This series of articles and the accompanying videos are part of an ongoing project to illuminate the people, products, and vendors that make up the IT security industry. The vendors paid for the video production.

In the early days of the Internet the most powerful driver was the opportunity to reduce telecom costs. Large enterprises had tremendous costs in leased lines from telcos. A service provider that could move traffic over the Internet could justify the move by demonstrating cost savings.

Of course, there was a perception that Wide Area Networks (WAN) were somehow more secure because traffic was not commingled with Internet (TCP/IP) traffic. That perception led to the rise of point-to-point link encryption providers (remember TimeStep?).

Eventually firewall vendors, led by Check Point Software, added VPN technology via IPSec. In retrospect that was the beginning of the collapse of gateway functions into single appliances that evolved into today’s modern all-in-one gear from Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Cyberoam (Sophos), and others.

So it was exciting to see the Launch of Viptela in May, a company that is addressing the need for layering in a secure WAN on top of existing infrastructure. Yes, Viptela is a new router vendor, but one that took a fresh look at security and network flexibility.

The founding team at Viptela is made up of senior networking people from Juniper, Cisco, and Alcatel-Lucent. Their launch strategy is to penetrate the Fortune 100, although their architecture appears to easily accommodate much smaller projects thanks to its incremental deployment model. Amir Khan, CEO, points out that a simple use case like adding a guest network can be accomplished with just two nodes.

Viptela calls their approach Secure Extensible Networking (SEN). While the primary driver for deploying SEN may be the ability to enable new services, such as a network segment just for Point of Sale infrastructure (that will appeal to retailers after Target’s recent experience) or a video surveillance service provider, I suspect that the cost savings will open many doors. In my interview with Kahn he says that large enterprises can have telecom costs anywhere from $50 to $500 million annually and that Viptela can save them 25-75%.

Of course the hard part in deploying a new secure fabric overlay is key management. Viptela has the luxury of designing a proprietary key management solution, which over time they will have to open up as they expand.

Watch the video here:

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