January 11, 2022

From Concept to Disruption: The Evolution of DriveNets

DriveNets was established six years ago with the ambition of making networks as good as hyperscale cloud infrastructures.

From Concept to Disruption: The Evolution of DriveNets

‘As good as’ meant that DriveNets Network Cloud solution would:

  • Scale seamlessly – one white box at a time vs. chassis forklift upgrade
  • Be more efficient and cost-effective – standard hardware from a range of vendors, and a shared physical infrastructure for multiple networks and services
  • Enable service innovation – be a marketplace platform for new and 3rd party network-related services

The idea was straightforward, and the timing was right, as Broadcom’s Jericho chipset which was just introduced provided the perfect fit for standard networking white boxes. It allowed DriveNets to focus on the software, building cloud-native networks, disaggregated from the hardware on which they run.  Unlike other disaggregated networking vendors that started with lower-scale solutions on a single white box, DriveNets started at the core. Our thinking was that if we make it work at the hardest part of the network (high-scale/high-reliability), supporting from few to many white boxes in a cluster, it will be easy to scale down to the edge. And it was.

The Network That Got You Here Won't Get You There
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High-scale networking market transformation

Radically changing the way networks are built was not an easy task. It wasn’t only the rearchitecting of the router to a disaggregated software-based one, but it also required having service providers agree to change the way they built and operated networks for many years, while trusting a young unknown company. And the incumbent router vendors were not going to let it happen easily either.

We were fortunate enough to have an early customer – AT&T, that believed in the disaggregated network vision, and deployed DriveNets Network Cloud across their core backbone.  That certainly helped us gain the trust of other leading service providers. We now support a big chunk of AT&T’s traffic and continue to grow our customer share.

2021: A year of strong achievements

2021 was both a tough and a great year for us.  Despite the challenges created by COVID, we ended up with some strong achievements:

  • Won new tier-1 customers around the globe
  • Proved the quality of our network at the highest scale in the market
  • Built a large global sales team and expanded our reach based on funding from our second round of investment ($208M)
  • Engaged with more than 100 customers
  • Ran dozens of PoCs, doubling 2020’s number
  • Established key partnerships
  • And increased our momentum in the market, winning the industry’s support and awards

We also received very strong endorsements from our customers for the quality, capabilities, and our support of DriveNets Network Cloud.  Here are just a few:

  • Best quality we have seen in years – first ever routing system to reach production without bouncing back to the lab – Tier-1 operator in North America
  • DriveNets Network Cloud confirmed that we will be able to provide optimal service quality without interruption, even when traffic increases or other challenges occur, in a cloud-native environment – LG U+
  • DriveNets’ modern, agile code-development methodology delivers higher feature velocity and faster time-to-market than we have ever seen before. This is more important than what features are supported today – a different North American operator

These are just a few of the very strong endorsements we received.  I can honestly say that we have wowed every operator who tried our solution in their labs. We received many compliments for our quality and capabilities, many times comparing us favorably to competing routing solutions.  These competitive praises triggered the idea for a new marketing campaign.

The Network that Got You Here Won’t Get You There

We created a few short competitive videos that show what we do today vis-à-vis how things have been done for the past 20 years.  I hope that you’ll enjoy watching them here.

And yes, everyone can go down the path of facing their competitors with a funny marketing campaign. In fact, when you are a small company, people will give you some leeway for your ‘chutzpah’ (audacity) in doing so. But not everyone has the track record to validate it, and established customers to back it up.

No doubt that our campaign is a bit bold (and we certainly respect the incumbent vendors who established this market), but it’s really time for a change.  Time to build networks like cloud. DriveNets Network Cloud has shown that it is possible and effective. Delivering the highest network scale in the world today based on a disaggregated software-based networking solution requires a lot of chutzpah as well.

Learn what is network cloud.

The network that got you here won't get you there.

DriveNets Network Cloud will.