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AI/Automation

Augtera Networks raises $13M for 'Network AI'

A group of executives from the likes of Cisco, Juniper and Gainspeed are fronting a new startup called Augtera Networks that hopes to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to more quickly detect networking troubles.

The Palo Alto, California-based company claims that its initial foray into the space is already producing some tangible results. Augtera claims its "Network AI" intelligence platform can prevent 40% to 50% of network incidents, with 90% faster detection of critical issues and 50% to 60% reduction in resolution times. "We believe that these numbers have significant room to improve with constant online learning and as the platform matures," the company wrote on its website.

Augtera's findings are backed by some big names and numbers. The company on Tuesday announced it raised $13 million in a Series A round of funding led by Intel Capital, bringing its total financial warchest to $18 million. Other investors included Bain Capital Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital and Acrew Capital.

Further, VentureBeat reported that Augtera's software is already running in the networks of big companies like Orange and Colt Technologies. And it's also being sold by Dell and Netone, connections that could expand Augtera's customer base.

So what does the company's platform do? "Augtera is reimagining network performance and management using its … AI algorithms to provide proactive visibility, prevent network incidents, and dramatically reduce resolution times," company CEO Rahul Aggarwal told VentureBeat.

Augtera explained in its post that its AI- and ML-powered platform scans networks in order to "automatically find what's normal, to find problems when they are brewing, before they reach the boiling point and before things break. This allows operators to detect problems, grey failures and unknown unknowns proactively, thereby avoiding network incidents."

The company said its offering works across all network architectures, including hyperscale data centers, private clouds, wide area networks, SD-WAN services and hybrid clouds.

The company's management team sports the resumes to back up their message. Co-Founder Bhupesh Kothari hails from Gainspeed, subsequently acquired in 2016 by Nokia (and now part of Vecima Networks). Aggarwal worked at Juniper Networks before founding Arktan, subsequently acquired by Janrain. And the company's top engineering and sales executives feature the likes of Cisco, Equinix and Observable Networks (acquired by Cisco) in their resumes.

Augtera isn't the first company to boast of using AI and ML to improve network operations for enterprises, network operators and others. Amazon, Verizon, Comcast, Ericsson, AT&T and others have discussed similar efforts. Nonetheless, Augtera's fundraising round lands at an important time in the telecom and networking industry as network operators increasingly look at advanced technologies to improve their operations and enterprises and invest further in their own networking operations.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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