I’m back from Open Networking Summit (ONS), where I was briefed by many companies, did some television with the classy guys over at SiliconANGLE and theCUBE, and heard many stories about the future of Software Defined Networking (SDN).
There, is, of course, about the big movement in SDN, which promises to open up networking platforms to make them more interoperable, providing a threat to the likes of Cisco Systems and Juniper. There is of course skepticism and concern about whether this will produce any profit for the dozens of startups in the market.
Pluribus Networks, a networking company producing a combination of open switch, operating system (OS), and analytics platform, seems to be gaining some momentum by focusing on the needs of high-performance networking and computing in industries such as finance. It also has interesting partnerships with Tibco and Oracle. More importantly, this week it announced its analytics platform, inNetwork Analytics.
Networking companies such Gigamon (GIMO) have had big success being network analytics providors. But they do so by plugging in a “tap,” a separate box that monitors and analyzes network activity. Pluribus’ analytics solution is built into its Freedom Server-Switch.
The analytics platform is integrated into the Server-Switch OS, called Netvisor, showing real-time and historical network data. This includes network and fabric assurance, application performance, security, and compliance reporting. The idea is to give a business more insight into the performance and activity of applications on the network.
There are other interesting angles in the Pluribus approach. One question that comes to people’s mouths when you talk about SDN is, “Where are the applications.” Well, as I’ve said before, the applications are all over the place. You just have to look for them.
Pluribus Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Dave Ginsburg, who was just hired a month ago in a sign that the company is bulking up, pointed out that there are tons of specialized applications in the enterprise that could benefit from a high-performance, open switch that can be programmed to give priority to specific applications, monitor performance, and provide reporting. This comes in handy, for example, in the financial industry where some data may take priority — or requires lots of compliance tools.
“As enterprises become more sophisticated, the data becomes the equivalent of a “trade” (in the financial industry), they need really good controls — especially in places such as the financial industry or companies that deal in commodities. Basically, any regulated industry that needs a “message bus,” or a prioritized way to handle data.
Ginsburg would not say if Pluribus is seeing lots of revenue at the moment, but he indicated that the Tibco partnership will be a big driver to the business and that the company is “ramping up” in 2014.
Pluribus has a decent recipe for success in a market that has been criticized for its ill-defined need for existence. Pluribus has targeted markets that have a need for high-performance networking targeting specific applications, then plugged into the right channel parnter, and then built in analytics and performace funnctionality to serve that market.
Pluribus was founded in April 2010 by Sunay Tripathi, Robert Drost, and C.K. Ken Yank. It is backed by NEA, Menlo Ventures, Mohr Davidow, China Broadband, and AME Cloud Ventures. In 2012 it raised a $23 million C round on top of a $17.5M B round in April of 20111.