Inocybe Technologies is banking on the continued growth of open source-based software-defined networking (SDN) controllers. The company is expanding the physical reach of its operations and depth of its leadership team.
The Montreal-based firm, which provides open source SDN controllers based on OpenDaylight (ODL) specifications, opened new offices in San Francisco, Boston, and London. Inocybe said the move will help it support market demand for open networking products targeted at the enterprise and service provider space.
Along with the expanded physical reach, Inocybe hired open source industry veteran John Zannos as its chief revenue officer. In his role, Zannos will oversee Inocybe’s global sales, marketing, alliances, and customer engineering efforts.
Zannos earlier this year left Canonical, where he headed up industry partnerships as VP of alliances in cloud platforms. Zannos also serves on the board of a number of Linux Foundation organizations, including the recently formed Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), and Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV).
With a deep history in the open source space, it’s not a surprise to hear Zannos tout the benefits of SDN controllers taking that path.
“We’re seeing the market mature to the point where they are moving from exploring technology to going to production.” Zannos said. “Ultimately what I see is customers need help in not having 15 individual open source pieces of code, but to have a place where they can get consolidated help for a particular process. They want to have a commercial entity behind the open source project. They want help to make consumption and management easier.”
Inocybe Hiring Spree
The addition of Zannos to its management team follows Inocybe’s moves last month to hire four new members to its engineering team.
The new additions include Andrew McLauchlan as vice president of engineering; Brady Johnson as engineering manager; Thomas Pantelis as principal software engineer; and Ryan Goulding as principal software engineer.
McLauchlan previously worked at Huawei where he was chief architect for SDN and NFV solutions. In his new position, he will work on the company’s machine learning and AI capabilities as well as applications and analytics for the Inocybe’s networking platform.
Johnson currently is the service function chaining project team lead (PTL) at ODL and the OPNFV service function chaining PTL. He is will continue to work on the ODL development teams.
Pantelis served as PTL of ODL’s controller and core tutorial projects. He also collaborated on the design and implementation of clustering for the ODL data store.
Goulding is PTL of ODL’s authentication, authorization, and accounting security framework and also is a member of ODL’s security response team. Goulding was a top 10 contributor to Boron, ODL’s latest major release.
Inocybe said it plans to continue adding to its engineering team.
“These hirings are just the beginning of what we are looking to do in terms of internal expansion,” Zannos said.
SDN Controller Market Expands
Inocybe’s expansion moves and plans come as the open source SDN controller market continues to blossom.
Lumina Networks this week launched into the space having acquired Brocade’s SDN controller assets. Lumina is being led by Andrew Coward, former VP of strategy at Brocade, and is based out of San Jose, California, with other offices in U.K., India, and Australia.
Zannos said industry efforts like ONAP show the market is embracing the open source model for SDN controllers.
“ONAP is a great example of vendors and carriers collaborating on an open source project to further the space,” Zannos said. “These will not be the only solutions out there and there is still a place for proprietary in some instances, but the goal is to not stifle innovation and allow the market to continue to mature.”
However, with the SDN controller market having evolved to a level of maturity, there remain challenges in terms of vendor and ecosystem collaboration. Zannos admitted the market was not quite to a level needed, but that it was improving.
“My view is that the market is continuing to evolve and is getting better at collaboration,” Zannos said. “It’s still imperfect, but allowing a level of collaboration that did not exist before. It will be better next year than it is this year.”
Looking ahead, Zannos said the biggest challenge he sees for the market is keeping pace with the needs of customers.
“It’s really about moving as fast as the market needs us to so they can consume open networking the way they want,” Zannos said.
Sue Marek contributed to this story