Aryaka gets its remote worker game on with flexible VPN offering

Aryaka Networks has launched a new service that's tailor made for the "work from anywhere" environment that is the result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aryaka is billing its new SmartSecure Private Access solution as the industry's most flexible managed VPN for remote workers, although Aryaka's competitors no doubt take exception to that claim.

Ever since the onset of the pandemic in March, SD-WAN vendors and service providers have worked to upgrade their connectivity solutions to accommodate the millions of employees that started working from home. Among SD-WAN vendors, Versa Networks launched its Versa Secure Access, which was designed to provide SD-WAN and security capabilities for employees that are now working-from-home (WFH), in June.

Aryaka's CMO Shashi Kiran said his company's SmartSecure Private Access solution rises above the competitions' WFH solutions because it taps into Aryaka's 40 global points of presence (POPs), which run on its own network and include built-in WAN optimization.

"The things that we are doing are very highly differentiated," he said. "The point we're making is architectures for the next generation are blurring the boundaries between sites and users, between cloud and on premises, and between network and network security.

"This architecture is relatively unique in the industry. That's why we're calling it the most flexible VPN. We're also a managed service provider versus a being vendor with a box."

SmartSecure Private Access blends Aryaka's POPs, cloud-based WAN, remote access capabilities and managed firewall capabilities—from vendors such as Palo Alto Networks and Check Point—into one solution.

"We're seeing CIOs have had to make considerable shifts to enable their workforce to be productive," Kiran said. "Post-pandemic, they really want that degree of flexibility to say, 'Look, I don't care where the employees working from,' and they need to be treated as first class citizens as far as access to the corporate applications are concerned."

Regardless of the location, or the type of application, business employees can access their applications from their offices or homes with predictable application performance and security with Private Access. Using Aryaka's "intelligent" POPs, IT teams can allocate bandwidth to users or sites based on the current capacity needs.

Aryaka's Private Access uses VPN technologies from Germany-based NCP engineering, which supports operating systems such as Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. NCP’s technology is now integrated directly into Aryaka’s global POP-based architecture.

“The big advantage with Aryaka Private Access is it offers an architecture that tightly couples SD-WAN branch and remote office solutions with the same orchestration and security architecture,” said Lee Doyle, principal analyst, Doyle Research, in a statement.

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Kiran said with less than 20% of workforce expected to return to office locations, CIOs need flexible architectures that can roll with the changing work environments.

"CIOs are the change agents mandated to drive this and their job is to navigate this change with minimal risk for the organization," he said. "They also need to be nimble and responsive, and, obviously, cost is a big consideration. What they're looking at is not to get locked down into one particular architecture, but rather get that architectural flexibility."

RELATED: Why service providers and vendors are tuning up home-based SD-WAN services

It's a crowded field for WFH with vendors, service providers and new entrants scrambling to launch or enhance their product portfolios.

IPO or merger?

The consolidation dominos have started to fall this year in the SD-WAN sector as 128 Technologies, Silver Peak and CloudGenix were bought, respectively, by Juniper Networks, HPE and Palo Alto.

With its global, fully meshed Layer 2 backbone and POPs, Aryaka would seem like an attractive M&A target, and it has long been rumored as an IPO candidate. Kiran declined to discuss whether Aryaka was headed towards being acquired or if it was filing for its IPO.

RELATED: Aryaka snags $50M in funding; next stop IPO?

"Our focus is on continuing to accelerate the business momentum, and last quarter, we were also cash flow positive," He said. "We've been doing quite well from a business perspective.  I think the focus is to take advantage of the market opportunities now and continue to accelerate our pace of growth and see what options we end up choosing for ourselves in the coming year."

Kiran said Aryaka has consistently grown over the past six quarters and that is landed several multi-million deals recently, including a $10 million deal in the financial services sector with a company that is in the process of rolling out Private Access.