Resources

Embrane powers the agile network, delivering a new paradigm in network services. Learn more about Embrane and heleos in the resources below

Resources

Resources

Embrane is dedicated to bringing unprecedented levels of agility, operational simplicity and cost savings to the network – ending the frustration of both enterprises and service providers who for years have been constrained by the rigidity, expense and management complexity associated with networking hardware. Embrane takes an application-centric approach to networking, enabling customers to create networks and network services on a per application basis while at the same time allowing for service insertion, service chaining and network interconnects. Embrane delivers application-centric network services that enable customers to dynamically adapt to changing business requirements, infuse network flexibility while simplifying operations and save money. Current enterprise and service provider customers use Embrane in data centers where automation and agility are priorities including private/public/hybrid cloud environments.

The Embrane heleos-powered firewall is a full-featured, application-centric virtual appliance designed for data centers where agility and automation are priorities, including private/hybrid/public cloud environments. The on-demand network service delivers highly scalable and elastic firewall/VPN capabilities to increase isolation and accelerate responsiveness in order to improve application and network security while saving on CAPEX and OPEX. It enables enterprises and service providers to dynamically adapt to changing business requirements; infuse network flexibility without adding complexity; and lower CAPEX and OPEX. Customers benefit from substantial gains in agility over hardware or traditional virtual appliance offerings, including rapid service provisioning, non-disruptive elasticity, multi-tenancy at scale and programmability.

The Embrane heleos-powered load balancer is an application-centric virtual appliance designed for data centers where agility and automation are priorities, including private/hybrid/public cloud environments. The on-demand network service delivers highly scalable and elastic load balancing capabilities to improve application availability and performance as part of traditional or Software-Defined Network (SDN) deployments. It enables enterprises and service providers to dynamically adapt to changing business requirements; infuse network flexibility without adding complexity; and lower CAPEX and OPEX. Customers benefit from substantial gains in agility over hardware or traditional virtual appliance offerings, including rapid service provisioning, non-disruptive elasticity, multi-tenancy at scale and programmability.

The Embrane heleos Elastic Services Manager (ESM) is a network services orchestration engine that streamlines the deployment and management of the Embrane heleos-powered firewall and heleos-powered load balancer. With the Elastic Services Manager, customers benefit from substantial levels of network agility, including rapid provisioning of network services, the ability to non-disruptively grow or shrink services, and automated network service insertion and chaining all from a single point of management. ESM Projects allow partitioning of network services resources and can be used to build application-centric network containers as well as environments designed for secure multi-tenancy.

Embrane Virtual Topologies (vTopologies), are Layer 3 overlay networks that provide greatly increased agility, scalability and isolation in enterprise and service provider environments. Among vTopologies’ many advantages is the ability to build overlay networks that completely mask internal IP addressing from the underlay network. By virtualizing the network in this manner enterprises can benefit from application isolation and dramatically simplified IP address management while service providers can simply and cost-effectively support multi-tenancy and customer-provided IP addressing. Importantly, vTopologies greatly reduce the need for configuration changes to core networking infrastructure, thereby making the network both more robust and agile. Users of all types can dramatically reduce CAPEX through Embrane’s cost-effective application-centric network services model while at the same time significantly reduce OPEX leveraging the programmability and automation of the heleos platform.

Service providers can increase revenues and profit in one of four main ways. The first and most common way is to acquire new customers. Today’s customers are looking for one-stop shops offering a breadth of services along with a positive user experience in terms of reliability, provisioning time, and customization. The service provider must attract new customers and make it easy to onboard them. The second way is to motivate existing customers to use more services from the portfolio offered by the service provider. For example, a customer may have originally signed up for managed hosting services and now wants to use the public cloud service for burst capacity. The third method, closely related to number two, is to add new services to the portfolio. However, these services must be implemented in a way that enables new customers to be on-boarded easily and allows existing customers to expand into new services as seamlessly as possible. The final method is to impact profit by reducing costs. These costs include both OPEX and CAPEX associated with building and managing this suite of outsourced IT infrastructure services.

The managed hosting and cloud service provider markets are highly competitive. Service providers are positioning themselves to lead in the growing cloud Infrastructure as a Service segment (IaaS) with differentiated, new service offerings that allow them to grow revenue profitably and gain competitive advantage. To accomplish this, service providers are developing new value-added services that deliver enterprise-class reliability while reducing costs and adding agility – thereby allowing them to achieve aggressive SLAs that exceed customer expectations. One such area of opportunity is service offerings such as disaster recovery as a service.

Building an automated disaster recovery solution is a significant opportunity for service providers who are pursuing cloud-oriented growth strategies. There is a real opportunity today for cloud-based disaster recovery services that can help enterprise customers achieve higher levels of business continuity at the compelling price points that cloud offerings are able to achieve.

Within most enterprise IT organizations, there is a significant transformation occurring under the broad category of agility. IT organizations are feeling pressure from all sides to streamline IT operations in terms of both cost reduction and service delivery times. These pressures have warranted a fresh look at the way IT organizations conduct their business, in particular the way they deliver infrastructure to ‘clients.’ One of the biggest needs within today’s enterprise organization is a better way to deliver infrastructure for test and development of business applications. Dev-test today is handled in a very ad hoc manner often leaving business units to find required infrastructure or leverage outside cloud services. For internal testing efforts, applications are often tested without network services such as firewalls or load balancers, as it is either too costly or too time consuming to procure the required equipment. As a result, problems are often found when applications are migrated to production having never been tested with the required network services. Additionally, outsourced infrastructure poses a large problem for IT organizations as they lose control from a security, cost management, and infrastructure utilization perspective. However many business units still resort to these shadow IT services simply to meet deadlines for delivering new or updated applications.

The managed hosting and cloud service provider markets are highly competitive. Service providers are positioning themselves to lead in the growing cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) segment with new, differentiated service offerings that allow them to grow revenue profitably and gain competitive advantage. To accomplish this, service providers are developing new, value-added services that deliver enterprise-class reliability while reducing costs and adding agility – thereby allowing them to achieve aggressive SLAs that exceed customer expectations. One such area of opportunity is service offerings such as firewall and load balancing.

Traditionally, service providers that try to monetize network services have offered hardware- and/or virtual appliance-based options. However, there are challenges with each approach. Hardware solutions are higher cost, lacking in agility, require longer provisioning times, have limited scalability, and do not satisfy most multi-tenant requirements. On the other hand, software appliance offerings typically reduce CAPEX, but have their own set of difficulties. They have complex licensing schemes, offer little to no automation, have high costs, and increase the number of management points. What’s more, the complexity of deployment, configuration and management of a virtual appliance offering is typically placed on the customer – impacting user experience and foregoing a service opportunity.

Within most enterprise IT organizations, there is a significant transformation occurring under the broad category of agility. IT organizations are feeling pressure from all sides to streamline IT operations in terms of both cost reduction and service delivery times. These pressures have warranted a fresh look at the way IT organizations conduct their business, in particular the way they deliver infrastructure to ‘clients’. While not all organizations are equipped to adopt a complete private cloud service today, many are embarking on several projects that will deliver components of what may become the self-service private cloud. There are several opportunities for optimizing IT service delivery models that can deliver on the required objectives of cost reduction and service delivery times. Best of all, these opportunities can be realized today with minimal risk to existing operations and with short-term returns on any required investments.

One of the main responsibilities of an IT organization is the delivery and management of IT infrastructure for the purposes of supporting business applications. The acceleration and proliferation of enterprise application deployments combined with the drive to reduce costs have made this function a prime target for transformation. However, these needs must be addressed quickly as today’s enterprise IT organizations are becoming all too familiar with the shadow IT organizations forming – the outsourcing of infrastructure requirements to the cloud service provider.

Within most datacenter IT organizations, both enterprise and service provider, there is a significant transformation occurring under the broad category of agility. IT organizations are feeling pressure from all sides to streamline operations in terms of both cost reduction and service delivery times. These pressures have warranted a fresh look at the way IT organizations conduct their business, in particular the way they deliver infrastructure to clients.

At the core of a modern multi-tenant environment is the ability to create partitions of resources and delegate their administration while maintaining strict control and accountability through central policy management and enforcement. In the context of network virtualization, the Embrane heleos platform centralizes the management of x86 compute resources and networks that are used to deploy and manage layer 3-7 network services.

Modern network connectivity and services requirements in both enterprise and service provider networks are challenging traditional networking best practices to achieve greater agility. We have seen the introduction of new networking technologies that promise greater agility however are highly disruptive to both the physical networking infrastructure and the IT operations model.

In order to facilitate seamless network service deployment and management across a private/public/hybrid cloud infrastructure, Embrane Application-Centric Network Services tightly integrates with cloud orchestration tools. Embrane enables the rapid and efficient delivery of highly elastic and scalable layer 3-7 application-centric network services such as firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), load balancers, and SSL offload engines as part of an overall virtualized infrastructure.

Enterprises of all sizes are increasingly embracing a cloud-based service model because it provides them with agility, self-service, on-demand access to a much richer range of services and applications at a lower cost than was traditionally available. One of the primary components of the overall cloud-based services market is the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market. According to Gartner, the cloud-based IaaS market will reach USD $10.5 billion in 2014.

Service providers around the world are racing to find new and innovative ways to provide enterprises of all sizes with robust cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings. When it comes to the network, the challenge has been finding unique ways to offer value-added services that enhance availability and security such that enterprises gain comfort in moving business-critical applications to the cloud.

Embrane launched the next iteration of its flagship network services platform, heleos. This newly available version of heleos will provide networking teams with an application-centric platform to more efficiently deliver and run L3-L7 network services. As organizations struggle to rapidly spin up services to meet business demand in a timely manner, solutions like heleos will help to accelerate the time to value. 

Embrane seems to be gaining traction finding SDN opportunities in the service-provider market. It claims to have a healthy pipeline and expects to see a few more cloud and hosting providers start commercial deployments by the second half of 2013. With its recent wins, the startup has shown the use of its technology and product offering to address changing customer requirements in the cloud era. On the enterprise front, the deployment of SDN-based infrastructure remains nascent, but Embrane's decision to channel more sales resources (via direct sales and strategic partner WWT) to support business organizations shows early signs of market acceptance. Being able to demonstrate an API-driven management approach and tight integration with existing cloud management platforms could increase the appeal of Embrane products for enterprise customers looking to simplify the provisioning and management of their private cloud environments. Of course, the availability of proven case studies, which is currently lacking, is instrumental in driving SDN take-up in the enterprise segment.

As the market for software-defined networking (SDN) continues to take shape, startup Embrane has upped the ante with a major upgrade to its heleos product, which is billed as a multi-service, distributed software platform to allow the automation and scale-out of virtualized network services such as firewalls, load balancers and SSL offload. Embrane has also teamed up with enterprise-focused systems integrator World Wide Technology (WWT) to deepen its focus on the still-evolving corporate market.

On the service-provider side, the company has sealed deals with PEER 1 Hosting and SunGard to deploy SDN services as part of their IaaS service and disaster-recovery offerings, respectively. The endorsement of SDN by the two hosting and cloud providers underscores the opportunity for virtualized network services in the name of cloud computing.

Service providers are exploring virtualization as an enabler of cloud infrastructures and as a vehicle for service offerings. Embrane’s software platform offers service providers the ability to offer on-demand network services designed for monetization of cloud installations.

Embrane and Cisco executive discuss the Partnership with Application Centric Infrastructure
Dante Malagrinò (Embrane Founder) and Shashi Kiran (Cisco, Sr. Director) talk about the value that Application Centric Infrastructure provides customers.
Lifecycle Management for Cisco Virtual Adaptive Security Appliance (ASAv)
Lifecycle Management for Sourcefire Virtual Appliances
Embrane Delivers Lifecycle Management for Citrix VPX Demo
Watch this short video to see how Embrane delivers lifecycle management for Citrix VPX.
Embrane's CTO Discusses Our Vision at the 2013 SDDC Symposium
Embrane Talks Network Evolution vs. Revolution
Dante Malagrinò on Application-Centric Networking
Dante Malagrinò on vLinks and vTopologies with Enterprise Use Cases
Dante Malagrinò on vLinks and vTopologies with SP Use Cases
Dante Malagrinò on Use Cases: FW Rules Explosion
Jon Beck on SP Use Cases
The Embrane Story
Embrane Co-Founder and CEO, Dante Malagrinò, tells the story behind Embrane and its mission to transform network virtualization in the cloud. 
Under vs. Over the Cloud Models
Learn about the two options cloud service providers have for delivering layer 4-7 virtual network services to their customers and why it’s better to go under the cloud then over it.

Company

How long has Embrane been in business?

Embrane was founded in late 2009. We launched our first product in September 2011.

 

Is Embrane actively involved with the OpenStack project?

Yes. Embrane is an active contributor to OpenStack and we’ve created a plugin that allows the seamless provisioning and insertion of Embrane Application-Centric Network Services via OpenStack Horizon and OpenStack Neutron. 

 

What does Embrane stand for?

While the name Embrane does not stand for anything specific, it was chosen in relationship to the M-theory, an extension of string theory, which is a mathematical model of theoretical physics that shows how all particles in the universe can be constructed by small building-blocks, somewhat like one of Embrane’s DVAs or like compute units make up a DVA. The M in M-theory is supposed to stand for Membrane, as the concept of multi-dimensional membranes, is core to the theory. One school of thought is what Embrane builds could have similar unifying benefits and characteristics to what the M-theory brings to theoretical physics. Additionally, the domain name was available and that made the choice easier.

 

Who are Embrane’s customers?

Embrane targets enterprises as well as cloud service and managed hosting providers that are building data centers and private/hybrid/public cloud environments where agility and automation are priorities. Customers include: Ryan Labs Asset Management, NaviSite, PEER 1 Hosting, SunGard, Long View and others.

 

Does Embrane use OpenFlow?

No. OpenFlow is a signaling protocol being promoted to facilitate software-defined networking at Layers 2/3 of the networking stack. It helps enable separation of control and data planes in routers and switches. Embrane develops application-centric network services that are delivered via a distributed software platform that enables the virtualization of layer 3-7 network services such as server load balancing, firewalls, VPNs, WAN Optimization, etc.

While Embrane does not use the OpenFlow protocol, it is possible for the Embrane solution to co-exist with OpenFlow-based products.

 

What does Embrane do?

Conventional networking solutions were never designed for agile data centers and aren’t well suited for addressing the new design requirements for use cases such as private/public/hybrid cloud environment, self-service dev-test labs and highly automated network services. When it comes to layer 3-7 network services, neither hardware-based appliances nor virtual appliances can provide the required agility to support the new infrastructure paradigm. Embrane has created the industry’s first distributed, multi-service software platform for powering application-centric network services. Embrane currently offers application-centric networking solutions that leverage its heleos-powered firewalls, site-to-site and remote access VPNs, server load balancers, SSL offload engines and Virtual Topology (vTopology) technology.

Embrane’s platform, called heleos, is targeted to enterprises as well as cloud service and hosting providers designing data centers and private/hybrid/public cloud environments where agility and automation are priorities. Embrane delivers the agility - rapid provisioning and procurement, elasticity, multi-tenancy at scale and programmability - and cost savings users expect with the cloud.

 

Products

What is heleos?

Embrane heleos is a distributed software platform that enables on-demand delivery of high-performance layer 3-7 application-centric network services such as firewalls/VPNs, server load balancers, SSL offload, etc. It is the industry’s first layer 3-7 network services platform specifically designed for agile data centers and private/hybrid/public cloud infrastructures where agility and automation are priorities. Embrane heleos also includes unique Virtual Links (vLinks) and Virtual Topologies (vTopologies) - Layer 3 overlay technologies – that enable customers to create networks and network services on a per application basis that allow for service insertion, service chaining and network interconnects.

Embrane heleos enables enterprises and service providers to dynamically adapt to changing business requirements, infuse network flexibility without adding complexity and lower CAPEX and OPEX costs.

 

What network services does Embrane currently offer?

We offer heleos-powered firewalls, multi-tenant, site-to-site and remote access VPNs, load balancers, SSL offload engines and our latest innovation, Virtual Links (vLinks) and Virtual Topologies (vTopologies) – Layer 3 overlay technologies - that enable customers to create networks and network services on a per application basis that allow for service insertion, service chaining and network interconnects. 

 

What does heleos mean?

Embrane heleos is the name of our distributed software platform for delivering application-centric network services such as FW/VPNs, server load balancing, SSL offload, and Virtual Links (vLinks) and Virtual Topologies (vTopologies) – Layer 3 overlay technologies. Its name is the merging of one of the most flexible structures in the world, helix, and EOS, a play on Embrane Operating System. While heleos is not an OS, it has characteristics of one and when combined with helix it helps identify what Embrane has built – a highly scalable and flexible platform for running multiple application-centric network services.

 

How quickly can customers turn up a service?

With Embrane, customers can procure, provision and configure an application-centric firewall or load balancer from scratch in less than 90 seconds.

 

How quickly can customers grow and shrink capacity of a service?

In approximately 30 seconds customers can execute a grow or shrink command that doubles the capacity of a service. In under a minute customers can grow capacity by up to 8x. 

 

How much money can customers save with Embrane?

Our own as well as customer calculations show TCO savings greater than 50% by deploying Embrane. This is driven by:

  • Increased revenue from rapid time to market with services and reduced customer churn by supporting their diverse network service requirements efficiently;
  • Increased operational efficiency through minimal demand planning, efficient management of multi-instance environments and leveraging industry-standard x86 hardware for network services;
  • Savings on the purchase of various hardware appliances.

 

Licensing and Billing

What level of investment protection is included with an Embrane annual subscription software license?

100%. If an upgrade is desired before the end of a subscription period, the full prorated remaining value of the software license can be applied to a new, upgraded annual subscription. 

 

How much does heleos cost?

For subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing details, please contact sales@embrane.com.

How does Embrane’s licensing work?

Embrane has two licensing models for its heleos-powered network services:

  • Pay as you go based on deployment of provisioned application-centric software-defined network services; and
  • A subscription model that allows customers to pre-purchase capacity for a fixed term.

 

How often/when do customers pay subscription or usage bills?

Subscriptions are paid annually in advance and pay-as-you-go fees are paid monthly in arrears.

 

How does pay-as-you-go pricing work?

Pay-as-you-go versions of heleos-powered firewalls and/or heleos-powered load balancers have zero up-front cost.  Following installation of the Embrane heleos software on x86 servers, firewalls and load balancers can be provisioned as needed. Billing is based on the provisioned application-centric network services deployed.

This allows service providers to monetize network services with predictable profitability, and pay Embrane for what was deployed by their end customers.

 

How is a pay-as-you-go bill calculated?

For both heleos-powered firewalls and heleos-powered load balancers, pay-as-you-go pricing is tiered into 10 throughput ranges, starting at 10Mbps and extending up to 10Gbps. An hourly rate is assigned to each DVA based on its type (firewall or load balancer) and the range in which its throughput is provisioned.  

 

How does a customer size and purchase Embrane software subscriptions?

Enterprises and service providers interested in subscriptions can size their purchases of heleos-powered firewalls and heleos-powered load balancers based on the following two dimensions:

  • Aggregate throughput
  • Number of application-centric network services instances

The appropriately sized software licenses are purchased on an annual subscription basis.

 

What types of upgrade paths are available?

Annual software subscriptions can be upgraded in one or both of two dimensions:

  • Add application-centric software-defined network services by increasing DVAs
  • Add service capacity by increasing throughput

 

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