If your remote users are complaining that their corporate connection is too slow, what if you could just wave a magic wand and speed up their remote apps? Furthermore, what if you could do it without buying any hardware devices and using their existing Internet access, and just for a few dollars per user per month? Sounds incredible, but that is what Virtela's Enterprise Service Cloud (ESC) promises, and delivers.
ESC is not a new IaaS player -- the service has been out for about a year -- but hasn't gotten much press, mainly because it is so geeky. You can see some explanatory videos here, and you can download a PDF with more information here.
But this week we began to see how the company is making critical enhancements to the service and trying to extend it to a broader audience. They announced opening up ESC to enable other service providers to jumpstart their cloud efforts and deliver cloud benefits, beyond just offering storage and compute resources, to their end customers around the world. Their first partner announced was Indian-based Aircel, which gives them the first cloud based app acceleration offering in India and the ability to offer all Virtela ESC-enabled cloud services to Indian enterprises. Think of what Virtela is doing as AWS but with better latencies and without the need to move your data center anywhere, and with no hardware required either. All you need is an SSL VPN connection and you are good to go. You can get a better idea from their network diagram below:
Over the years, Virtela has built a multi-carrier overlay network via relationships with more than 500 carrier partners around the world. They leverage this network with ESC, which has set up 50 local cloud computing centers to deliver enterprise network, security and mobility services. The first service that was enabled was cloud-based application acceleration and since then the company has created the first global cloud-based mobile device management service and other offerings.
"The beauty is that we can customize it to specific enterprise need, down to the location, by price/performance/technology/underlying provider service record, etc., based on our automated systems and experience built over 11 years of specializing in managed network services," said Jane Morrissey, Virtela's corpcom VP. And having such a capable managed network infrastructure means that ESC can deliver better apps performance, which is what we all really want anyway. How many of us have been stuck in some hotel room or coffee shop with a miserable WiFi connection, wishing we could just goose our app downloads just a bit?
There are plenty of other WAN optimization vendors out there that will boost remote performance that we wrote about earlier, but they all require special hardware to work. Virtela is the first solution we've seen that does this all with cloud-based software.
Virtela is so confident that they can deliver the goods that they offer solid service level agreements for up to 25 times performance improvements and a 250% money back guarantee if you aren't satisfied with their performance claims. So far, according to Morrissey, no one has asked for their money back.That is probably the best sign that they are on to something big.