For the last couple of decades, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the way organizations access data and applications. In many cases, they’ve gone from privately maintained data centers to cloud-based options providing SaaS applications and hosted services using platforms like AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure.
NetMotion is undergoing a similar transformation, and it’s a big one. For the last couple of years, customers have had the option to deploy our Mobile IQ solution in the cloud. Now, with the launch of our new platform in July this year, we’re able to offer customers the best of both worlds – the flexibility of maintaining NetMotion on their own hardware, or leveraging Azure to take NetMotion fully into the cloud.
The NetMotion Cloud Operations team
With the deployment of NetMotion’s cloud offering steadily gaining in importance over the last few years, Cliff Rosson was tapped to lead and expand the team. Today, the cloud team boasts a lifetime of expertise in network engineering and real-world cloud deployments.
“Our team’s endgame has always been to create a fully automated deployment pipeline that embraces SASE in a cloud-first architecture.”Cliff Rosson, Director of Cloud Operations, NetMotion
There are many potential advantages in shifting to a cloud-based version of NetMotion. One of the biggest and certainly one of the most convenient is the fact that users of NetMotion in the cloud get access to the latest features and functionality of the platform the moment they are rolled out.
Behind the scenes
As mentioned above, some of NetMotion’s solutions, like Mobile IQ, could already be hosted in the cloud for the past few years. However, it wasn’t until the launch of the new platform that the team was able to fully turn its attention to creating the automation, tooling, frameworks and architecture that allowed it to scale up in the cloud. According to Cliff, having this clean slate to start from was the perfect opportunity. Not only did it give the team the latitude to think big, it also removed any compromises that they would have faced catering to the needs of legacy hardware.
“We’re in a very privileged position because everything we’ve built has been greenfield and brand new, without having to fix old technical debt. What we’re doing here at NetMotion is really groundbreaking stuff.”Cliff Rosson, Director of Cloud Operations, NetMotion
This blank-sheet approach to developing a cloud option for NetMotion has allowed the team to prioritize getting the software right and ensuring that everything integrates with engineering tools the ways they’re intended.
From the outset, the mandate given to the cloud team was to develop a SaaS solution that freed customers from worrying about infrastructure and managing servers. That means the NetMotion environment is managed, secure and updated automatically, with recovery functionality baked in.
The cloud advantage
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that people can work from anywhere. This newly decentralized model has made it possible for companies to continue operating, but it has also put enormous pressure on IT teams to provide secure remote access for their employees, no matter where they are.
“NetMotion was built specifically for these kinds of requirements. It’s mobile. It’s secure. And it actually helps end-users get their jobs done.”Cliff Rosson, Director of Cloud Operations, NetMotion
Cliff sees this as the perfect opportunity for companies to adopt NetMotion and other services in the cloud because they don’t need to build and manage dedicated data centers in multiple locations.
The cost and time required to build out multiple PoPs with servers, routers, network switches, multiplexers, and other network interface equipment can be extremely prohibitive. Here’s an example. If a company needed to deploy a data center in New York and Los Angeles to take care of employees based on the East and West coasts, the IT team would need to configure the BGP (border gateway protocol) so that certain prefixes are routed to the East coast PoP and others go to the West coast PoP, with client devices being managed accordingly. Going to the cloud reduces this complexity and makes a lot of sense if for no other reason than the providers already have this figured this out.
Hitting the sweet spot for many organizations
Today, many organizations are actively downsizing their data centers and migrating existing workloads to the cloud. Some are just looking for a cloud VPN security option, while others want a more efficient and effective way of managing a SASE deployment with a secure perimeter all the way to the client device. According to Cliff, these are all things that NetMotion’s competition still struggles to do, even though NetMotion has been doing it for the past two decades.
“Our workforce today is incredibly mobile, and often spread across a large geography. That’s why having a service like NetMotion in Azure makes a lot of sense. People working on the East Coast don’t need to access a West Coast POP. Instead of building a new data center, organizations can quickly spin up NetMotion in the cloud without worrying about the region.”Cliff Rosson, Director of Cloud Operations, NetMotion
Ultimately, the goal with this cloud offering was to make NetMotion even more accessible. By giving organizations the option to quickly deploy a scalable, easy-to-manage and secure remote access platform, NetMotion has laid the groundwork for companies to ensure that their employees are not only safe, but productive as well. In Cliff’s own words, that is truly a ‘slam dunk.’