Most companies outsource their IT networking to managed service providers (MSPs), many of which actually need service providers of their own. These many layers of network infrastructures make it difficult to remotely monitor and manage hardware and the flow of information.
With public health restrictions in mind, it becomes highly desirable to find ways around sending people to physical locations to reconfigure hardware. Moreover, maintaining the performance, security, and stability of networks while large numbers of people switch to remote working and put pressure on the system is also crucial.
Auvik is a leader in using cloud-based software to control networks, instead of needing to send trained personnel to reconfigure physical switches and routers. Based in Waterloo, Ont., Auvik has international offices in the UK and Barcelona and has raised $41 million in funding to date.
“The Auvik team works hard to build, market, sell, and support an amazing network management system — so the customer response that’s reflected in our growth numbers is incredibly gratifying,” said CEO Marc Morin in a 2019 press release. “It feels great to be one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies.”
Simplifying network management
Auvik’s founders set out to simplify IT network management by turning time-consuming tasks like configuration backups into automated steps controlled through an easy-to-use interface. Their platform provides users with heightened visibility and control over infrastructure components like switches, routers, and firewalls, ultimately helping them to scale services more efficiently.
MSPs using Auvik’s services can also create exportable visualizations of network topologies (the way the network is organized, which has a significant effect on performance), analyze the configuration of devices and software, and facilitate password and user identity management functions.
In the past, companies had to deploy IT professionals onsite to physically reconfigure the hardware of a network when restructuring, partially because it isn’t straightforward to connect hardware from different vendors. Auvik’s solution bridges the gap and allows even non-engineer types to easily reconfigure the network and its functionality remotely through the interface.
“Networking has been about hardware and boxes, but the focus now is on how people use software to control things,” said Morin to TechCrunch. “No one should have to configure routers and switches anymore.”
Morin provided an example of a practical application involving a finance group’s network access where users may be logging in on multiple devices: “Say you want to put a policy on the finance group so that they can go straight to the finance server, and you want to enforce that, but the network doesn’t identify users, just IP addresses,” he said.
“Using our platform, you can now join these up and change network configurations based on that, and modify it during the day as users log in and log out. Network management has been around for a long time, but it hasn’t had a very deep level of abstraction for how it works.”
IT network managers might not be the first group many people think of when they consider essential services in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but these people are playing a critical role in maintaining the functionality of businesses.
MSPs are under pressure to make sure services continue to operate smoothly while vast numbers of people switch to working remotely. The need to maintain the performance and security of networks has gone up the chain to Auvik, who have published a guide to help users. It includes information on how to use the Auvik platform to monitor the performance of remote access equipment, deal with potential VPN capacity issues, and ensure the legitimacy of network traffic.
Regarding their own systems, Auvik has reassured users they have measures in place to ensure things continue to run securely. They noted that they are hosted via Amazon Web Services in multiple secure data clusters across the globe including Ireland, Germany, Australia, Canada, and the United States.
“Auvik realizes that in this time of crisis when the performance and continuity of the network are more critical than ever, you are relying on us to help enable your teams, your clients, and your users,” according to the press release.
“We take this responsibility seriously and have plans in place to ensure our system continues to run reliably. We anticipate no impact to our service due to the pandemic.”