In the bygone IT era of just a few short years ago, disparate network connectivity was often all about MPLS and private lines. In the modern era of pervasive cloud use, achieving pervasive connected networking isn't quite as straightforward, thought that's what Aviatrix Systems is promising to enable.
Steven Mih, CEO of Aviatrix, explained that the way his firm's technology works is first a customer deploys an Aviatrix controller, from which gateways into cloud VPC (Virtual Private Clouds) can be deployed. The gateways can also be deployed on premises to enable connectivity to a customer's private data center. The Aviatrix controller provides encrypted tunnels between the customers data center and the cloud VPCs, to create what appears to be a connected logical network. The Software Defined Network can be multi-region across Amazon or across different cloud providers including Google and Microsoft Azure.
Sherry Wei, founder and CTO, explained that Aviatrix is extending layer 2 and layer 3 networks out to the public cloud. She added that functionally, Aviatrix is creating an overlay network, which traditionally has only existed for on-premises networks
"We have patented the technology because VXLAN alone doesn't solve the challenge of extending to the public cloud," Wei said.
Wei explained that VXLAN is typically deployed on-premises and makes some assumptions about the security of the environment. She added that when you extend a network to the public cloud, encryption is needed. In an on-premises network, there is also often the assumption that a broadcast domain is present as well as layer 2 and 3 connectivity. In contrast, public clouds don't have layer 2 or multi-cast. As such, in order to make a cloud look like an extended Layer 2 network, there are some challenges that Aviatrix has had to overcome.
Additional challenges also typically include router and cloud configuration in order to make a seamless approach for an end-user. The promise of Aviatrix is a central point of control, with visibility to enable the connected hybrid network.
VMware's NSX has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to enable virtual networking. Wei noted that the majority of Aviatrix's customers are running VMware environments today. She added that Aviatrix is interoperable with NSX without issue.
"We show up on-premises as a host and we enable the magic from there," Wei said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.