Startup Bedouin seeks customers for virtual network services

A former IT director nails down the technology, but runs into a marketing hurdle

One company you won't see if you're at Network World's DEMO conference this week is Bedouin Networks. The company was accepted as an exhibitor, but finances are too tight, says Rick Parker, a former IT director and the founder of Bedouin.

There's not much to see, anyway, because Bedouin's business is all about virtualization.

In a nutshell, Bedouin provides outsourced servers, storage, back-up and nearly all other aspects of small-business networks except for application and desktop support.

The company supplies tools to optimize an Internet link to Bedouin's data center, where customers' e-mail, applications and other network resources are maintained on virtual servers. The service also includes VPN, storage arrays, tape libraries and access routers.

Bedouin also supplies 24-hour support and maintenance for a monthly fee of US$3,000 to US$4,000, and customers can access the servers remotely to make changes, updates and routine maintenance of their applications.

Bedouin and its virtual-network service is the brainchild of Parker, former IT director at Vendari Media, a firm with 200 employees and about 500 servers.

He came up with the idea for Bedouin while driving home from a job interview about a year ago. The company he was interviewing with mentioned it was using Riverbed WAN optimization gear, which speeds up the response time between pairs of its appliances placed at each end of WAN connections.

In his mind he linked WAN acceleration with VMware, virtualization software he had experimented with and was impressed by. "It's one thing to hear about it; it's another thing to see it running," Parker says. "It's damned near magic."

His idea was to pre-configure a Riverbed box and a Juniper firewall/VPN box and ship them to customers, who would plug them into their Internet connections. The devices would sync up with Riverbed and Juniper gear at Bedouin's network operations center and provide security and acceleration for connections between customer sites and their virtual servers.

Customers get a fast, secure, reliable network without having to buy, deploy and maintain it. "Sure you can virtualize servers, but I thought what if you can virtualize everything?" he says.

Bedouin would maintain the hardware and make sure data was backed up. "It drives the costs down by an order of magnitude," Parker says. Bedouin set up its NOC using standard gear from Juniper, Riverbed, VMware, Dell, Foundry, EMC, Microsoft and HP.

Small businesses with 4 to 50 servers seemed ideal Bedouin customers because they have a need for networks but may lack the staff to run things properly. He discovered this at job interviews with several small companies where he found servers kept in rooms without air conditioning. He says one such firm pulled the cases off their servers and pointed fans at the bare chassis during a heat wave so they wouldn't fry and crash.

"The IT infrastructure in these businesses was frightening -- no or little backup, no UPS, no air conditioning," he says.

He also believes the theory he read about in a Network World review of the Nicholas Carr book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google, which suggests that IT departments are on their way out, to be replaced within five years by outsourced services.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Tim Greene

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?