Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Nitin Bandugula

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."

@BigDataExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Midway through the decade, the experts from Veeva Systems – a leader in cloud-based software for the global life sciences industry – look at what’s on the horizon over the next five years. Their forecasts are informed by a vision for what’s next in technology and insight gleaned from Veeva’s 200+ life sciences customers worldwide. Overall, these predictions reflect how new innovations will enable faster time to market, evolving commercial models, and new ways to support physicians and patients. ...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Vormetric on Wednesday announced the results of its 2015 Insider Threat Report (ITR), conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll and in conjunction with analyst firm Ovum in fall 2014 among 818 IT decision makers in various countries, including 408 in the United States. The report details striking findings around how U.S. and international enterprises perceive security threats, the types of employees considered most dangerous, environments at the greatest risk for data loss and the steps or...
Storage administrators find themselves walking a line between meeting employees’ demands to use public cloud storage services, and their organizations’ need to store information on-premises for security, performance, cost and compliance reasons. However, as file sharing protocols like CIFS and NFS continue to lose their relevance, simply relying only on a NAS-based environment creates inefficiencies that hurt productivity and the bottom line. IT wants to implement cloud storage it can purchase a...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Software AG and Wipro Ltd. have announced a joint solution platform for streaming analytics that provides real-time actionable intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “The key to successfully addressing the IoT market is the ability to rapidly build and evolve apps that tap into, analyze and make smart decisions on fast, big data”, said John Bates, Global Head of Industry Solutions and CMO, Software AG. To address the huge market potential created by streaming analytics in conj...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your onlin...
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore's Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at Big Data Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, disc...
Software Defined Storage provides many benefits for customers including agility, flexibility, faster adoption of new technology and cost effectiveness. However, for IT organizations it can be challenging and complex to build your Enterprise Grade Storage from software. In his session at Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, CMO at Cloudian, looked at the new Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) market and how it is changing the storage world. Now Software Defined Storage companies can build Enterprise grade ...