Plexxi CEO Wants to Build Networks of the Future
Plexxi is looking to enable single-tier, low-latency networks that can scale quickly, can be dynamically configured in seconds, and that first determine what resources the workloads require, then set about pulling those resources together. Once demand shifts, the network can be reconfigured in almost real-time, recabled as often and as quickly as needed. It leverages photonics rather than traditional cables to move data around, which makes configuration easier and increases how fast data can move, according to Napolitano. "It allows us to do what we do," he said. "It allows us to build a more dynamic network, a more scalable network. Our networks are not defined by our cabling." Napolitano's initial year was focused on getting the company's first enterprise-ready products out the door and growing its available cash. In July, the vendor launched its Plexxi Switch 2 Series, which is designed to collapse the network into a single tier that needs only a single switch type optimized for east/west traffic. It leverages Plexxi's Control SDN controller and Connect application integration technologies, and is aimed at scale-out, virtualized, mobile and big data applications. In September, the company raised another $35 million from investors, which will be used for everything from sales and marketing to customer support and R&D. In total, Plexxi has raised more than $83 million since its founding in 2010. The company in July signed a distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics, and has a number of customers using its offerings, though Napolitano declined to name these customers."A year ago, it probably took us three hours to get someone to see the light," Napolitano said. "Now in 30 to 40 minutes we can show a demo and they get it. … We look for people who are going to be really open-minded about it. How do you solve old problems in new ways, or new problems in new ways? If you're building a data center of the future, we've got your network. The opportunity for us is enormous."
The CEO said one thing that has changed over the past year has been the discussions with potential customers.