Pluribus Networks: Next-generation Fabric-based Network

Pluribus Networks, founded in April 2010, is a leader in performance-oriented network virtualization for enterprise and cloud datacenters. Its software defined networking systems transform how IT administrators deploy applications so they can realize productivity gains and enable new business models.

Kumar Srikantan, CEO

Kumar was VP/GM Engineering for the Enterprise Networking Business at Cisco where he was responsible for the engineering execution of Cisco’s Enterprise Networking portfolio. Kumar brings 25 years of diverse leadership and operational experience in the technology industry that spans development, marketing, and engineering across computing, silicon and communications industries.

Simple, Elegant, Elastic, Cost-Effective Services

Pluribus Networks’ Netvisor OS (nvOS) and its OCP hardware compatible cousin Open Netvisor Linux (ONVL) are networking hypervisors intended to advance the vision of the software defined datacenter (SDDC) through the use of distributed controller technologies coupled with high-performance open and commodity switching platforms.

The company supplies its Netvisor operating system software in two packaging options:

  • In turnkey solutions in which Netvisor is coupled with high-performance 10G/40G switches.
  • As a software operating system for third-party open switches. such as those from Dell.

Both provide advanced SDN capabilities including virtualized fabric, segmentation, and 100% visibility into every flow of data across the entire networking fabric.

Pluribus markets its best-in-class “controller-less” FABRIC and VISIBILITY capabilities which are demonstrably richer and easier to deploy than any other current SDN offering in the industry.

Challenges faced

Like many Silicon Valley companies, Pluribus started as an engineering driven company, realizing a dream about how simplified fabric networking could re-write the book on data center networking. The very nature of proprietary switching would need to be challenged to allow the industry to move forward, following the same path at that seen when servers and storage were virtualized.

The Software-Defined Networking marketplace is both crowded and poorly defined. The Pluribus solution is feature and performance rich, and must be adopted by those enterprises and cloud providers that are forward looking, answering the challenges that they are just beginning to see, rather than taking the status quo approach and repeating the dated designs that they have used for more than a dozen years.

Future perspective

Pluribus is part of the software-defined data center re-tooling effort. Compute, storage and networks must all change in the face of shifts to virtualization, changes in consumption models from traditional to cloud and the new set of security challenges imposed on top of everything.

Pluribus is building eco-systems of complementary vendors and assuring and demonstrating interoperability during these Transformational years will keep Pluribus very busy for the next 5 years to be sure.

Suggestions for the startups

Focus on solving customer problems, Period. Realize that customer problems have two root causes; 1) Their Need to Save Money, or 2) Their Need to Make Money. Inventing new technologies can be academically exciting, but the most successful entrepreneurs think about the problems experienced by potential customers and then solve those specific problems.

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