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Why Cisco, VMware, Arista Are Not In The Multi-cloud Networking ‘Conversation’: Aviatrix CEO Steve Mullaney

Aviatrix CEO Steve Mullaney says the cloud-based multi-cloud networking provider, which has tripled its valuation to $2 billion in the last seven months, does not see Cisco, VMware or Arista in its multi-cloud “customer interactions.”

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Why did you sell Nicira at the time when you were just getting started?

We had to because it was a transition. It wasn’t a transformation. We were not going to be able to be a standalone company. We had to get bought by either VMware or Cisco. We had to. Aviatrix does not have to. Aviatrix is a transformation.

Cisco was never going to be beat. Ever. IBM was never going to be beat. Ever. Digital Equipment Corp. was never going to be beat. Ever. You remember how strong those companies were? What happened? What happened is the market made them irrelevant. The market decided on IP networking. Now you are DEC? What do you do. You are IBM what do you do? You are never going to out-mainframe IBM. But PC client server came on. Remember PCs were looked at as toys. Servers were a PC with two power supplies. Then it became enterprise networking.

The same thing is happening now with cloud. It has made what people are doing on prem basically irrelevant. Not that on prem is going to go away- like mainframe didn’t go away. But it just doesn’t really matter that much anymore. So keep that over there. Quarantine it. We won’t get rid of it but we won’t do a lot more of it.

So on premise guys are going to be saying – what about me? And everybody is going to be saying – ‘Are you still there?’

How fast is this happening?

Really fast. It’s slower and then faster. Humans think linearly. It never works that way. It takes longer and then when it happens it goes faster. So we’re now at that point where it is starting to happen faster.

You always overestimate in short-term and underestimate in the long -term.


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