Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Search Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Cloud Best Practices Network, AppDynamics Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Eclipse, Cloud Expo

Eclipse: Article

Cloud-Oriented Switch Start-up Valued at $230M

The valuation was five times what the company was worth at the time of its $30 million A round in early ’06

Like any pleased-with-herself three-and-a-half-year-old showing off her lace panties, start-up switch house Blade Network Technologies was flaunting its heady $230 million valuation Wednesday after closing a $10 million B round.

The largely institutional round – and let’s remember traditional VCs are ducking down any convenient rat hole these days – was led by NEC with help from Blade OEM Juniper Networks, existing Blade backer Garnett & Helfrich Capital – ex-Oracle lieutenant Terry Garnett’s venture buyout operation – and a mysterious silent investor, reportedly a big tech company that doesn’t want people to know where its money is going.

How utterly beguiling. A veiled lady in a little black dress.

The valuation was five times what the company was worth at the time of its $30 million A round in early’06.

Blade claims to leads the data center revolution for high-speed, cloud-ready networking, a proposition that, say, oh, Cisco might take exception to, but then Blade would retort that it holds a commanding 48% market share lead over Cisco in blade server networking, which, as you can guess from its name, is its specialty.

It all depends on how thin you slice the pie and if that particular slice is the only one that’s hot.

Blade is supposed to use the money to develop stuff like a 64-port 10G top-of-rack switch and software as well as for global sales and marketing for its continuing assault on Cisco.

Not that it seems to need much help. A pre-collapse Nortel Networks spin-out, Blade says that despite the economic maelstrom that took the wind out of Cisco’s sails it had a record quarter ending July 31 with revenues up over 30% when shipped its six-millionth Ethernet switch port. It claims 300 of the Fortune 500 as customers.

It claims it’s profitable and will do $100 million the next 12 months.

Of course it helps that it sells through HP and IBM – which between them own the blade market – as well NEC and Verari Systems, some of the folks Cisco alienated with its Unified Computing server thrust. Any of these boys could, of course, be Blade’s mystery investor.

Blade’s got what it calls Cloud-Ready Network Architecture solutions aimed at next-generation data centers where virtual machine awareness, ultra-high performance, extremely low latency, simplified management, lower cost and energy efficiency are key.

Its gigE switches for blade servers support multi-vendor, virtualized data center environments, promising performance coupled with lower TCO.

The trick is in the software in both its embedded and top-of-rack switches. Blade recently broke new ground with the industry’s first 1,000 port Ethernet VMready switch and the first FCoE-ready blade server switch. It’s also championed a concept called “Rackonomics,” a way of scaling data centers by duplicating racks of servers and disk drives with connectivity through its switches, your basic rack-to-go.

A few days ago Blade announced that its 1,000 virtual port VMready switch-resident software is available for HP’s BladeSystems and HP’s 1:10Gb Ethernet BL-c switch. It’s already available on IBM’s 1/10Gb Ethernet Switch Module.

The widgetry is supposed to enable virtualization across the data center infrastructure rather than just the individual servers – a technique that’s supposed to be good for energy efficiency, business continuity, productivity and resource utilization.

Being VM-aware, virtual machines can be added, subtracted and moved around, as VM are wont to do, without losing their ACLs, QoS and VLAN attributes.

According to Blade, which maintains that traditional switches are blind to VM-specific traffic, “In today’s bandwidth-intensive virtualization infrastructures, network policies must move along with virtual machines to maintain application performance, availability and security.”

VMready is supposed to manage and measure VM traffic and assign network parameters per VM, as well as maintain consistent network settings during VM migrations, allowing for workload balancing and HA failover.

Nothing changes on the server since it runs on the switch, leaving more CPU oomph for the virtual machines, and it’s all automatic.

Blade claims other advantages over both its Cisco and Arista rivals.

Unlike, say, Cisco’s Nexus 1000V software switch, its widgetry works with all the hypervisors, VMware ESX 3.x and vSphere, Microsoft, Xen, KVM and OracleVM. It says it doesn’t entail complex changes to the hypervisor, it’s standards-based, not a lock-in, it’s simpler and offers more performance and scalability. And it’s way cheaper, anywhere from $160k-$500k less than Cisco for a rack of blade servers with 128 CPU sockets running vSphere Enterprise.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
nealmueller 09/11/09 09:59:00 PM EDT

Amusing article Maureen as always. Hope you don't mind if I step in to adjust some of the 1000V-related items.

The Nexus 1000V is VMware Ready Certified and uses the VMware's existing vDS API (no complex changes). This was always the case.

The Nexus 1000V works with all upstream switches and with all servers that work with vSphere (no lock-in). This is common knowledge by now.

Intel worked with Cisco to co-produce a benchmark study showing that the Intel VMDQ NIC performed at 10GE line rates with and without the Cisco Nexus 1000V (no performance decrease). This PDF study is available on google, search for it.

The Nexus 1000V is available for free evaluation here.

Thank you Maureen for your coverage.

Neal Mueller, Cisco
Nexus 1000V Product Manager

@ThingsExpo Stories
The cloud is now a fact of life but generating recurring revenues that are driven by solutions and services on a consumption model have been hard to implement, until now. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss how a top European telco has leveraged the innovative recurring revenue generating capability of the consumption cloud to enable a unique cloud monetization model to drive results.
As organizations shift toward IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection &E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships, will discuss how to cut costs, scale easily, and unleash insight with CommVault Simpana software, the only si...
Analytics is the foundation of smart data and now, with the ability to run Hadoop directly on smart storage systems like Cloudian HyperStore, enterprises will gain huge business advantages in terms of scalability, efficiency and cost savings as they move closer to realizing the potential of the Internet of Things. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, technology evangelist and CMO at Cloudian, Inc., will discuss the revolutionary notion that the storage world is transitioning from mere Big Data to smart data. He will argue that today’s hybrid cloud storage solutions, with commodity...
Cloud data governance was previously an avoided function when cloud deployments were relatively small. With the rapid adoption in public cloud – both rogue and sanctioned, it’s not uncommon to find regulated data dumped into public cloud and unprotected. This is why enterprises and cloud providers alike need to embrace a cloud data governance function and map policies, processes and technology controls accordingly. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, will focus on how to set up a cloud data governance program and s...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Every innovation or invention was originally a daydream. You like to imagine a “what-if” scenario. And with all the attention being paid to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) you don’t have to stretch the imagination too much to see how this may impact commercial and homeowners insurance. We’re beyond the point of accepting this as a leap of faith. The groundwork is laid. Now it’s just a matter of time. We can thank the inventors of smart thermostats for developing a practical business application that everyone can relate to. Gone are the salad days of smart home apps, the early chalkb...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
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 Cloud.
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 online presence.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along with a steady stream of well-publicized data breaches, only add to the uncertainty
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...