Q & A with the ex-Cisco star who joined ethernet fabric switching startup, Woven Systems

Woven Systems - Power Ethernet Fabrics for the Data Center

Joseph Ammirato
Cisco veteran Joseph Ammirato has joined Ethernet Fabric Switching startup Woven Systems as Vice-President of Marketing. Why the move? According to Ammirato, after conducting major due diligence into Woven, he became convinced that the startup was on to something major. So we caught up with Joe Ammirato to get the scoop!

Q: What was your first job at Cisco? I was hired into Cisco as Director of Product Management in its Access Router line of business. This is the Cisco business that has produced notable routers such as the 2500, 800, 1600, 1700 and ISRs.

Q: Did you get promoted during your time at Cisco? Yes, I was promoted to Senior Director of Marketing at Cisco which is one level below Vice-President.

Q: How would you describe your experience working at Cisco? Cisco is a great place to learn how a high-tech company can maintain high growth despite the law of large numbers. They have a great CEO in John Chambers who constantly challenges his company to achieve. Cisco has an outstanding intranet which automates workflow and keeps its employees on the same page. Finally, they have the best sales force I have ever seen.

Q: How did Cisco prepare you for your next role to be an entrepreneur? Cisco exposed me to a wide breath of networking technology and industry leaders. I also learned leadership from some outstanding executives.

Q: Why the move to Woven Systems? Globalization, the flattening of the world according to Thomas Friedman, has generated new opportunities for networking vendors. Our customers now face a 24x7 business climate with relentless technological change, a growing global customer base, and increasing worldwide competition. This global dynamic has dramatically increased our customers’ need for information in real-time. At the forefront of thirst for real-time information is our customers’ datacenters. Woven Systems has a unique datacenter network solutions architecture that will help enable our customers to meet the inevitable scale-out of their datacenters into the next decade.

Q: What is unique about Woven Systems products and solutions? Woven produces the highest density non-blocking 10GE switch in a compact form factor with relatively low power draw. Woven EFX 1000 Ethernet Fabric Switch

Woven EFX 1000 Ethernet Fabric Switch
However, Woven is not about boxes, it’s about solutions to scale-out connectivity in datacenters. Customers can weave or connect our high-density switches into a fabric which scales non-blocking bandwidth from datacenter servers to client hosts and the Internet. And, Woven doesn’t stop there. Our switches also contain an ASIC-based vSCALE packet processing technology, which minimizes congestion through a Woven Fabric. We call this benefit Dynamic Congestion Avoidance. Three vSCALE processors with twelve 10GE connectors:
Three vSCALE processors with twelve 10GE connectors

Q: Despite Cisco putting a lot of marketing muscle behind its Nexus 7000 platform that is being positioned as its next-generation switching system for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) data centers of the future, Woven has successfully attracted Ammirato and others from Cisco... What’s Woven's secret sauce? Woven Systems created its vSCALE technology to overcome the shortcomings of traditional Ethernet switches in the data center while strictly adhering to Ethernet and networking standards. This gives Woven the ability to provide an Ethernet Fabric with ultra-low latency and jitter while also enabling non-blocking 10GE throughput. Moreover, we do all that while minimizing power and space consumption. This sets Woven apart from the rest of the box crowd. The Woven Dashboard fabric monitoring software gives users an effortless management solution to monitor average latencies for thousands of network flows. Fabric auto-discovery:

Fabric auto-discovery
The Woven Dashboard automatically discovers the network topology and displays congestion hot spots to provide IT with a snapshot of overall network performance. Fabric latency and congestion monitor:
Fabric latency and congestion monitor
Through the Dashboard, IT administrators can drill down to Layer 4 flows to identify and accelerate problem diagnosis and determine where additional fabric capacity may be needed. Drill-down to application flow:
Drill-down to application flow

Q: What are you doing now that you couldn’t do at Cisco? Surgically focus on rapidly delivering a new standards-based networking design, the Ethernet Fabric, to an exciting and fast-growing Datacenter market segment.

Q: What is your exit plan? Grow an innovative, networking solutions focused company to meet our customers’ ever-increasing globalization demands.

Do YOU agree with Joseph Ammirato that Woven's secret sauce has what it takes to be a winner in the marketplace?

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