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Startup Graphiant offers SaaS-based replacement for MPLS, SD-WAN

The company says it provides connectivity between an enterprise WAN, hybrid cloud, network edge, customers, and partners -- all delivered as one service.
Written by Chris Preimesberger, Contributor
Representation of Web3 as linked icons in space

Networking that carries all of our video streams, social communications, e-commerce, and personal data has become more complicated than 10 years of tangled kudzu vine for administrators to install and maintain. Between wide-area networks, hybrid clouds, network edge, telcos, cable providers, and satellites, this is fast becoming a genuine concern for enterprise IT decision-makers.

Graphiant, a 2-year-old startup that is taking most of those channels and providing a single service that options them all, claims to be the rescuer here. The Milpitas, Calif.-based company emerged from stealth mode today and launched its Graphiant Network Edge service at the same time. 

Graphiant says its solution provides connectivity between the enterprise WAN, hybrid cloud, network edge, customers, and partners – all delivered as a single SaaS service. This is the type of service that ostensibly will become necessary as Web3 and the metaverse begin to take shape. 

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Web3 is about decentralized ownership and control and putting the web in the hands of its users and the community; SaaS-based applications are expected to play a major role in that enterprise environment. 

Company co-founder and CEO Khalid Raza, co-founder of SD-WAN pioneer Viptela and a former Cisco Systems Distinguished Engineer, told ZDNet that Graphiant's service has MPLS-like performance (guaranteed delivery, security, and privacy) yet demonstrates internet-class agility.

Graph technology at the core

Graphiant, as implied in its name, uses graph database technology as a key component inside its platform. Graph databases connect data points in a 360-degree manner, can scale massively, and are known to be faster than conventional relational databases. This is why massive networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google use graph DBs at their core.

The main difference between these two types of databases is the way relationships between entities are stored. In a graph database, relationships are stored at the individual record level, while a relational database uses predefined structures (table definitions), which by nature slow down access to the data.

"Enterprises are running a mix of corporate and cloud applications," Raza wrote in a blog post Thursday. "Those applications are consumed and spun up/down frequently. Users must cross a digital wilderness the enterprise doesn't control or have visibility into to access resources -- paths across this digital wilderness change by the minute. MPLS and SD-WAN don't meet these needs and have broken down."

Network architects have to provide connectivity for an impossibly complex world, Raza said. "Connecting business resources, hybrid cloud, edge networks and remote workers, is time-consuming, error-prone, and full of security challenges. We've delivered a solution that removes this complexity," Raza said.

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No more need for customized networking

Raza said that Graphiant removes the need for network architects to build bespoke networks between every resource, hybrid cloud, edge network, customers, and partners. Instead, they simply connect each resource to the Graphiant Stateless Core, centerpiece of the service that contains the graph DB. All data routing is handled by the Graphiant Core. Traffic remains encrypted from edge to edge, ensuring complete security and privacy. SLA-grade performance is guaranteed, Raza said.

Key use cases for Graphiant Network Edge are the following, according to Raza:

  • Enterprise connectivity: It connects all enterprise workers and resources quickly and securely without having to set up customized tunnels.
  • Business-to-business connectivity: It connects with customers and business partners quickly without the need for complex DMZs and firewalls.
  • Cloud connectivity: The Graphiant Gateway simplifies connecting to multiple clouds.

"Our customers are in the midst of a major transformation of their enterprise architectures due to the shifts to cloud and hybrid working," said Neil Anderson, AVP of Cloud & Infrastructure Solutions at World Wide Technology. "We see Graphiant's Network Edge being a primary way our customers can simplify their architecture complexity, while at the same time taking advantage of additional visibility and higher levels of service."

For more information, see Graphiant's website.

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