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Engineering VP Hops the Train Out of PlumGrid

Mitch Wagner
3/6/2014
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SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- PlumGrid VP engineering (and amateur racecar driver) Lele Nardin has left the SDN company after less than two years to work on the railroad.

Lilee Systems, which makes communications systems for railroads, recently announced it was hiring Nardin.

Source: veggiefrog
Source: veggiefrog

Nardin left PlumGrid Inc. , which has developed virtual network infrastructure software for companies building cloud datacenters, around the New Year, as planned from the time he joined the company in 2012, said PlumGrid president and CEO Awais Nemat. Nardin signed on for a two-year hitch to bring discipline to the engineering process and ship PlumGrid's software-defined networking product, IO Visor, which launched last year. (See Plumgrid Launches SDN Overlay Platform.)

"He was here for two years and did the job of getting the company up and running," Nemat said in an interview at the company's offices.

Nardin continues to advise PlumGrid, Nemat said.

PlumGrid has selected a successor for Nardin and will announce the choice in the second quarter, Nemat said.


SDN is one of a number of key topics that will feature at The Big Telecom Event (BTE), June 17/18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers.


Nardin was previously senior VP engineering at Ericsson Silicon Valley. Before that he worked at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) for 15 years, starting as a software engineer and serving as VP and general manager since 2000, according to a statement from PlumGrid when it announced Nardin's signing on.

    Nardin led some of Cisco's most profitable business units, all of which achieved annual revenue exceeding $1 billion. He also had oversight for some of the industry's most deployed routers, including the Cisco 7200, which he brought to the $10 billion revenue milestone, the Cisco 7500 and 7600 product families, the Cisco 10000, and the Cat6k and Cat5k. In addition, he drove the definition and development of the Cisco ASR1000, the modular router platform pioneering IOS over Linux and introducing the Cisco QuantumFlow processor.

The PlumGrid statement adds that "Nardin earned a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications Systems from the University of Padova, Italy, and is an amateur racecar driver." (See? I wasn't making that part up about the driving.)

I left messages with Lilee Systems and Nardin. If I hear anything interesting from them, I'll let you know in the comments below.

— 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.

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Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/13/2014 | 6:16:09 PM
Re: something smells funny
Indeed, there has even been a movie made of the subject.

Here's an example of how railroads are investing in Internet of Things
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/13/2014 | 6:14:04 PM
Re: something smells funny
Maybe the overlay concept is broken, or maybe Big Switch just didn't implement it right. There are other companies still pursuing that model, in addition to PlumGrid.
mendyk
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50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/13/2014 | 9:06:48 AM
Re: something smells funny
Plus, if you know any "train buffs," you know that their obsession with the rails doesn't border on insanity -- it lives smack in the middle of it.
Mitch Wagner
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50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/13/2014 | 12:03:19 AM
Re: something smells funny
There is huge demand for IoT in the rail community. All those miles of track and huge machines to install sensors on.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/11/2014 | 9:04:42 AM
Lele Nardin responds
This came in to my inbox last week -- March 5 to be precise. It got lost in the flood of my email. 

Lele Nardin says:

My joining Lilee and my role have been addressed by the announcements published on 2/19 (see http://finance.yahoo.com/news/lilee-systems-appoints-lele-nardin-140000258.html)

I have a personal connection with Lilee's executive team and I was attracted by the opportunity to work in the transportation industry developing M2M products

Thx Lele

 

DOShea
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50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/8/2014 | 9:16:21 PM
Re: something smells funny
PlumGrid's whole play has been based on an SDN overlay, a concept Big Switch walked away from because they viewed it as adding too much new complexity to the network -- or at least that is the gist of Big Switch told us not long ago. It also pits PlumGrid pretty directly against VMware--maybe there some change brewing around the platform.
Mitch Wagner
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50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/6/2014 | 7:30:18 PM
Re: something smells funny
Despite the TechTarget curse, they say they're doing well. The CEO told me they are planning to add headcount shortly.
Steve Saunders
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50%
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
3/6/2014 | 3:49:47 PM
Re: something smells funny
they got an A Series two years ago - $10M. So maybe the coffers are getting low? Also, they won an award from TechTarget; never a good thing. Worth keeping an eye on this.
Steve Saunders
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50%
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
3/6/2014 | 3:45:37 PM
something smells funny
I've heard Plumjuice is having problems, and this seems to confirm it. I'm not sure i buy the whole "this was the plan all along" line - and if they have a replacement lined up why can't they tell us who it is? also, Nardin's new job sounds really weird. He's going to make comms systems for a railway company? Wha? Really? That sounds like a major downwards shift. Unless he ust wants to play with a really giant train set  - in which case, FINE! 
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