Perhaps the best way to describe Etay Bogner in two words is “serial entrepreneur.” To date, Bogner has founded four technology companies, and he believes his latest venture, Meta Networks, is poised to revolutionize networking and the software-defined perimeter.
Bogner began his career as a programmer and team leader for various technology companies while he pursued his degree in mathematics and computer science from Tel Aviv University. Soon after that, he founded his first company, SofaWare, in 1999 with a seed investment from Check Point Software Technologies. This was Bogner’s first foray into the security market, with a product that provided the home and home office market with firewall-based Internet security solutions enabling broadband access, and a platform for establishing and maintaining VPNs. The product was very successful, and it eventually became a Check Point appliance for connectivity. Bogner’s work with SofaWare established his reputation as a computer security expert.
He formed his second security company, Neocleus, in 2006. Bogner developed what was then called a client hypervisor. “I came up with a way to segment the operating system of a laptop computer into two virtual machines,” says Bogner. “I built a hypervisor and completely virtualized all the devices on the laptop so that you can actually have two separate VM’s—one for personal use and one for corporate use. The idea was to offer separate environments for enterprise devices.” Neocleus was eventually acquired by Intel.
Bogner stayed with Intel for a year and a half before co-founding his third venture, Stratoscale, in the beginning of 2013. “We built the start of something called hyper-convergence. Basically, it’s a private cloud,” says Bogner. “The idea is to build and take it across all servers and to manage those servers as a cloud, and to be very effective in terms of infrastructure management. A lot of enterprises are still going to want to have a private cloud on premise.” Though Bogner moved on from Stratoscale, the company is still going strong—a testament to his vision.
Bogner’s fourth and current company is Meta Networks. “I actually conceived the concept for this company when I was still building my first company,” he says. “At that time, I learned about building mesh networks out of appliances. That knowledge was a good foundation for what Meta Networks is doing today.”
Bogner explains that this company is developing a software-defined perimeter solution. “Nowadays everyone is working from everywhere, meaning employees are not necessarily in the office every day, and some are not even appearing in an office for months. Enterprise applications that were typically deployed in an on-premise data center are now being deployed on the public cloud. Every enterprise has a cloud migration plan. With that movement to the cloud, the traditional network and security perimeter is dissolved. You have mobile users, remote users, bring your own device, corporate devices. It’s really a fragmented environment.”
“The root cause for this problem starts with networking. Today’s network is site-centric. That doesn’t make sense when your employees and their devices, data centers, cloud applications, public clouds and SaaS are everywhere. We are building something we like to call network as a service. It’s a cloud-native overlay network that extends around the world. In layman’s terms, it’s basically a world-wide virtual network. The idea is that we will have everything on the cloud, with PoPs located around the world. Users can connect through the closet PoP to securely get to all the resources they are authorized for,” says Bogner. “Meta Networks is laying the networking foundation, and we are partnering with companies like Symantec to provide cloud-delivered security solutions. In the end, it will greatly simplify the way enterprises provide networked resources to their workers, regardless of where they are or what devices people choose to use.”
As an entrepreneur, Bogner devotes much of his time to his companies, and this doesn’t leave much time for leisure activities. “I don’t have much personal down time, but when I do, I like to spend it with my family,” he says. Bogner is married with four children spanning the ages of 5 to 19. His wife is an executive with a retail chain in Israel. “I love what I do, so it doesn’t bother me to spend so much time working.” Spoken like a true serial entrepreneur.