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Embrane announces an enhanced version of heleos

Embrane believes that networking capabilities should be virtualized and controlled in ways similar to how virtual machine software manages processing. The company suggests that networking capability be more application centric.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Dante Malagrinò, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Embrane, and his colleague, John Vincenzo, Vice President, Marketing, dropped by to introduce me to the newest release of the company's product, heleos. As always the discussion was interesting and informative.

What is heleos?

Embrane describes heleos as "the industry’s first multi-service, distributed software platform for powering software-defined network services, including server load balancers, firewalls, VPN termination and SSL offload." In other words, Embrane heleos is a network virtualization tool designed to encapsulate network connections in order to allow them to be made more secure, more reliable and more flexible. Embrane's goal for heleos is to make the network as agile, easy to provision and elastic as systems running virtualized workloads. Embraine heleos makes it possible for networking capabilities to be configured as a multi-tenent resource as well.

What Embrane has to say about the new version of heleos

With this latest version of heleos, Embrane introduces vTopologies – Layer 3 overlay networks – that provide greatly increased agility, scalability and isolation in enterprise and service provider data centers. Among the many advantages of vTopologies is the ability to completely mask internal IP addressing from the underlay network. By virtualizing the network in this manner, enterprises can benefit from application isolation and dramatically simplified IP address management while service providers can easily and cost-effectively support multi-tenancy and customer-provided IP addressing.

New Enterprise Features

In addition to vTopologies and vLinks, Embrane also introduced several additional features that enable enterprises to benefit from network agility. New enhancements include:

  • ESM Projects – administratively isolated environments that users can use to build and deploy heleos-powered network services and vTopologies.
  • OpenStack Neutron Plugin – a plugin that allows the seamless provisioning and insertion of Embrane software-defined network services via OpenStack Horizon and OpenStack Neutron
  • Interoperability with VMware vCenter – Allows heleos-powered network services to easily be used to service workloads created by VMware vCloud Director  
  • IPv6 Support – support for both IPv4 and IPv6 to help customers enable IPv6 without disrupting the IPv4 network
  • heleos UI - Reduces the time to provision, configure, and maintain network services
  • Support for Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) – enables heleos-powered network services to bypass the virtual switch for greater performance and density.

Snapshot analysis

Embrane's heleos is a network virtualizaiton product. The company competes with many larger players including Cisco, HP, Juniper, IBM and a whole herd of smaller players. Embrane wants to show that network virtualization doesn't have to be a computer science project and can benefit organizations of all sizes.

To emphasize this simplicity, Embrane presents the capabilities of heleos as "application centric networking" rather than using network virtualization or software defined networking as do other competitors.

The thought of being able to encapsulate networking capabilities and configurations with virtualized workloads is attractive. This would allow organizations to stand up, operate and eventually shut down workloads, the storage and the networking capabilities they use quickly and efficiently.

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