Light Reading
Cisco-backed Embrane hires Burns, who oversaw years of growth for Spirent, but was sacked in 2013 when sales flagged.

Embrane Taps Ex-Spirent Boss Bill Burns as CEO

Mitch Wagner
4/1/2014
50%
50%

Cisco-backed virtual applications startup Embrane this week named as its new CEO Bill Burns, who previously experienced an unhappy ending to an otherwise successful stint heading up test and measurement systems vendor Spirent Comunications.

Burns replaces Embrane Inc. co-founder, Dante Malagrinò, who continues as chief product officer.

"Under Burns' leadership, Spirent grew revenue and profitability while establishing Spirent as a market share leader across each of its market segments," Embrane said in a statement.

That's true, but not the whole truth. Burns was named CEO of Spirent Communications plc (NYSE: SPM; London: SPT) in 2008. While sales grew during most of Burns's time there, revenues were flat in 2012 and down in the first half of last year. Spirent dumped Burns in September. (See Spirent Dumps Its CEO).

The transition seems to be a classic case of an entrepreneurial founder bringing in professional management to take the company to the next level. As a matter of fact, Embrane uses that exact phrase in its statement, attributed to Malagrinò. "With our customer traction, our new round of funding, and our string of industry partnerships, it's clear the time is now to take the company to the next level and Bill is the perfect candidate to carry our momentum forward. Blah blah excited blah blah challenges something about enterprises and service providers."

OK, so I may have made up the bit that starts with "blah blah," but the rest is verbatim.

And, as the statement verifies, Embrane has a new cash injection to help Burns reach that next level. The company recently announced a $14 million Series-C funding round led by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Also chipping in are new Embrane investor Presideo Ventures, and previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and North Bridge Venture Partners. (See Embrane Helps Cisco Build Its SDN Strategy.)

Embrane also announced partnerships to deliver its virtual lifecycle management solution for the Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv) as well as virtual appliances from Cisco-owned Sourcefire. (See Cisco Banks on Sourcefire & Snort for Security.)

Embrane's pitch to customers is that it can offer an efficient way to introduce and manage essential applications, such as firewalls and load balancers, into a traditional or software-defined network through the use of its heleos software platform. Heleos provisions virtual servers, connecting them to the network, assigning rules and policies to applications, enables high availability, and automates licensing and usage monitoring for virtual appliances. The software is designed to eliminate the need to manage those functions manually.

While Embrane's software system and applications can be used in all kinds of network architectures, and is hardware-agnostic, its approach is tailor-made for SDN-enabled networks, which makes Cisco's support for Embrane intriguing, as SDN is both a threat and an opportunity for Cisco. On the one hand, SDN threatens Cisco's mainstay business -- selling proprietary hardware. On the other hand, software-defined networks will likely come in many different forms, including a Cisco flavor. The router giant sees a real opportunity in helping network operators (enterprise and telco) embrace SDN and NFV, supported by Cisco hardware, software and consulting services: Embrane provides some of the software smarts that are likely to attract the attention of network managers focused on flexibility in virtualized environments. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to mwagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/7/2014 | 2:10:18 PM
Re: Startup or Turnaround Companies in T&M will always absorb proven Talent!
Vishnu - Indeed, if leaving a job under ill will disqualified a person from future equivalent positions, we'd all be dishwashers now. 
Vishnu Goel
50%
50%
Vishnu Goel,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/1/2014 | 1:24:26 PM
Startup or Turnaround Companies in T&M will always absorb proven Talent!
A very typical example of how on 'Filmsy" ground CEOs are eased out of the job,the Board Room upheavels happen, and they are not only rehabilitated,but welcomed with open arms to build another company Professionaly.Vishnu Goel T&M +919810101238
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed