& 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... 
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
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.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
LRTV Custom TV
RAD Demonstrates SD-WAN Functionality at BCE 2016

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


In conjunction with Versa Networks, RAD demos a joint solution for SD-WAN implementation. The solution uses RAD's ETX-2i, a vCPE platform integrating a powerful IP and Carrier Ethernet NID/NTU with a field-pluggable x86 NFV module that runs Versa's FlexVNF for SD-WAN functionality. The demo implements SD-WAN over a simulated service provider footprint by deploying ...
LRTV Custom TV
Radware on Virtualizing Network Security

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


Radware's Michael O'Malley highlights the benefits for service providers of virtualizing network security.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei 2016 UBBS World Tour: Singapore

6|21|16   |   02:39   |   (0) comments


Highlights from Huawei's UBBS World Tour event in Singapore.
LRTV Custom TV
The FlowBROKER Solution

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


During a demo at the Big Communications Event 2016, Accedian director of product line solutions Greg Spear demonstrates how the FlowBROKER distributed packet capture solution (part of Accedian's SkyLIGHT platform) can be used to troubleshoot and resolve QoE issues.

FlowBROKER is the industry's first lossless remote packet capture solution, which uses ...

LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: Dell & the New World Order

6|21|16   |   22:48   |   (0) comments


Dell's Jim Ganthier on how the very essence of enterprise is being affected by digital disruption – and how the cloud can help companies find a path forward.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: The CSP of the Future

6|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Traditional telecom operators have been adopting new ways of doing business from the IT sector and emulating web-scale companies in their technology adoption. Are these strategies succeeding? A panel of experts at BCE considered the evidence...
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 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/20/2016
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
Twitter Buys Magic Pony... Not That Kind
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/20/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE/ISBE, sits down with Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York office to discuss the society's Energy 2020 campaign, including its mission to benefit the environment, enable economic benefits and the key challenges facing cable operators wanting to reduce energy consumption.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.