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Such technologies are targeting ways to re-design data center networks to make them more flexible, unlike Pertino, which wants to run customers' virtual networks across existing cloud data center networking infrastructures.
Nicira, for instance, is focused on cloud computing data centers where all the computing and storage resources are virtualized and elastic. But the networking infrastructure in those cloud data centers is still very physical, static and constrained, which creates a major point of friction when it comes to provisioning existing services and creating new services, Pertino's Krautkremer said. Nicira eliminates this friction by virtualizing data center networks and harmonizing them with the surrounding infrastructure, he said.
Pertino's technology, on the other hand, creates virtual networks that overlay existing IP access and transport networks such as those from Comcast, AT&T, British Telecom and similar providers through which customers cannot swap out or directly control the underlying infrastructure. "The advantage of this approach is your secure network is everywhere, at Starbucks via Wi-Fi, or at home via your DSL router," Krautkremer said.
While latency exists for operations running in the cloud, it is not a primary concern for Pertino's SMB target market, Krautkremer said.
Cloud latency issues for enterprises have been largely solved by companies such as Packeteer, which developed technology that dealt with the issue by giving bandwidth priority to mission-critical traffic, and by a current crop of WAN optimization technology developers.
"Enterprises have been addressing the latency issue with boxes on the edge of the network," he said. "Small businesses have the same issues but not the resources to buy equipment to prioritize the traffic. Our vision is to put these capabilities in the cloud and use the power and economics of the cloud to transform their cost and complexity for SMBs."
The other issue related to latency is proximity of the network service to the data source. "If we find a lot of users in Palm Beach, Fla., we can spin up more capacity in Palm Beach to connect them closer to where they live," Krautkremer said
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