But my one special company is DriveNets. It brings together innovation, good people (employees, customers, partners, investors, and advisors) and tons of passion, and unites them under the ambitious goal of transforming service provider networks to a modern cloud architecture. Its vision of building networks like cloud to empower a future of new connected experiences is inspiring.
DriveNets Receives Leading Lights Company of the Year (Private)
I believe that DriveNets won this prestigious Leading Lights award from Light Reading, for all the reasons that make it the most special company I’ve worked for. It’s the combination of a bold vision, passionate people, strong execution, and some chutzpah, with the end goal of making our customers successful. Following is a summary of what I believe are the ingredients that make DriveNets a ‘company of the year’.
The Right Idea – Building Networks Like Cloud
I joined DriveNets four years ago because I was inspired by the concept of building networks like cloud. I have been in the networking industry many years, with companies like Nortel, Riverstone (Alcatel-Lucent), and Cisco. The concept of building networks like cloud sounded so logical/obvious, that wanted to be part of it.
The key elements of ‘building networks like cloud’ include:
- Software-based router based on disaggregation of software and hardware. The hardware is based on an open design which was contributed to the Open Compute Project (OCP) and is manufactured by multiple vendors and can be purchased from them directly. The software is from us.
- Standard white boxes – two types of white-box building blocks can build any type of router at any size. This was specifically useful for us in addressing supply chain delays. We could support any customer’s PoC with any routing use case, with the white boxes we had in stock. Our customers inherit the same benefits – any routing use case with the same basic router building blocks.
- Network virtualization – DriveNets Network Operating System, DNOS, provides an abstraction layer like VMware’s hypervisor, enabling multiple routing services to run independently over a shared infrastructure of white boxes, using the resources of the router in the most efficient way.
Just like the cloud, all these capabilities improve resource utilization, simplify network scaling and lower overall cost. They also remove ‘vendor lock’ allowing service providers to make the best business and technology decisions, and all the service providers who have adopted it report substantial cost savings and faster deployment and scaling.
The Right Product – Continuous Innovation
Our Network Cloud solution has become a production-proven router equal to, and many times better than, incumbent routing platforms. Achieving such results based on a disaggregated, distributed, cloud-native architecture is a strong proof-point to the advantage of a ‘network built like cloud’ model. During the past year we introduced additional capabilities, many times ahead of any other routing platform. This only comes to show the strength of the cloud-like architecture and agility of software-based solutions.
- DriveNets was first to plug ZR/ZR+ optics into an open routing platform, breaking a decades-long vendor lock held by router vendors over telecom operators. Eight different vendors collaborate with us to test their ZR/ZR+ optics as native transceivers inserted into any Network Cloud-supported white box. These vendors included Coherent Corp., Acacia, now part of Cisco, Fujitsu Optical Components (FOC), NEC, Ciena, Infinera, Lumentum and InnoLight.
- In the past year, we also tripled our network scale with the introduction of the first white box supporting Broadcom Jericho 2C+ ASIC, delivering the highest density 400G routing platform.
The Right Team
Many times, I find myself saying “I am truly working with many very smart people” or “I really love the people I am working with”. This is the story of DriveNets. Many smart people, passionate about what they do, working very hard to change the networking industry.
I believe that our passion for innovation, meeting deadlines and ensuring our customers are satisfied is the secret to our success.
In the past couple of years, we expanded our international team with many cloud and networking experts from leading companies such as Cisco, Juniper, AWS, Nokia, Salesforce, Netflix, Fortinet, and others, growing our combined experience and knowledge.
Adding our incredible advisory board of industry giants, strong investors, and partners, who advise, open doors, and support us, we truly have the most amazing people on our side.
The Right Partners
It takes a village to open an industry that was closed from its inception. The hyperscalers have done it since they have the scale to influence their vendors. DriveNets is doing it with the support of strong customers and partners. Our ecosystem of partners is key to our success. From Broadcom to the white box providers (Ufispace, EdgeCore, Delta and others), optical solution vendors, and system integrators such as KGPCo, Itochu Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC), EPS Global, Wipro Limited, and more.
Most Importantly – Customers’ Trust
There is a reason why many operators work with us. Beyond our vision, DriveNets has demonstrated it can be trusted. Our routing solutions are successfully deployed at tier-1 operators around the world. It is not easy to compete with the largest, most established networking vendors in the world, who are rich in resources and people. It is our innovation, passion and dedication that make us successful.
Innovative service provider executives understand that the future favors the bold and are willing to adopt new solutions to change the future of their companies. These are the people who bring DriveNets into their companies. Every year we meet more of them, and every year the idea of networks built like cloud seems more logical.
While DriveNets has already made a big impact in the high-scale networking industry, what makes it a great company, worthy of the Company of the Year award, is a combination of all the things above.
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NCNF: From Network on a Cloud to Network Cloud