Avi Networks: The Cloud Application Delivery Company

Umesh Mahajan
Posted on Dec 10, 2014 1:56:00 AM


As CEO, my job is to listen to customers and understand their concerns. Throughout a decades-long career at Avi Networks and other highly-regarded tech companies, I’ve heard dozens of customers tell me about their challenges in moving to an on-demand, cloud services model. More than once, I’ve heard that the biggest area that gets in their way is the application delivery services model.

We’ve witnessed significant change in the last decade. Today, we operate in a world where mobile devices and cloud environments are the new norm, causing a fundamental shift in application architecture to a microservices model. As a result, traditional application delivery solutions fall short because these solutions were not architected for an environment built for mobility, flexibility and elastic scale.

My co-founders and I realized that if enterprises want the agility, automation, and elasticity of hyperscale cloud environments, we needed to completely re-architect the application delivery infrastructure and operations by embracing a Software-Defined approach.

This started a journey that began two years ago. From early on, we at Avi Networks had a vision: What if we could bring the benefits of hyperscale infrastructure – agility, automation, security and elastic scale - to the enterprise? Web Scale cloud builders like Facebook and Google, with their expertise and resources, have proven this model already by developing this in-house using the power of software, automation and analytics. But it remains out of reach for most enterprises.

Today we’re extremely proud to introduce the Avi Networks Cloud Application Delivery Platform (CADP), a completely new paradigm that delivers an exceptional end-user application experience, while simplifying and automating the job of network administrators. In a nutshell, we’ve integrated several new capabilities into a single Application Delivery solution and removed complexity to give enterprises all the benefits of hyperscale cloud environments that were previously the exclusive domain of software giants like Facebook, Google or Amazon.

Core Beliefs Behind Our Design Philosophy

Like any start-up, there are always more ideas and tasks than there are people to do them. So we knew we had to be smart and focus on a core set of design principles.

We knew a distributed software approach was the right way to go and that hardware boxes and appliances just wouldn’t work. We knew that service delivery as a cloud infrastructure offering had to operate like a utility, with the ability to respond to user and application demands in real-time. And finally, we knew we couldn’t solve this problem based on status quo.

Our fundamental design premise using SDN principles was to separate the control and data planes, with the data plane designed as high performance, distributed service engines that would provide elastic scale, while a centralized control plane would offer a single point of control, management and automation. But we didn’t stop there. We knew the only way to guarantee fast and reliable application delivery in the cloud infrastructure was to gain better visibility and analytics-driven insights.

This was our Aha! moment of sudden insight. What if we created a new class of machine that could eliminate today’s manual (and error prone) human approach of analyzing copious amounts of data and taking action based on insights gleaned? What if we could perform these tasks faster and make them more efficient?

We immediately knew we had hit upon the “holy grail” for application delivery! And this is what we’re introducing today: an Analytics-driven Application Delivery Platform that combines application analytics and real-time user metrics with ADC into an “intelligent,” all-in-one solution that dramatically improves end user and application performance experiences.

Characteristics of Hyperscale Environments

To better understand our approach, let me share five fundamental characteristics that Hyperscale cloud companies build into their Cloud Application Delivery solutions and that are also an integral part of our solution. On top of a solid foundation of high performance, availability and security, we needed the following additional virtues in an application delivery solution for today’s mobile cloud era.

  1. Agility: Solutions must not only offer on-demand elastic scale, they must be intuitive and exceedingly simple to use. No specialized knowledge or skills required.
  2. Analytics and Insights: The only way to ensure consistent application performance is to have complete visibility into every real-time and historic user-to-application transaction.
  3. Adaptive: In a mobile, dynamic world, solutions must accommodate continuous changes in user demand or application scale, automatically.
  4. Mobile: With both users and applications in transit at any given time, an optimized user experience– from a performance, scale and security perspective – is critical.
  5. Multi-cloud: Solutions must be able to support a variety of environments, whether on-premise, private or public cloud deployments, or any combination of these.

The Road Ahead

It has been an intense and exhilarating ride here at Avi Networks. We are immensely grateful to be working with an amazing team of customers, investors, partners, and employees. We would not be where we are today without them.

I would like to convey our sincere gratitude to our investors, Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Menlo Ventures, who have provided invaluable advice and experience in building disruptive, multi-billion dollar companies.
I would also like to thank our many partners including Chef, Cisco, Intel, Mirantis, Puppet Labs, Red Hat, and VMware, among others. Together, we are building a powerful ecosystem that will ensure application resiliency and a superior end-user experience across cloud environments for the first time.
A heartfelt thank you is certainly due to our outstanding customers. Your insightful feedback has helped shape what we do and it is incredibly rewarding to see the tremendous impact our solutions can have on your businesses.

And finally, a huge thank you to the Avi Networks team - who have shown their belief in our vision with a passion while working insane hours to achieve our goal of transforming the cloud application delivery model. I honor and appreciate you most of all.

Topics: Product, Innovation, Closed-Loop Application Delivery, CADP, Avi Networks

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