SD-WAN specialist Viptela has appointed Praveen Akkiraju, an executive with some serious routing and cloud chops, as its new CEO, replacing founder Amir Khan, who becomes the company's president.
Akkiraju spent nearly 20 years (1993-2012) at Cisco, where he held a number of roles, including senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Services Routing Technology Group. He then became CEO at VCE, the cloud infrastructure business set up by Cisco, EMC and VMware, from July 2012 to April 2016. (The VCE business was swallowed up by the merger of Dell and EMC.) (See Cisco & EMC's VCE Gets a CEO.)
According to his LinkedIn account, Akkiraju has been an "advisor" at Viptela since November last year.
Now he's taken on the top executive job at Viptela, where he'll be locking horns with former Cisco colleague Kelly Ahuja, who took the CEO role at rival SD-WAN vendor Versa Networks last November. (See Ahuja's Next Chapter Is Versa.)
The aim of both Akkiraju and Ahuja will be to land the biggest slice of the SD-WAN technology market, which is gaining significant traction as network operators invest in SD-WAN capabilities and launch services: Analysts at IDC expect the market for SD-WAN services to be worth more than $6 billion in 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 90% during the 2015-2020 period.
Viptela already has some major network operator customers under its belt, including Verizon, SingTel and more recently Pakistan's PTCL. (See Verizon's Next With VNFs and SingTel Teams With Viptela on SDN-Based Service.)
And the company has received significant funding, raising a $75 million Series C round in May 2016 to take its total funding to almost $110 million. Its investors include Redline Capital, Northgate Capital and Sequoia Capital.
Of course, there's plenty of competition to land the SD-WAN technology deals that are being handed out by network operators and enterprises: In addition to Viptela and Versa, the likes of ADVA, Cisco, CloudGenix, Cradlepoint, Nokia's Nuage Networks, Riverbed, Silver Peak, VeloCloud and more are offering SD-WAN solutions in what is one of the hottest markets in 2017. (See Getting Hotter: Fog, LTE-A Pro, MANO, NB-IoT & SD-WAN and SD-WAN Boom Coming in Next 2 Years.)
For more, see:
- ADVA Makes Anti-Appliance SD-WAN Play
- Colt Takes Versa on Its SD-WAN Journey
- BT Enters SD-WAN Fray With Cisco
- Silver Peak Stakes SD-WAN Claim
- VeloCloud Touts SD-WAN Wins
- CradlePoint Launches NetCloud for Private Cloud Networks
- Verizon Turns to SevOne for SD-WAN Visibility
- Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017
- Versa Grabs Global SD-WAN Win With Tata
- Eurobites: BT Deploys Nuage for SD-WAN
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading