Steve Herrod is a pioneer in cloud computing and virtualization. He's probably best known as the former Senior Vice President of Research and Development at VMware, the fast-growing virtualization software company. During his 11-year tenure, he helped guide the VMware technology strategy as the company grew from a startup into a 3,000-person engineering organization with $4 billion in annual revenue.  Prior to that, he worked at Transmeta, a Linux software specialist.

Currently, Herrod is a partner at the venture capital (VC) firm General Catalyst, where he looks at investments in cloud computing infrastructure and applications. Recently (actually it was about two month ago, but it took me forever to transcribe), I interviewed Herrod on the phone, asking him about new trends in virtualization and investing trends. 

This was an interesting conversation that was wide-ranging across many broad technology trends, including cloud computing, mobile, security, and data-center virtualization. Below, I have flip-flopped the interview around, starting with the concept of the "New IT," in which Herrod describes the many new challenges of the IT manager.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 16:33 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN, Applications, Interviews.
Keywords: Cloud, VMware, Cloud Security, NFV, SDN, Containers, Docker

Networking technology provider Infinera (INFN) today announced that it is shipping its Cloud Xpress product, a small optical networking platform targeted at data center connectivity. Cloud Express is part of a strategic move by Infinera to move packet optical technology into data centers. 

Packet optical techology combines the scale of optical networks with the flexibility of electronic traffic routing, and it has been primarily used for moving bits along core telecom networks or metro networks. Infinera sees this changing as the boost in traffic created by data-center growth is creating more "East-West" traffic, which means servers talking to one another either inside a data center or between two data centers.

Investors appeared to like the story. Infinera shares rose 4% to $14.68 in mid-day trading, nearing a 52-week high. The Cloud XPress platform had been previously announced, but it had not yet shipped. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 17:20 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Infinera, Cloud, East West Traffic, Data Centers, Packet Optical

Riverbed Technology Inc. (RVBD), which earlier in the year fell prey to activist investor Elliott Management Corp., has agreed to be acquired for $3.6 billion by private-equity firm Thoma Bravo and Canadian pension group Teachers’ Private Capital.

The deal is being done at $21 per share, a 12 percent premium over the prior day's deal, according to a statement released by the WAN optimization specialist today.  

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 17:45 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Riverbed, Elliott Management, WAN Optimization, Jerry Kennelly

Networking technology provider Ciena (CIEN) reported a fourth quarter 2014 loss of 16 cents per share on Thursday night, but its shares responded positively, with much of the bad news already built in. Ciena reported total revenue in the quarter of $2.3 billion, a 10% increase over 2013. 

The stock was trading at $18.29, up about 1% in the morning session. 

Shares of Ciena have suffered in recent months on the continued bleak outlook for capital spending (capital spending) at the major service providers. AT&T said on Nov. 10th that it would be shrinking capex by 15% in 2015. The capex fear has in fact been a major theme through the year. The Rayno Report wrote last June that a "Capex Freakout" was already underway.  

This entry was posted on Friday, December 12, 2014 at 17:20 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Ciena, Capital Spending, AT&T, SDN, NFV

Network security specialist Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is rapidly climbing the market-share charts, enjoying quick revenue growth as cloud operations drive new network security installations, according to networking hardware purveyor and blogger Brad Reese of Bradreese.com.

Reese, citing industry numbers he attributes to Infonetics.com as circulated in internal Cisco memos, says Palo Alto has moved into the number four market-share position with 7.8% market share among network security vendors in Q3 2014. This makes Palo Alto the fastest growing network security vendor of the year with 17% quarter/quarter growth and 56% growth year/year. 

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 15:05 pm and is filed under Applications.
Keywords: Network Security, Cloud, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Fortinet

In order to improve the way organizations handle their cloud assets, Microsoft and Accenture have launched a hybrid cloud platform for Microsoft Azure cloud services. Avanade, as the joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, will offer Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure.

“This package aims to help companies to move easily towards the cloud technologies”, said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s CTO, in a statement. Daughtery cited the trend of enterprises telling Accenture that “they need to be on the hybrid cloud."

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 14:44 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: Microsoft, Accenture, Hybrid Cloud

In filing a major lawsuit against rival networking technology company Arista Networks (ANET) on Friday, Cisco (CSCO) has done some initial damage in what is likely to be a long legal war. Arista shares have taken a huge hit, as they sank another 8% in early trading Monday after losing about 7% on Friday after the lawsuit was announced.

Arista's share slump is an indication that the investment community is taking the lawsuit seriously. It also indicates that Cisco has won the initial PR battle in the court of public opinion, although Arista will certainly fire back once it has had time to digest the lawsuit. 

On Friday, Arista officials said they needed time to respond to the lawsuit but Arista Cofounder and CEO Jayshree Ullal, a former Cisco employee, said she was "disappointed at Cisco's tactics." 

This entry was posted on Monday, December 08, 2014 at 16:17 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Cisco, Arista, Cloud, Lawsuits, Jayshree Ullal, Simon Leopold

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) today announced that it is suing Arista Networks Inc. (ANET), the data-center switching company that was founded by Cisco alumni and recently went public. 

Cisco is accusing Arista of infringing on an array of Cisco patents and copyrights associated with its networking equipment. Cisco says it is also suing Arista for intellectual property violations, including copying copyrighted material from user manuals and command lines in management interfaces.

The patent lawsuit, filed in United States District Court, Norther California, was posted here, though Arista says it has not yet received the complaint. The copyright lawsuit, also filed in the Northern California District, was posted here

This entry was posted on Friday, December 05, 2014 at 21:38 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Cisco, Arista, Cloud, Jayshree Ullal, David Cheriton, John Chambers, SDN, Andy Bechtolsheim

(Editor's Note: This is guest column published in conjunction with the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, to which Rayno Media Inc. belongs.)

Running a ranch with vast landscapes and numerous livestock can be complicated, but University of Montana student Walker Milhoan has a technology that he thinks will make ranching more sustainable and profitable. And his business venture is promising enough that he was selected as a finalist at Blackstone LaunchPad’s recent Demo Day in New York City.

University of Montana student Walker Milhoan, founder of Ranchlogs, pitches at the 2014 Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day in NYC. Milhoan was one of six contestants nationwide who made it to the final round of competition.

Milhoan’s business venture, Ranchlogs, was one of 20 selected to attend the event where students competed to win prizes ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to be used to further their business development. Paul Gladen, UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad director, nominated Milhoan to attend the competition where he progressed to the final rounds with the top six. The LaunchPad, an experiential campus program designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path, began on the UM campus in February 2014, and it has advised more than 100 ventures, including Ranchlogs. MSU also has the Blackstone LaunchPad program on its campus in Bozeman, and Pam Haxby-Cote is the program’s Montana regional director based in Butte.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 04, 2014 at 17:54 pm and is filed under Applications, Investing, #RkyMtnBiz, Bozeman Biz.
Keywords: Blackstone Launchpad, MT High Tech Alliance, Missoula, Ranchlogs, Software

Pluribus has released the next iteration of its network virtualization software, Netvisor 2.2, as well as results from the Securities Technologies Analysis Center (STAC) benchmark associated with one of its financial services customers, Lucera.

Lucera said in a statement that the Pluribus' F64 platform, an open Software Defined Networking (SDN) server-switch, is the "backbone" of its network and has set new scores in five of 17 STAC M3 benchmarks. Lucera is building a high-performance financial services network based on open SDN technologies.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2014 at 17:06 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: Pluribus Networks, White Boxes, Netvisor, Lucera, Broadcom, Intel
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