Light Reading

NetSocket Opens Arms to Virtual App Partners

Dan O'Shea

NetSocket this week announced the next step in its evolving Virtual Edge Networking strategy, creating a Virtual Partner Program for third-party application developers to help load up its vApps portfolio for NetSocket managed service provider partners serving the SMB market.

Virtual Partner Program applications must be qualified to run on virtual machines, and NetSocket will certify them for interoperability with its Virtual Edge Networking platform. The program aims help NetSocket augment its vApps portfolio, which the company unveiled last month with an initial roster of eight commercial and open source applications available via automated delivery to SMB customers through MSPs.

On the commercial side those initial applications included Genband Inc. 's QFlex session border controller, Fortinet Inc. 's Advanced security solution, and others, while the open source options included OpenVPN, the Snorby open source security solution, FreePBX, and the Pandora remote monitoring solution.

"MSPs don't like vendor lock-in anymore than anyone else does," NetSocket director of product management Dave Corley told Light Reading recently. "That's why our plan is to build an ecosystem of applications, both commercial and open source, for them to offer."

Why this matters
Starting its vApps strategy off with short list of both commercial and open source applications was a step in the right direction, but ultimately any catalog of SMB virtual machine applications needs to be much wider and deeper than eight. Creating the Virtual Partner Program is a step in the right direction to make vApps -- and the offerings of NetSocket's MSP partners -- more valuable to a market just beginning to virtualize.

With its virtual networking approach, NetSocket is taking on much larger edge network vendors like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), among others. It has distinguished itself so far by offering a simple, comparatively inexpensive X.86-based virtual networking product family for the edge. The growing applications portfolio further enhances its chances, but the SDN/NFV era is still in its infancy, with big vendors still defining their strategies. NetSocket made another move this week grow its market opportunities, signing Chuanhow Tech in Taiwan as a partner to address Asia, but bigger challenges may still await it.

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— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
7/16/2014 | 1:17:10 AM
Re: Library Growth Chances
Growth of this library is very important to Netsocket. The program is very light touch. All the tech partner needs to do is provide a description of the manual steps to install, activate and network provision their existing vurtualized applicaitons. O average, it takes a couple days for Netsocket engineers to automate these manual steps. That's part of the beauty of virtualiztion... all hypervisors have native scripting capabilities that allow automation of all of the above-mentioned functions. Two days and the application vendor benefits from no truck rolls, no separate appliance cost and continued, direct relationship with the the Managed Service Provider without a revenue sharing cut from Netsocket. Lower expenses, higher margins, lower product COGS and only two days and no deep API integration to get there.

We're looking for DLP vendors, IDS/IPS vendors, backup/restore vendors, WAN Optimization vendors and any other app that makes sense to be hosted at the edge of a csustomer's branch office.

User Rank: Light Sabre
7/13/2014 | 11:56:48 PM
Library Growth Chances
"...ultimately any catalog of SMB virtual machine applications needs to be much wider and deeper than eight."

I was thinking the same thing.  What do you think the chances are that they'll be able to grow that library?  I know it's still very early in the game but I wonder if there are special incentives to 3rd party developers so that library grows?
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