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Q&A: Interview with Avi Networks Talking Emergence from Stealth

Avi Networks recently emerged from stealth with $33 million in funding to revolutionize the $4 billion application delivery controller (ADC) and network monitoring markets. To find out more I spoke with Avi Networks Founder and CEO Umesh Mahajan.

VMblog: Can you tell me a little more about the funding details?

Umesh Mahajan: Sure. The $33 million number is actually composed of two separate rounds. We closed our $12.2M Series A in November 2012 co-led by Greylock Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Our $20.8M Series B closed in August 2014 and was led by Menlo Ventures with Greylock and Lightspeed participating.

VMblog: That's certainly a significant raise. What do you think it was about the team's background that brought on such investor confidence?

1.      My co-founders and I have successfully brought disruptive technology to market and converted that to multi-billion dollar businesses. MDS/SAN-OS at Andiamo (Acquired by Cisco) and NX-OS/Nexus 7000 family of switches at Cisco are recent examples from the last decade.

2.      In today's mobile cloud era, the traditional appliance-centric, monolithic application delivery approach doesn't work anymore. Avi Networks Cloud Application Delivery Platform was designed for enterprise customers to accelerate their cloud journey, while maximizing their end-user application experience

3.      We've been engaged with some very large customers for over a year and are gaining good traction. They believe in our architectural design and it fits very well with their cloud initiatives.

VMblog: And what is Avi Networks out to do?

Mahajan:  Avi Networks delivers enterprise customers the benefits of a hyper-scale approach to application delivery, at any scale, for on-premise and cloud-based applications. As applications move to cloud-based infrastructures and mobile becomes the dominant endpoint, it becomes increasingly difficult to guarantee end-user application experience. With an analytics-driven and distributed application delivery architecture, Avi Networks aims to revolutionize the $4 billion application delivery controller (ADC) and network monitoring markets.

VMblog: Ok, but wouldn't you agree, this is a crowded market.  Avi is competing with the likes of F5, Citrix, Riverbed, etc.  So what advantages does Avi enjoy in battling these giants?

Mahajan:  The requirements in this market segment have changed and Avi is offering something unique to address them. Firstly, Avi Networks is the first vendor to use the ambient state of applications, end-users, compute and networks to influence application delivery decisions in real-time. This is something totally new: an analytics driven application delivery platform is the only way to guarantee the end-user application experience.

Secondly, Avi Networks has a distributed software-based architecture called HYDRA that was designed for the emerging micro services application architectures and can span, scale and serve all data centers and cloud locations without adding complexity.

VMblog: And what environments do you integrate with?

Mahajan: We offer plug and play integration with VMware, Openstack and Cisco ACI fabric. We also integrate with leading DevOps automation tools such as Puppet, Chef and CF Engine as well as a wide variety of SDN controllers. Avi Networks already has active partnerships in place with Chef, Cisco, Intel, Mirantis, Red Hat and VMware, among others, in order to support customers.

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Once again, thanks to Umesh Mahajan, Founder and CEO at Avi Networks for taking time out to speak with VMblog and answer a few questions.

Published Wednesday, December 10, 2014 8:31 AM by David Marshall
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