In an earlier blog I mentioned one or two services that Inango develops for home owners. Today I’d like to tell you about some things we are doing for small businesses (SMB’s).
There is a ton of technology around that can benefit SMB’s in very practical ways. And the thing is, we already use a lot of it. Cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and so on) give us huge storage capacity at very cheap prices. Literally hundreds of companies provide virtual servers (VPS), meaning we can get reliable computers “in-the-cloud” on a simple monthly plan. And then there are more technical products for communications: VPN’s, firewalls and so on.
One of the challenges many face is that these products are often separate technologies. For example, I can buy several terra-bytes of storage on a private cloud account very cheaply, but how can I use it in my office? I can’t see it as a file system on my network, I can’t run my applications from it or use my existing programs to store data there.
You may face similar issues with a VPS: it can’t easily access my local printer or disks (NAS). I need to buy separate storage for it which makes the product more expensive.
Inango is bundling many of these things (with our own value-add) into a Virtual Office product that is geared to SMB’s. It allows you use your own companies Dropbox (or others) cloud storage account and connect it (mount it) on your office network so you see it as a big disk like all others. No need for clients, local syncing or anything – just go. You can purchase standard VPS plans and connect them to your office network too so you can print from them, let them access your network disks (NAS) – or even your cloud storage account.
We also offer software for VPN’s, firewalls, backup and more. In fact, there is quite a bit more – you’ll have to contact us for details.
Let’s have a little closer look at some internal details. Virtual Services is based on leading virtualization technology and that heavily uses the OpenFlow protocol to join the various pieces. We embed an OpenFlow client in the SMB’s gateway and define rules there to intercept or re-direct packets if and where necessary. We don’t do this often – most packets pass through the gateway as-is. But if we need to direct certain packets to a service such as a firewall application, we use OpenFlow to do so.
Since the Launcher connects with the Client via OpenFlow, it, and services deployed on it, are from a networking perspective part of the office layer-2 LAN. This means that all services we deploy there (a Samba file system interface for Dropbox, Google and the like), the connection to the VPS, networking options and so on all reside on the same layer-2 network.
This is not a product for large corporates. But there are many small businesses that need simple, cost-effective and hassle-free solutions for their IT. That is what our Virtual Office is.
It’s a complete Office-as-you go that we are offering to Service Providers to promote to their SMB customers (you may call it an OAAS – Office as a Service). It’s a pure software product that we deploy on our Virtual Service platform – turn on from a web portal and you’re up and running immediately.