Zero-Trust Network Access

Why I Started Meta Networks

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How often do you start a company more than a decade after your initial idea?

Meta Networks, which we’re launching today, is finally bringing to life the concept I thought of more than 10 years ago. But let me take you a few steps back.

Three Companies Leading to a Single Network as a Service

In 1999 I founded SofaWare, which was my first foray into the security market. With a seed investment from Check Point Software Technologies, our product provided the home office and branch office market with appliance-based Internet security solutions. Enabled by broadband access, and providing a platform for establishing and maintaining VPNs, the product eventually became a Check Point appliance for Enterprises. I learned a thing or two about building firewalls and VPN and in particular, creating mesh networks out of appliances - an excellent foundation for Meta Networks. In fact, I would say that the first iteration of the vision behind Meta’s solution was implemented around 2003 by creating a single-click mesh of site-to-site IPSec tunnels between a group of SofaWare appliances.

My second security company, Neocleus, was established in 2006. We built a type-1 hypervisor for completely virtualised corporate laptops so that one could have two separate VM’s—one for personal use and the other for corporate use. The idea was to offer separate environments for enterprise users. Neocleus was eventually acquired by Intel, however, the virtualisation concepts, end-user device security and user-centric approach would prove to be quite relevant for the concepts behind Meta Networks’ software-defined perimeter.

Around 2012, I thought about going after the Network-as-a-Service vision but I figured that it was still cost-prohibitive to relay all network traffic over an overlay network.

Stratoscale, my third company, was founded in 2013. Stratoscale provided software for building private clouds that enabled very effective management of enterprise servers. Today, with enterprise applications moving to the public cloud, we have a new set of challenges. At Stratoscale we aimed to build a distributed system with separation of the control and data planes which again, proved to be extremely relevant to what we are doing at Meta Networks.

When you think about it, today’s networks are still site-centric, despite the fact that employees and their devices, data centers, cloud applications, public clouds and SaaS are everywhere. So in 2016 I decided to pursue the ultimate vision of rebuilding the enterprise network from the ground up.
Meta Networks, the company we’re launching today, is addressing a huge need and a great opportunity and the timing could not be better.

Reinventing the Enterprise Network for the Cloud Age

With Meta Networks we are building something we like to call Network as a Service (NaaS). It’s a cloud-native overlay network with PoPs located around the world. Users can connect through the closet PoP to securely get to all the resources they are authorised for and of course to use the Internet in a secure way.

With Meta NaaS you can onboard any and all employee devices (we of course connect offices, data centers and clouds) to a world-wide overlay network. All traffic is secured: Intranet traffic is protected by a software-defined perimeter, and Internet traffic is protected by proven products from leading third-party security vendors.

By abstracting the physical topology into a flat, logical network, we enable identity-based management of users and resources. The Meta NaaS is designed to reduce latency and ensure the best possible user experience for your employees, leveraging the latest in cloud-scale technology.

What we’ve built is ambitious in both scale and operation: an architecture that would not be hindered by the number of tenants, number of users, number of security and routing rules and the amount of traffic. We have built a platform that is completely scaled-out and almost stateless. It’s a distributed system at its finest. In future posts we’ll go into more detail about our technology and I promise some surprises for the networking enthusiasts out there.

For now, on behalf of the team, we’re excited to launch the platform and focus on working with our customers.

I’d like to invite you to see for yourself. Contact us to schedule a demo.