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Leading Disruption By @PlexxiInc [#SDN #BigData]

The world is poised for transition. About once every generation, we go through step-function changes in IT

by Rich Napolitano, CEO of Plexxi

My entire career has been spent finding disruption and cultivating the technologies needed to convert that disruption into real business value for customers. It is with that objective in mind that I am thrilled to join the Plexxi team as Chief Executive Officer, alongside my good friend and colleague Dave Husak, who will lead our product development efforts.

We are in a unique moment in time, with massive technological and business model changes underway in parallel. Everything we know about compute, storage, networking, and applications is in transformation. Changes like this have not occurred in over twenty years. And change of this magnitude breeds opportunity.

My decision to join Plexxi was actually many months in the making. In my previous job leading EMC’s Unified Storage Division, I drove over $30B in revenue during my tenure with over 2000 people in the global organizational for which I was responsible. In that role, I had a fairly unique vantage point of the IT industry as a whole. I certainly spent time viewing the landscape from my position within a major infrastructure manufacturer. But I also got to engage with channel and technology partners across the entire IT spectrum to see how they viewed all these competing and complementary technologies. And perhaps most importantly, I was fortunate to have direct access to customers so I could understand not just today’s issues but tomorrow’s challenges.

So what did I learn?

The world is poised for transition. About once every generation, we go through step-function changes in IT. We started in the 60s with the mainframe era. About 25 years later in the early 90s, we went through another evolution driven by the rise of the Internet. Its been just about 25 years since that last major inflection point. Change is imminent.

The question for me as I was planning out my next move was simple: how will this change manifest itself, and where do I need to be to intersect with the massive opportunity it creates? And how do we build something enduring as we address this change?

The driver for the first major IT transition was the Internet. It enabled an explosion in the number of users, and it allowed them to be geographically distributed. This forced a change in how applications were architected, and that architectural transformation was responsible for shaping all of IT. As we approach a second transition period, the question is what is this era’s Internet? What is it that will drive architectural change?

I believe the next era in IT will be defined by data and the new ways it will be consumed. The rise of Big Data applications is enabling an explosion in the amount of data, and to make this data usable in application contexts, we are seeing massive distribution—not just across servers but also across geographical areas. To take advantage of the vast amounts of data available today, applications themselves are going through another architectural transformation. And that transformation will inform how the rest of IT will have to look when everything settles.

So what are the properties of this new data-oriented world? Well, to start, the data is vast and dispersed. This means that the applications must be performant and distributed, which will mark a shift in applications away from tiered to more horizontally scaled architectures. And that will drive a fundamental change in all of the IT infrastructure elements that support these applications.

To support these new applications, the infrastructure must be more agile. Gone are the days when you could pre-design your compute, storage and network environments. Today’s web-facing applications might service 100, 1,000, 1,000,000, 10,000,000 clients. You simply cannot predict the rate of growth or adoption. Accordingly, we need technology building blocks that can easily scale without redesign.

With that in mind, I spent months looking at opportunities at companies both large and small to see if anyone had arrived at a set of technical theses that would support this vision of a new IT era. Plexxi stood out among a crop of fantastic companies as having the right combination of vision, product, and team to capitalize on the changing IT landscape. With their bets that the datacenter would be photonically interconnected, software defined, and integrated and automated, Plexxi is one of the few companies positioned to solve today’s problems while simultaneously preparing for the next-generation IT world.

For the first time in 25 years, the networking industry is up for grabs. Now is the time in the industry and technology transition when the next set of great companies will be built. Who wins and loses will be based more on architectural tenets than on incumbency and inertia. Success will be determined more by applications and data than by boxes and knobs. And I wanted to make sure I was in a position to not only see this change from up close but also drive the transformation and build a great company. Plexxi is delivering simply better networks for this new era in IT. Are you ready?

The post Leading Disruption appeared first on Plexxi.

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More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

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