& cplSiteName &

UNVEILED! California's Hottest SDN Startup, Versa Networks

Mitch Wagner
2/19/2014
50%
50%

Light Reading has uncovered California's hottest stealth software-defined networking (SDN) startup, Versa Networks , a company founded by Silicon Valley networking royalty and backed by one of the biggest venture capital names in communications technology.

Versa, made up of former Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) executives, is currently in stealth mode, but we've found out that the company is working on a new software management system designed to bridge the datacenter and WAN (wide area network) to create a single virtual network that spans from the customer premises to the cloud.

Versa is looking to streamline the management of end-to-end connections by eliminating the need to switch between different networks to connect customers to the cloud. Companies would be able to use the same management tools and support staff for the LAN and WAN.

If Versa can deliver on its dream, that could be a huge deal for communications service providers (CSPs), as their future depends on the efficient delivery of services and applications from datacenter/cloud platforms across their managed networks to their customers' premises and devices.

"That's the Holy Grail they're working toward," said a former colleague of the founders, who spoke with Light Reading on condition of anonymity.

Versa's Santa Clara, California, Headquarters
Viewed from Google Earth. We have helpfully highlighted key features of the office. You're welcome!
Viewed from Google Earth. We have helpfully highlighted key features of the office. You're welcome!

In pursing this dream, Versa puts itself into competition with networking superpowers Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper, and more. (See SDN's Northbound Ascent, Embrane Helps Cisco Build Its SDN Strategy, and Blessed Are the SDN Switchmakers.)

But Versa, under the leadership of co-founders Kumar and Apurva Mehta, has the brains to do it.

"The Mehta brothers" -- that sounds like they should be James Bond supervillains, complete with a white cat. But these siblings are engineering geniuses who previously plied their trade at Juniper Networks, where Kumar was VP of engineering and Apurva the CTO and chief architect for the mobility business unit.

"Those guys I would say are among the top networking engineers in the valley," said a former colleague of the Mehtas, who also requested anonymity. "They built the Juniper MX core switch from start to finish. [That's] a billion-a-quarter business for Juniper. There are very few people in the industry who have the mind to wake up every single morning and think all day and every day about how you move packets. That's what they do." (See Juniper Primes Its Edge Router Lineup.)

He noted that Sequoia Capital invested $14.4 million in Versa, "which is a huge Series A." He added, "Series A are usually two-handed deals with two VCs. But Sequoia didn't want anyone else, so they took it all."

Next page: Versa's plan and open positions.

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
pjbclarke
50%
50%
pjbclarke,
User Rank: Lightning
2/21/2014 | 5:11:33 PM
Re: This is going to shake things up....
Looks like the investment was made in 2012 http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/27/vice-or-versa-either-way-stealth-networking-startup-gets-14-35m/
R Clark
100%
0%
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
2/20/2014 | 1:20:21 AM
Nice day
The Sequoia guys must be feeling good today with their SDN play getting quality Light Reading airtime, but owning a piece of WhatsApp probably helped.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 3:52:32 PM
Re: Memories
Sam

Mobile taxi apps are about the most dotcom-ish things on wheels right now. Look at the amount of money thrown at them in 2013: http://www.lightreading.com/services-apps/mobile-services/mobile-services-are-next-uber-trend/a/d-id/705859
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 3:24:01 PM
Memories
Every time the words "hot" and "SDN" are attached to a vendor (particularly one that apparently hasn't sold anything) I feel nostalgia for the old dotcom days.
Steve Saunders
50%
50%
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 1:45:52 PM
oh wow
An exclusive story about business, technology, the technology of business, and people - with a laugh out loud snort coffee thru your nose humorous graphic? Hmmmm.

1. I feel like i just got transported back 12 years (so why aren't I thinner?)

2. Best story I've read on LR this year... kudos and points, Mitchell.

 

 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 12:52:07 PM
Pursuing the Holy Grail
Versa's area of focus is intriguing - streamlining end-to-end management of network connections is, indeed, the Holy Grail. 

It will be interesting to see what they bring to the party as a start-up, not having to deal with any particular set of hardware or legacy systems. 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 11:04:19 AM
Now hiring?
Your post is going to help Versa in its recruiting efforts. Bear-fighting, bowling, and UFOs?? Startups always have the coolest digs.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:23:23 AM
More ex-Juniper staff...
The apparent exodus of technologists from Juniper is fueling the SDN revolution.
Ray@LR
0%
100%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:17:28 AM
This is going to shake things up....
If the Mehta brothers are as gifted as Sequoia's backing suggests, this could make some network operators very excited and some other vendors very nervous... 
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
Alan Bateman, Director, Agile Transformation
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Fiber Can't Be Called a Failure
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2016
FirstNet: A Billion-Dollar Boondoggle?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/26/2016
WiCipedia: Should Men Be Included? & Olympians Face Discrimination
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/26/2016
Is There No Stopping Huawei?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 8/26/2016
How the Padres Hit an IoT Home Run
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.