SDN start-up stitches together clouds

Avni founded by Cisco, Juniper veterans to develop cloud application portability

Avni team

A software-defined networking start-up has emerged from stealth mode proposing accelerated deployment of applications and services spanning private, public or hybrid clouds.

Avni was founded by engineers from Cisco and Juniper Networks. They built the Avni Software Defined Cloud (SDC) platform to eliminate vendor lock-in in the development and deployment of hybrid cloud applications and services.

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Avni SDC, available now, is intended to reduce the time and cost of deploying existing multi-tier applications to a cloud from weeks to minutes, and to move applications from one cloud to another without retooling. Avni SDC is currently in use in about five global companies in the retail, financial services, and media industries, and at two cloud providers, company officials say.

Citing data from Goldman Sachs and Computerworld, Avni says cloud revenues are expected to reach $106 billion by 2016 and that 42% of enterprises will invest in cloud services in 2015. The demand is stoked by the potential to reduce the cost and complexity of corporate computing, Avni says, but with it comes challenges: vendor lock-in, and an inability to dynamically and cost-effectively move and manage applications between public, private and hybrid clouds.

The strategy sounds similar to Cisco’s InterCloud, but Avni argues that Cisco requires its own Layer 2/3 hardware and other connectivity requirements while SDC abstracts applications and Layer 4/7 services.

Enterprises also need to ensure that secure cloud applications and network services continue to be highly available and scalable, while containing capital and operating costs. Avni’s SDC is targeted at replacing legacy licensing models with a per-application, pay-per-consumption model.

Avni SDC runs on x86 servers and uses packet processing and security optimization technologies. The software runs as a distributed controller across clouds, and the various cloud controllers connect with each other to facilitate workload mobility.

SDC users create a blueprint for their application by dragging and dropping declarative policies, auto-testing applications and software-defined network services, and deploying applications to the cloud of their choice. Scalability and QoS are achieved through predictive analytics, Avni says.

Avni co-founders are Cisco and Juniper veterans Rohini Kasturi and Ravi Nuguru. Kasturi, the CEO, holds 25 patents; Nuguru is the COO. The company is headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., with development offices in Bengaluru, India

Avni’s funding is in the “low millions,” Kasturi says, and the company is backed by Alsop Louie Partners along with over 15 entrepreneurs and CEOs who have funded other companies. Kasturi says Avni will be announcing a “big round” of funding shortly.

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