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Aviatrix’s Steve Mullaney: There’s No Going Back To ‘Cisco Model Of The 90s’

Gina Narcisi

“We’re very picky, actually, about who we work with. If somebody is tied to the old, on-prem world, and selling boxes, we say: ‘Good luck and hold your breath when the boat goes down, because you’re going to get pulled under,’” the company’s CEO Steve Mullaney tells CRN.

What does Aviatrix’s cloud networking offerings bring to the table that enterprises aren’t getting today from other providers?

No one’s going to go back to the Cisco, horribly complex operational model of the 90s. In the old days, if you were a business unit or a developer and you went to your IT team, the answer before you could even ask what you wanted was “no.” Or maybe the next question from the IT staff would be: “What year would you like that?” That forced Shadow IT [and] people went to the cloud. That’s all now being brought back in [and] enterprises don’t want to go back to that model. Now, we have to have that DevOps mentality where we have to be able to say yes -- we have to adopt the cloud model of simplicity and automation. However, we’re an enterprise. We need visibility for troubleshooting. We’ve got to operationalize this. This is not fun and games, this is our company, and we’re running our mission critical apps now in the cloud. I need that visibility and then I need security controls. I can’t bring in the Cisco’s of the world because that’s not cloud-native. So, I go to AWS and the other cloud service providers and I get that simplicity. But I don’t get the visibility and control. The cloud providers will say: ”I’m a service; you don’t need to know. And don’t worry about it, you’re never going to have a problem.” But no, that doesn’t work for an enterprise. Now, you have a whole new set of people that say: ”I need to know.”

Aviatrix only has 500 customers and not everybody has heard of us, so they will go to the cloud providers and they will try to use their native tools. They will do scripts and they will try to do automation themselves. Every single enterprise we talk to now says this isn’t working -- it’s not tenable. It’s almost like you’ve got manual processes, so you’ve got complexity. That’s if you have one cloud but then it gets even worse when the business units say they have AI applications that are running in [Google Cloud] and a database that needs to run an Oracle, and Office 365, so they need to be in Azure. They’ve got to expand out to three or four more clouds, and there’s no way they can handle this. That’s when they really reach out. We dramatically simplify all that for them and abstract away a lot of the details of the native constructs for them, and then add in advanced services and effectively create a common architecture for them that they can run across any of the clouds. So, now to expand with different clouds, it’s super easy. We give them that cloud agility and cloud-nativeness. But yet, we also give them the visibility and control they need. We have a product called CoPilot, which is multi-cloud, that gives [enterprises] visibility and control that they cannot get that even on a single cloud. They see this and say: “Finally, somebody gives me that common network architecture with the visibility and the control that I need, but also in the cloud agility and DevOps model that I need.” Our competition really is just trying to cobble stuff together on their own.

 

 
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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