Syntropy: Secure Network Connectivity Made Simple
Syntropy Stack makes it easier for dev teams to launch and manage their workloads, with built-in optimization and security.
2020 presented a year of forced evolution for many companies around the world. As business began to be holistically conducted over the internet, it became critical to have networks that can handle this increased traffic while delivering a consistent experience to both employees and customers.
This problem is not new. Building networks has always been challenging. Connecting hundreds, if not thousands of machines together to work in unison and deliver a safe and secure experience has created a multi-billion dollar management industry that grows every year. As more companies begin to offer products and services over the internet, development teams are tasked with adding more unique connections, plus creating security protocols to protect those connections.
The Syntropy team has witnessed this challenge first-hand with businesses of varying sizes and industries. There is a consistent need across all network development teams for a product that can simplify the network creation and management process. Syntropy Stack is the solution.
Syntropy Stack is a collection of tools and libraries to seamlessly create, automate, scale, and optimize encrypted connections between any device or service running on a cloud, on-premise, or edge locations.
By using Syntropy Stack, developers can easily create connections, automate workflows, optimize connections, and monitor their networks on a granular level. It’s easy to begin working with Syntropy, and the benefits are immediate.
Creating a connection between endpoints has never been a formalized process. It‘s’ dependent on the type of endpoint, the provider associated with that endpoint, and it’s function within the network. This requires bespoke connection and security protocols, all leading to longer development timelines.
Take an example of a network with a collection of 500 nodes and monitoring through Prometheus. Prometheus is pulling data from each node, and there needs to be a connection to each one of the services on the network that is distributed around the world.
In order to provide Prometheus with information to monitor each service, we would need to expose a node exporter port over the public internet. Each port would require their own TLS certificates and custom built firewalls, all requiring significant resources for management.
Setting up secure connections between these 500 services is also a challenge, especially if the connections are hosted between different providers. Service providers like AWS and Digital Ocean have protocols to connect their own endpoints, but not devices of other providers. This has proven to be quite a time drain on teams looking for an easy solution to scale their business.
Syntropy Stack is able to solve both security and connection challenges with a single solution.
By installing the Syntropy Agent on each device within the network, they are automatically connected with each other, without having to configure anything further. Syntropy Stack is provider agnostic; there is no difference between connecting two AWS devices and connecting one Huawei Cloud device to one AWS device. As the multi-cloud management market grows, cross provider connectivity will be all the more important as companies begin to broaden their network ecosystems.
On top of simple connectivity, Syntropy Stack uses WireGuard for tunneling and encryption so that all communications sent within the network are secure, even if a bad actor has breached the perimeter. WireGuard is a protocol that provides a high level of encryption, with a low overhead of computing resources. WireGuard demonstrates benefits with both faster throughput speeds and lower ping times.
By using Syntropy Agent as your network overlay tool, you can boil down complex tasks into simple commands. Connectivity and security present some of the most time consuming challenges when developing a network. By limiting those times, you are able to rapidly expand your network services, and there is only a single source of truth when it comes to how services work with each other, and the security system associated.
CI/CD pipelines are popular among engineering teams. It is a fast and efficient way to release features and fix bugs without compromising quality or accessibility.
When a pull request is merged into master, the CI pipeline will run the tests to check for any issues prior to the deployment pipeline running. Once cleared, the deployment process can begin. Deploying these containerized applications has created large infrastructural bodies to handle all of the commands necessary to configure the new state, as well as connect all the associated services and devices.
By using Syntropy Stack, teams can either utilize the same technologies that they have been using in the deployment process such as Ansible, or utilize our Network-as-Code solution by building their network configurations through YAML to specify connections and services, as well as manage the detailed flow of requests coming through your endpoints.
For teams that need more granular control over network and connection lifecycles, Syntropy provides both an API and SDKs that engineers can use to write their own development operations scripts to automate spot instances, VMs, and bespoke connections based on user activities.
By automating the networking lifecycle, new business and technical opportunities arise. Engineering teams can focus on the big picture and use Syntropy to implement it. Deployment configurations become simple, and large infrastructural code bases can be shed.
Monitoring & Optimization Made Simple
Hand crafting network connections comes with security concerns, but also a lack of visibility. It is important for teams to have as much information as possible when it comes to connections, services running within endpoints, and the health of the connections themselves. There is nothing worse than being notified of an end-user issue within a network by a support ticket. The majority of time spent on these issues is gaining context to the problem area or connection, rather than actually fixing the problem.
Syntropy provides a user interface that outlines all of the connections within a network, as well as the services running within an endpoint. In the event of an issue, you are able to determine where connections are going dark, and quickly spot the problem area that needs attention. As endpoints within a network continue to grow and interact, finding the source of an issue as soon as possible becomes all the more important.
Enhanced oversight over connections not only brings value to the teams monitoring, but also to the traffic itself. Our smart routing protocol utilizes our multi-provider network spanning over 200 providers and 500 locations worldwide. We connect endpoints within a network in four ways:
- One over the public internet
- Three over our SDN
This way, if one connection goes dark or is already congested, we have at least three other routes we can use for the request. This protocol has proven to have a lower latency, and reduced risk of packet loss and jitters.
Syntropy Stack aims to reduce the complexity of the network creation and management process. Engineering teams have been tasked to create their own bespoke tools to avoid large on-going maintenance and prevent increased threats by a third party.
By having one unified overlay to manage networks, teams now have a single source of truth for security, deployment, monitoring, and optimization. Our goal is to continue to reduce the time spent on networks, so that capacity is freed up for developers to work on core products and services that keep a company growing.