Light Reading
Led by engineering talent formerly of Juniper Networks, the company is working to bridge enterprise LANs with service provider cloud networks.

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  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
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. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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... 
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 Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed