Avi Networks, a Layer 4-7 startup that focuses on load balancing and virtualized application delivery controllers (ADCs), announced on Monday that Amit Pandey has taken the reins as the company’s new CEO.
Former CEO and co-founder Umesh Mahajan will still be hands-on at 3-year-old Avi in his new role as chief strategy officer. Pandey says he has been in discussions with Mahajan and Avi’s board of directors on the CEO position for about three months.
“I’m familiar with the load balancing and ADC industry going back to 1998 to 2000,” Pandey says. “When NetScaler [now part of Citrix] first got started and F5 was still a very small startup, I was running a competing product at NetApp at that time, which was used by some very large websites like eBay to be a load balancer.”
Panday held various executive positions at NetApp spanning eight years. He also has previous experience as a CEO — first at at TerraCotta, which was bought by Software AG, and more recently at Citrix-acquired Zenprise.
“There has been virtually no innovation in this space,” Pandey says when asked what piqued his interest about joining Avi. “There has been no alignment with the whole SDx movement. People in this industry still believe in selling the biggest iron they can, and it’s kind of going against the tide in terms of where CIOs want to take their data centers when it comes to automation, flexibility, self provisioning, and self service. That stuck out to me.
“Avi was one of the few companies that had a great idea in this space and had invested a great deal of money and effort into creating an innovative product.”
While Avi’s competitors, which include Citrix, F5 and KEMP, no doubt take exception to Pandey’s assessment of the sector. Santa Clara, California-based Avi says that as a startup it can create a virtualized ADC for use on a massive scale. Avi’s Cloud Application Delivery Platform (CADP) is designed to spin up virtual load balancers that are managed by a logically centralized controller.
Avi is currently deployed “by a couple of telcos” and expects to be in about five over the coming months, according to Pandey. Avi hasn’t said who its customers are, but Time Warner Cable appears to be one of them.
“We’re also working with some of the larger enterprises, like Fortune 10 companies,” Pandey says.