Tests for Your Enterprise Network” blog post, we explored the implementation of zero trust as part of a comprehensive network security strategy. Network Access Control (NAC) is available from many vendors, but the current market solutions suffer from these shortcomings:

  • Need to install on-prem boxes at various locations
  • Complicated workflows to deploy and maintain and may often require a consulting practice
  • Can not control all aspects of segmentation. In our example, we raised a question: why are laptops allowed to talk to each other?

You may be wondering why WiteSand integrated NAC with Provisioning

NAC authenticates users and devices and eventually directs the network switches to enforce the policies. An independent NAC tool may duplicate the work of discovering, maintaining inventory, attracting network flows, SNMP scanning, while still being limited in what it can enforce in switches. A perfect example: Why are laptops allowed to connect to each other? Furthermore, implementing NAC requires extensive pre-configuration on the switches, as well.

WiteSand’s unique cloud-delivered Intent-Based NAC, with no on-prem footprint, provides not only easy workflows to manage worldwide locations, but also combines provisioning of Switches & Access Points to achieve what is impractical with a pure NAC solution. As employees return to work our customers are implementing our unique approach to tighten the Segmentation and Isolation in the network. WiteSand’s modular approach allows customers to consume NAC independently, as an option.

Think about every tool WiteSand consolidates, giving us unique signals (or data points) to analyze and react in the cloud. This is where our Network Time Machine fits in. The next step was an obvious choice for us to create a Closed Loop System.

One of the outcomes of the pandemic is that the workforce will continue to be distributed. The workforce is now hybrid and this is requiring, more than ever, remote management of global networks. This new model is causing companies to explore subscription models instead of paying flat fees for the required infrastructure in the office, while implementing zero trust policies consistently. At WiteSand, we have enterprise customers who are working with our solution across multiple use cases. We invite you to try WiteSand in your environment, as well.

I’ll leave you with a link to our most recent blog post in which we discuss our belief that Cloud is the New Network OS as we make progress with our bold vision to convert enterprise networking into a utility.

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