Click here to close now.


Containers Expo Blog Authors: Dana Gardner, Tim Hinds, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

5 things Arista’s impending IPO says about networking

Networking seems to be an industry that thrives on anticipation. At various times, the anticipation bounces between topics (when SDN will hit production environments, when Cisco would spin in Insieme, and so on), but the entire space seems to bounce around from anticipated event to anticipated event. It would seem that the next one in the queue is Arista’s IPO.

On the surface, Arista’s public offering is primarily about raising funds and rewarding people who have worked hard to build a successful company over the past several years. But what else does it say about the networking industry at large?

Networking is not dead

When the Internet was created, networking was huge. The companies that provided the gear to make the Internet work were handsomely rewarded for figuring out how to push bits from here to there. Over the past 15 years, however, a lot of the luster has worn off. Infrastructure is less sexy than Web 2.0, social media, and crowdsourcing. Talent follows opportunity, and with most of the opportunity in other hotter spaces, vendors have had a more difficult time attracting the kind of talent necessary to evolve the space.

The effects of an aging workforce are dramatic. Without new blood, you don’t get access to new ideas. It is unsurprising that the industry has floundered a bit for the past 15 years, adding on incrementally but rarely breaking free from the inertial chains of yesteryear.

If Arista’s IPO is successful, it could provide a jolt to the collective industry. By showing that the space is lucrative, Arista could help bolster the case for many networking companies that there is excitement to be had outside the glow of social media and Web 2.0.

The end game is more than a mega acquisition

Some would argue that there has been a steady stream of cash flowing into networking since about 2010. With SDN, there has been a boom in new companies all making the world a better place through some kind of separation of software and hardware. The poster child for this boom is certainly Nicira ($1.2B turns heads), but there have been a a number of companies that have cashed in on this SDN wave.

A successful IPO would show the world that networking success is not limited to being bought out by one of the few larger players.

If we are being honest, we will admit that the hype that surrounds SDN, NFV, and network virtualization is driving up perceived values of these startup companies. But are revenues following? If they are not, then the only successful outcome for a lot of the startups in the space is acquisition. There are a large number of people banking on dumb money taking them out before they ever have to prove that their product ideas can translate to business returns.

If Arista demonstrates that the market will support a full-blown business, it shifts the focus back to building something sustainable. In other words, you can be successful through good, old-fashioned hard work, not just by riding the wave and slapping an “SDN Inside” tag on the outside.

The market is hungry for alternatives

That Arista is gaining ground says as much about Cisco as it does about Arista. The switch markets generally have been a fairly comfortable space for Cisco for the better part of two decades now. But most markets require more than a single dominant incumbent. Having at least one solid alternative puts pressure on everyone in the space. Innovation thrives on competition, and customers benefit from innovation.

The interesting footnote to this is how the definition of alternative might play out. Legacy networking has been yearning for real competition, and Arista seems to have stepped into that role. What happens if the market shifts now? Will there be another set of SDN solutions seeking an SDN alternative? If so, does that open the space to other companies?

Market success starts with narrow focus

While the emphasis around the IPO will be on the broader switching TAM, what Arista’s exit really does is reenforce the fact that successful enterprises start with a narrow focus. Arista was very successful in leading the charge towards merchant silicon in support of faster, cheaper solutions for financial services companies. By reducing the problem set to those things needed by a specific market, Arista was able to make meaningful headway against its unfocused incumbent, and then use the resulting capabilities to move into adjacent spaces.

Interestingly, if you look at the other major networking company to have success against Cisco’s incumbency, you would see that Juniper used a similar tact in grabbing share in the service provider space.

As investor eyes move from Arista to the plethora of other companies in the infrastructure space, what does this tell us? The SDN dialogue is largely about general networking. Most companies pursuing SDN publicly are building general networking solutions. Arista and Juniper tell us that focus is a key ingredient to sustainable success. It is probably less important who exists within the hype and more important which companies are focused on specific problems within specific segments.

Workflow is the new black

Arista sells hardware, but a good part of their success is actually baked into the software. What Arista realized fairly early on is that automating networking workflows reduced the barriers to entry and created compelling reasons to buy. If SDN is an organic industry reaction to the difficulty in managing networks, it would seem Arista might have provided a blueprint for others in the space.

Going forward, the question is whether those workflows are bounded by the networking devices (things like autoload, for instance), or if IT is moving to a point where workflows across infrastructure need to be coordinated. For example, would Big Data workflows that include both networking and storage be a good target for workflow automation?

Reapplying the Arista workflow emphasis at a broader level will likely yield strong results. The questions shift from managing information inside the box to handling information across infrastructure boundaries. Predicting success could be about locating companies with their eyes focused a bit outside the box.

The eventual outcome for Arista’s exit is unknown. But it very well could be that what we learn is most relevant to the next crop of companies.

The post 5 things Arista’s impending IPO says about networking appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

@ThingsExpo Stories
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.