Embrane is dedicated to bringing unprecedented levels of agility 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. While compute and storage technologies have evolved to support rapid provisioning, programmability and more efficient resource utilization through virtualization, the network lags behind. With its flagship product, heleos, Embrane enables enterprises and service providers to operate more functional, flexible and cost-effective network infrastructure. Deployed in conjunction with underlying traditional or Software-Defined Networks (SDN), Embrane heleos delivers programmable, elastic layer 3-7 network services that can be provisioned in seconds and scale non-disruptively on-demand – all from a single point of management.
Embrane powers the agile network, delivering a new paradigm in network services. Learn more about Embrane and heleos in the resources below
The Embrane heleos-powered firewall is a software-defined virtual appliance designed to operate in conjunction with underlying traditional or Software-Defined Networks (SDN). The on-demand network service delivers highly scalable and elastic firewall/VPN capabilities to improve application and network security. It is purpose-built for enterprises designing agile data centers and service providers offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and cloud service solutions. Customers benefit from substantial levels of agility, including rapid service provisioning, non- disruptive elasticity, multi-tenancy at scale and programmability, as well as significant capital and operational cost savings over hardware or traditional virtual appliance offerings.
The Embrane heleos-powered load balancer is a software-defined virtual appliance designed to operate in conjunction with underlying traditional, or Software-Defined Networks (SDN). The on-demand network service delivers highly scalable and elastic server load balancing to improve application and network performance. It is purpose-built for enterprises designing agile data centers and service providers offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and cloud service solutions. Customers benefit from substantial levels of agility, including rapid service provisioning, non-disruptive elasticity, multi-tenancy at scale and programmability, as well as significant capital and operational cost savings over hardware or traditional virtual appliance offerings.
Embrane has created the industry’s first multi-service, distributed software platform, heleos, that powers on- demand virtual network services such as server load balancing, firewalls and VPN termination. Purpose-built for those offering cloud infrastructure as a service, heleos delivers the agility - rapid procurement and provisioning, elasticity, multi-tenancy at scale and programmability - and cost savings users expect with the cloud. The heleos Elastic Services Manager (ESM) is a critical tool for delivering these requirements of the cloud.
Cloud computing has the potential to dramatically alter the ways in which IT resources are deployed and consumed. The advent of virtualization technology has revolutionized the server and storage industries and laid the foundation for today’s cloud computing initiatives.
Unfortunately, the network has now become a major impediment to cloud adoption. When it comes to layer 3-7 network services, neither hardware-based appliances nor traditional virtual appliances can provide the required agility to support the new infrastructure paradigm.
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 who have embarked on offering cloud services are constantly looking for ways to enhance their service offerings and increase their revenues while optimizing the time-to-delivery. Cloud-based layer 4-7 services offer such an opportunity for the cloud service provider (CSP) to grow their product offering. This paper takes a look at the various considerations that a CSP must evaluate to incorporate a layer 4-7 service into their portfolio.
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 will get enterprises comfortable moving business-critical applications to the cloud. In addition to offering an innovative technical approach to delivering virtualized networks services via the heleos platform, Embrane offers cloud service providers a strong business benefit - the ability to add new layer 3-7 network services to their portfolio that will help grow revenue, increase gross margins and provide clear competitive differentiation.
Cloud computing has the potential to dramatically alter the ways in which IT resources are deployed and consumed. The advent of virtualization technology has revolutionized the server and storage industries and laid the foundation for today’s cloud computing initiatives. Unfortunately, the network has now become a major impediment to cloud adoption. Conventional networking solutions weren’t designed for the cloud and aren’t well suited for addressing the new design requirements. 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.
There's been a lot of recent interest in the virtualization of network connectivity, but startup Embrane has moved beyond these fundamental issues and is addressing the virtualization of network services such as load balancing and firewalls. The now slightly less stealthy startup has announced the platform, named Heleos, and revealed more details about its design. Founded in 2009, Embrane is grappling with the challenge of unpacking the traditional practice of using physical appliances and routers and switches to deliver higher- level network services. As we detailed in our earlier report on Embrane, it provides an additional layer above hypervisors from VMware and Citrix's Xen to allow automation and scale-out of virtualized services in ways that are difficult to achieve with physical systems.
With OpenFlow and network virtualization dominating the networking news, it would be easy to label Embrane as one of the many new startups in this space. The reality is that it is neither brand new nor specifically interested in broader network virtualization. Having just completed series B funding, Embrane is working on virtualizing network services that ride above the forwarding and connectivity concerns that OpenFlow and the various fabric approaches address. These are services such as application delivery control (ADC), firewalling and even traffic optimization. It's looking to integrate both grid computing-style scaling and automation-integration capabilities with hosted and cloud services.
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.
Conventional networking solutions were never designed for the cloud and aren’t well suited for addressing the new design requirements. 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 software-defined network services such as server load balancing, FW/VPNs, WAN Optimization, IDS/IPS, etc., on-demand.
Embrane’s platform, called heleos, is targeted to enterprises and cloud service 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.
Embrane was founded in late 2009. We launched our first product in September 2011.
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.
Embrane targets enterprises and cloud service providers that are building data centers and private/hybrid/public cloud environments where agility and automation are priorities. Early customers include: NaviSite, PEER 1 Hosting, SunGard, and others.
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 software-defined 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.
Embrane heleos is a distributed software platform for delivering high-performance, software-defined network services such as server load balancers, firewalls/VPNs, 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 combines the performance and scalability advantages of a hardware-based appliance with the flexibility and simplicity of a virtualized, software-based solution. The platform includes two distinct components for provisioning and enabling agile layer 3-7 network services for cloud infrastructure: heleos Distributed Virtual Appliances (DVAs), logical containers for running virtual network services across a pool of x86 servers; and the heleos Elastic Services Manager (ESM), a network services orchestration engine that streamlines deployment of DVAs for services on demand.
Currently, we offer a heleos-powered load balancer and a heleos-powered FW/VPN and SSL offload.
heleos is the name of our distributed software platform for delivering software-defined network services such as server load balancing, FW/VPNs, SSL offload, etc. 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 software-defined network services.
With Embrane, customers can procure, provision and configure a software-defined load balancer or firewall from scratch in 90 seconds or less.
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.
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
Subscriptions are paid annually in advance and Pay-As-You-Go fees are paid monthly in arrears.
Pay-As-You-Go versions of heleos-powered Firewalls and/or heleos-powered Load Balancers have zero up-front cost. Following installation of the heleos software on x86 servers, firewalls and load balancers can be provisioned as needed. Billing is based on provisioned DVAs deployed.
This allows service providers to monetize network services with predictable profitability, and pay Embrane for what was deployed by their end customers.
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.
Enterprises and service providers interested in subscriptions can size their purchases of heleos-powered Load Balancers and heleos-powered Firewalls based on the following two dimensions:
- Aggregate throughput
- Number of DVA instances
The appropriately sized software licenses are purchased on an annual subscription basis.
Annual software subscriptions can be upgraded in one or both of two dimensions:
- Add virtual appliances by increasing DVAs
- Add service capacity by increasing throughput
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.
For subscription and Pay-As-You-Go pricing details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Embrane has two licensing models for heleos DVAs:
- Pay-As-You-Go based on deployment of provisioned DVAs; and
- A subscription model that allows customers to pre-purchase capacity for a fixed term.