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Axiowave on Track for More Funding

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
5/7/2002
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Axiowave Networks Inc. has raised $37 million in new funding, and company officials claim it's near to raising another $8 million more to close a total of $45 in its third round.

The size of the round and the fact that the news wasn't volunteered by the company appear to be hopeful signs, although Axiowave's still in pre-product mode and has much left to prove -- in a market that seems clearly down for the count.

The startup's founder and CEO Mukesh Chatter, who gained fame in selling Nexabit networks to Lucent for nearly $1 billion (see Lucent Loses Two Big Names and Lucent Cleans Up Core Routing ), says he's hopeful. "We're just one company, and you can't gauge anything by that, but we are beginning to get good traction. We are making substantially more progress than we were with prospective customers even three months ago."

Much remains to be seen. Axiowave doesn't expect to close its round for another six weeks or so. Chatter says the new round is coming from inside investors that have previously kicked in funding, as well as some outsiders, and matters must still be sorted.

Chatter won't name names, but in the past Axiowave has gotten funding from Madison Dearborn Partners and Soros Private Equity Partners, as well as from a range of other sources, including Chatter himself.

Since its founding in May 2000, Axiowave has maintained a cloak of secrecy only broken intermittently. A month ago, for example, word of a layoff leaked out (see Stealthy Startup Leads With Layoffs), forcing Chatter to acknowledged that Axiowave had discontinued work on an ultra-dense crossconnect switch meant to be part of its product line. About 30 employees were laid off as a result. Chatter said yesterday that the census remains at about 150 and there are no further layoffs in sight.

Sources say Axiowave is making a partially optical multiservice core switch designed to compete with gear from Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Équipe Communications Corp., Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and a slew of others (see A New Optical Taxonomy, page 9}).

Chatter says the new funding, when finalized, will be used to create a sales infrastructure to support beta testing and shipment of Axiowave's gear, due out later this year. Money will also be used to continue R&D.

Axiowave will not have a booth at this year's Supercomm 2002 trade show in Atlanta, however. "We'll be there seeing and meeting and talking, but it seems the idea of showing your gear in demos doesn't carry the weight it used to," Chatter says. The only thing that matters is to get a product into the hands of the right customers and get it working, he asserts. The rest will come.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com For more information on Supercomm 2002, please visit: Supercomm Special

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xnx2
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xnx2,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:01 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
"
> I wish Ascend did more than add 1 Bil$ to LU's
> bottom line (I could get out of LU!). At this
> rate, it would take more than 24 years for that
> acquisition to simply break-even. So in the
> eyes of LU investors, Ascend folks don't
> exactly look like any champs either.

It is that bad actually - as far as I remember it was all stock acquisition, stock was depereciated 90% since, but booking is still counted in cash, so it does not look that horribly bad after all.
"

Precisely the same thing is true for Nexabit. At the real cost to LU, simply the ampic and the fabio chipsets were a bargain. These chips can be used in many applications.

-xnx2
netskeptic
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netskeptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:05 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
> I wish Ascend did more than add 1 Bil$ to LU's
> bottom line (I could get out of LU!). At this
> rate, it would take more than 24 years for that
> acquisition to simply break-even. So in the
> eyes of LU investors, Ascend folks don't
> exactly look like any champs either.

It is that bad actually - as far as I remember it was all stock acquisition, stock was depereciated 90% since, but booking is still counted in cash, so it does not look that horribly bad after all.

I do not thing that you are right about this message board attitude towards Nexabit either - I am just extremely curious to know what was it (e.g. I heard a few pretty good opinions about NX from people I learned to trust, at the time of acquisition I thought that it was a very good thing for LU) and why it did not came through. I suppose I am not alone here.

So, I am really thankful to xnx2 for posting info about box, its status, progress etc.

Thanks,

Netskeptic
simpleton
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simpleton,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:14 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
As a LU shareholder, I am infuriated at the gross incompetence of LU top management in destroying that company and as it has become clear over the last couple of years, destroying many others by acquiring them and not managing those acquisitions.

In a seperate thread somebody raised the question of whether it was LU's acquisition of Ascend that hastened LU's downfall or Ascend's! In that thread, some speculated that Ascend was well on its descent and was an indigestible acquisition for LU.

While couple of Nexabit people gave some good information and atleast one Ascend person provided good information, many of the posters here clearly Nexabit haters, not criticizers, were crude, venomous and downright indecent and added nothing to this conversation. Today on NPR's Morning Edition's sports segment, someone mentioned that he was embarassed by the NY Yankee hater's in Boston because it showed their inferiority complex. It would seem like this is applicable to these Nexabit hater's also.

I wish Ascend did more than add 1 Bil$ to LU's bottom line (I could get out of LU!). At this rate, it would take more than 24 years for that acquisition to simply break-even. So in the eyes of LU investors, Ascend folks don't exactly look like any champs either.

Based on the information provided here and the LU website, it is clear that Nexabit did have something that LU thought was worthwhile in keeping around. It is also clear from the virulence shown here, that while the Nexabit people bailed out, nobody at the original Ascend was going to do anything to take that box further. That combined with the fact that without the original engineers, there would be huge knowledge gap that would make this at best an uphill battle to make this box pay for itself. This has been the case on much smaller products I have worked on, so it is not surprising that the Nexabit box has not exactly been a supernova.

Its time this thread wound down - I sure ain't coming back! So good luck to you all.
webslinger
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webslinger,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:17 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
xnx2,
the most accurate descpition of the Nexabit box I have ever heard from a non nexi or LU person. From what I know the switch and the IOP are intact so the TMX880 is really a NX64000 with hopefully better software and new IOA IOD cards and of course lots more features, gotta have more features.

be interested in how you know so much.
Lightmare
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Lightmare,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:19 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Ditto on the topic.

Is this the only guy/gal who does not know the nexabullshit switch is about as useful as an 8 track tape player? Sure it's cool to look at and one can only marvel at the technology but compared to real revenue generating products, it's a POS.
netskeptic
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netskeptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:20 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
> OZ is not coming back. It has hit the scrap pile.

Huh ? Never heard anything about Oz beyond it being some canceled ATM switch, even never worked for LU.

Thanks,

Netskeptic

hrdhtr
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hrdhtr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:37 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
You guys ought to do as the wizard says and
"Click your heels together three times"

OZ is not coming back. It has hit the scrap pile.
The portfolio has been defined and there are alot of people working hard to get the job done.
You gotta suck it up & move on, or be gone.





let-there-be-light
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let-there-be-light,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:48 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Oh, forgot to mention..

Partly with the $900 you paid for this PC (a lot of money back then) and partly with the credibility derived from having you as a customer, your dear PC salesman abandons his business, takes most of his key people with him and set up shop right across the road from where he used to be.

He also tries to take a few flowers from your garden to decorate his new abode at the same time.

FInally, to add insult to injury, he goes round telling everyone, "Is it my fault that idiot wanted a working PC WITH operating system? Just because he paid me so much money doesn't automatically make me Bill Gates. Let him design his own operating system if he needs one."

Over and Out.
simpleton
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simpleton,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:50 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Lightmare:

Nobody is forcing you to read this. Sounds like you are bitching with no facts to provide. Some of the info is quite good even though we have to suffer people like you.
Lightmare
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Lightmare,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:51 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
I have to throw the towel in on this one. It comes as no suprise to me why so many companies are in such deep sh*t these days.

But I guess when product don't sell everyone has ample time to post on message boards and talk about the good old days.

I don't care about could have been, should have been, might have been, awesome technology, great traction, flag(sinking)ship products, potential cisco killers, up rounds, or sweet spots.

All I care about is REVENUE! and you either got it or you don't. If it's not generating REVENUE or will not be generating REVENUE in the near future, you may as well save some money and shut the lights off and say "bye-bye"
netskeptic
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netskeptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:52 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
It seems to me that your analogy is bit unfair, in my view it was closer to loosing early in the play-offs.

Thanks,

Netskeptic
survivor62
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survivor62,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:52 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Nexabit critics,

The facts will remain the facts no matter how hard you try to bury it in the msg boards.

I worked for Kevin Oye, VP of Business Development and the truth is we paid for some real good technology, technology that even Bell Labs checked out and acknowledged the merits and market potential. This was going to be 'the Cisco killer' was what Joeng Kim's group said when LU was competing in the bid for Nexabit. We knew that Nortel and couple others has raised the bids and the word from the top was 'take Nexabit out'. We made several visits, tested the box to all the capabilities that the Nexabit mgmt claimed and the claims were proven to our satisfaction. Yes, there was more work to be done and that was clearly understood.

LU needed a core IP router in the portfolio and Nexabit product was the perfect fit and close to being done. The other big concern was LU did not want this technology in the competitions hands and we did what we had to do.

After the acquisition if LU failed to provide the resources to complete the product and market it in a timely manner, then LU internal power plays and ATM vs. IP bickering and bad decisions are to blame. Everything was being done by top mgmt to justify the $20+ billion for Ascend. Chatter tried hard for additional resources but $900 million was not going to get any attention from the top.

And msg board writers say that Nexabit product is useless, then why are we keeping it in our portfolio? Why was it called 'flagship product' at the annual meeting? The truth is we messed up not only with Nexabit but many other good products and we are all paying for it.

Russo is trying to straighten things out, let's stop blaming others for the mess that every LU employee is responsible for.

Please write to LU investor relations if you require further clarifications on Nexabit or any other LU acquisitions. Thanks.
netwiz
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netwiz,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:54 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
You say -
"LU management may never have complained, but every Lucent sales team who ever tried to sell the Nexabit platform complained of misrepresentation. It's no fun repeating lies to your customer."

How would you ever know? I worked for LU sales and the Nexabit box trialed at a large number of customers with very encouraging feedback. You must either be working for LU competitor or are a disgruntled Ascend employee who cnnot accept the reality. Anybody else you are like you say 'repeating lies'.

Lightmare
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Lightmare,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:57 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
how could the big boys have forced him to sell when nexabit folk claim he does not hand over control to the vc's? I thought he and stata had majority ownership and called the shots - No?

Sounds like my favorite song by FWM "tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies". And at the time, everyone believed them. In case you have not looked out your cubicle lately, things have changed just a bit since LU took on nexabit.
bemusedobserver
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bemusedobserver,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:57 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
LU management may never have complained, but every Lucent sales team who ever tried to sell the Nexabit platform complained of misrepresentation. It's no fun repeating lies to your customer.
chechaco
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chechaco,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:24:58 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
jamesbond and others,
there were three competing offers in front of the board. It was not Mukesh who tried to sell the company but Big Boys who tried to buy it. And besides, LU never complained of misrepresentation afterwards.
Lightmare
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Lightmare,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:00 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
I guess it all depends on your definition of success. I think they pretty much meet my definition of failure.

If we look at the last place team in the NBA I think the general concensus is that the team and the organization was more or less a complete failure despite the fact that everyone in the organization was paid millions of dollars for being a failure.

I see quite a few similiarities between the nexabit team and the last place team in the NBA. Neither produced or accomplished anything, yet both were paid millions of dollars for trying.

I doubt the NBA team thinks they are all that and more because they collected a fat paycheck- I'm sure they believe they failed despite the $$.
Hope the nexabit team subscribes to this philosphy as well.
let-there-be-light
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let-there-be-light,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:06 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Imagine buying a new PC for $900, throwing your old one away, because you think:

"The new one might not be working yet (it's really leading edge), but it will be working soon (at least that what the salesmen and engineers tell me, and I trust them, they seem so nice and honest.)" You happily go ahead and tell your customers, they in turn can depend on you.

Three years later, you slowly come to the realization, it wasn't leading edge, it was very bleeding edge, AND THE DAMN THING STILL DOESN'T WORK!

You have meanwhile been crowned idiot of the neighborhood.

Makes you wish you never bought all that idle chatter, and had kept your old PC. At least you would have saved yourself the embarrassment.
xnx2
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xnx2,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:07 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
DoTheMath:

You are on the money. Although, I thought most of the software team was very good with a few excellent ones.

-xnx2
xnx2
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xnx2,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:08 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
reoptic:

"As others have mentioned the ASICs were not mature and fit the design rules, the software code was incomplete and buggy, it couldn't stay up in a router network or a lab when ATT tested it... but it was a working prototype. "

BS. All asics worked fine. The main memory asic, the three Fabio chips and the OC192 framer asic worked first pass. Here were the chip related problems:

1. The memory asic was kind of useable in some reasonable quantity around fall of 1999. There were *no* design, logic or performance problems in that chip. The issue was that, this asic was full custom and the process was *entirely* new; if you new what that meant, you will know that getting production chips even in spring of 2000 was a great thing. This was known to LU *prior* to the acquisition otherwise they would have sued Mukesh to kingdom come.

2. The control path *fpgas* (forwarding engine, ingress buffer manager, egress queue manager) had some bugs, but, were *very* clean by early 2000 (just six months after the acquisition).

3. The only asic that did not work first pass (but was definitely not doa) was a heavily integrated L2/L3 chip introduced in early 2K(it was corrected by early fall of 2000).

Your assertion about the ATT trial shows that you are referring to Sep/Oct 1999. Why would Mukesh sell the company if the product was done and making revenue? Actually, why would he sell even if he was close to that goal? The fact was that to productise the NX64K box we needed minimum six months of undiluted effort (w/o distractions of going to the customer). The box was very stable by end of Feb'2K, but other things were happening by then.

The status of the project was completely known to LU at the time of acquisition. They were worried that Cisco would have bought us.

-xnx2
DoTheMath
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DoTheMath,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:08 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding

1. The yields on the memory chip did not pickup production level till late spring of 2000. I am not sure if this was *the* stumbling block, but it certainly was an hinderance.

2. While we were expected to test at customer site, the software guys were desperately trying to get rid of shortcuts they had been forced to take prior to acquisition. This, was an unworkable combination as the short-staffed s/w team could not focus on the right thing. Perhaps, if those guys had been given a chance to get things right rather than throw them into the arena ...

3. Some new managers were brought in just before and after the acquisition (returning past favors?). In my opinion, most, if not every last one of them, got in the way rather than help.


---------------------------------------------
xnx2:
Thanks for a very informative post. It must have been very heart-breaking to work that hard and then take all the heat later. May you have better luck in the future.

I didn't have anything to do with Nexabit, but have heard from second hand sources that software was THE problem. I believe, the management, coming from hardcore ASIC/hardware background, woefully underestimated software.

I have seen this disease in many systems companies. There is an inherent danger in a pure hardware type running a systems company or even worse, a pure ASIC type suddenly getting the systems ambition, because of "valuation" reasons. This was going on a lot during the boom. Perfectly good ASICs got mated with lousy software, and in the end everyone paid the price.

My personal observation (not from Nexabit, where, as I said, I have no first hand knowledge) from other systems companies is that some of the ASIC, physical layer types, through either ignorance, arrogance or some mix thereof, treat software as an afterthought. Smart software talent stays off from such people, and they get third rate software charlatans. The hardworking ASIC guys can't tell the difference until it is too late.

I know the reverse is also possible, i.e great software-talented management hiring lousy hardware teams but due to the inherent nature of systems companies, this never seemed to happen and I have no personal experience of that happening. In another thread Tony Li opined that he thought of starting a pure networking software company but gave up due to concerns that software would never be appropriately valued if it were stand-alone, and the best way to get the value is as part of a system solution.

Smart embedded software engineers I know actually left networking for higher layers of the stack (read databases, middleware etc) specifically because they felt there is no respect in a systems company as a software guy.
jamesbond
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jamesbond,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:08 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
"Lucent is a company that gets excited about prototypes and didnt do a great job realizing why it wasn't a finished product till after they bought Nexabit."

---------------

You make it sound like it was solely Lucent's fault that they did not realize it was a demo product. What story did Mukesh whoever tell
the Lucent mgmt. in order to convince them
to dish out close to 1 billion dollars.

reoptic
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reoptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:09 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Mukesh deserves a LOT of credit for knowing when to sell at the height of the market. Recall this is just as Juniper stock was going crazy. Things went up for another year after that and the timing might have been even better 6 months later, but you can never call the peak. He did very well for his people and many wish they had the insight on the timing he did.

The product was basically a demo when it was sold. Now, depending on who you talk to, some realized this and some did not; different levels of honesty and understanding are portrayed on both sides. But aside from the rhetoric, the fact was it was not a finished product and a simple examination of the box made it clear. As others have mentioned the ASICs were not mature and fit the design rules, the software code was incomplete and buggy, it couldn't stay up in a router network or a lab when ATT tested it... but it was a working prototype.

Lucent is a company that gets excited about prototypes and didnt do a great job realizing why it wasn't a finished product till after they bought Nexabit. Then after the acquisition they realized but did brilliant moves like freeze hiring in all their acquired businesses and did not lock folks at Nexabit in beyond 1 year with vesting incentives, so they lost all the talent and did not bring new folks in fast enough.

Anyway, somebody could write a good book on this.
xnx2
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xnx2,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:09 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
netskeptic:

"
However, there was one annoying nit, the following passage implies that NX box at the time of sale was ready to be shipped:

> BTW, yes, this was a 160 Gbps box - just like
> Juniper's M160 which came a year later and by
> this standard should be called M80! Likewise,
> the Cisco box which came two years later.
"

I can imagine that it is frustrating to hear/read something like that. The point I wanted to make was that it was the highest capacity box around till Juniper showed up recently with the T640. I cannot change anyone's mind, but I was there, right in the midst of things and my view was that we were very close. Some of issues were

1. The yields on the memory chip did not pickup production level till late spring of 2000. I am not sure if this was *the* stumbling block, but it certainly was an hinderance.

2. While we were expected to test at customer site, the software guys were desperately trying to get rid of shortcuts they had been forced to take prior to acquisition. This, was an unworkable combination as the short-staffed s/w team could not focus on the right thing. Perhaps, if those guys had been given a chance to get things right rather than throw them into the arena ...

3. Some new managers were brought in just before and after the acquisition (returning past favors?). In my opinion, most, if not every last one of them, got in the way rather than help.

I think most everyone at Nexabit wanted to do the right thing and finish this off as a success. Since this did not happen, you don't find more of us coming out and defending the product, although we did build something great. It is a very demotivating thing to find that the fruit of your intense labor was nothing but a meaningless "strategic" acquisition and that the people at helm of the mother company were busy fire-fighting the fallout from their past sins (cooking the books), rather than focussing their energies in making these acquisitions pay off. I was told that even Cisco had a serious offer in for Nexabit; who knows maybe that would have been more successful.

If nothing, I hope this helps you undertand that at the very least, Nexabit did have something worthwhile, which, many of the posters here want to deny us.

-xnx2
netskeptic
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netskeptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:10 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
xnx2, thanks for really informative post.

However, there was one annoying nit, the following passage implies that NX box at the time of sale was ready to be shipped:

> BTW, yes, this was a 160 Gbps box - just like
> Juniper's M160 which came a year later and by
> this standard should be called M80! Likewise,
> the Cisco box which came two years later.


Thanks,

Netskeptic

fleshpeddler
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fleshpeddler,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:17 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding

Author: seeallwan Number: 21 Subject: Re: Mukesh bashing Date: 5/9/2002 7:28:40 PM

So the push back from the Ascend management ultimately drove them out. Go ask Equipe why they started an ATM core switch.

----------------------------------------

to finish what they didn't in westford. what did i win?

fleshpeddler
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fleshpeddler,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:17 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding

i'm aware of some real headcases there from before nexatide invaded westford [what a scene THAT must be now], but only one from nexabit-Classic, who is now no longer part of The Team(s).

nagogpark2002
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nagogpark2002,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:20 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
realdeal,
could it be that you are not happy because your ex-colleauges made lot of money in Nexabit while you are still stuck at Equipe with worthless (and now heavily diluted) options?
I'mRael
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I'mRael,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:22 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding

Suzanne tired her work all done,
Thinks money - honey - be on - neon.
Cabman's velvet glove sounds the horn,
And the sawdust king spits out his scorn.
Wonder women you can draw your blind!
Don't look at me! I'm not your kind...

xnx2
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xnx2,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:25 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Steve,

I wonder why LU wants to keep the chassis and backplane same (both are passive components), while throwing away everything else as some of the posters here suggest? Since LU is a public company trying to sell this product, one can get physical access to this product. And since you are from the press, the fine profession of journalism can help us get to the bottom of this part of the debate. The other part of this debate is opinion not fact.

If you can verify the following, I will then tell you more if you want.

The two broad cards on the bottom of center-front are the RCPs (Route Control Processors). The original RCPs were made from Motorola PPC 604 SBC. LU was supposed to redesign that computer board to (1) make RCP fast switch over possible (2) Reduce cost and (3) to recover from the fact that Motorola was going to stop manufacturing that SBC. Seems to me that this may be the only hardware change they have managed to make. And three cheers to them for that.

Above the RCPs, the four long cards in the center are the switch fabric cards. In each switch fabric card, there are 16 memory asics (called ampics) connected in parallel that internally switch cumulatively at 1.6 Tbps (per switch card). Each ampic has 16 independent data ports. The 256 data ports of these 16 ampics are managed by 16 Switch Fabric IO asics (called sFABIO). Each sFABIO was dedicated to a single line card. So, a single memory card was physically connected to each line card over the backplane. A single line card connected to all four switch cards to accommodate 10 Gbps. If LU has made any changes to the data path in this central component, I will agree that the TMX880 is the NX64K box with only the backplane and the chassis left as is.

The four similar looking cards in each of the four quadrants, totaling 16, are the NX Line Cards. Each LC is built out of what was called an IOP, which was generic and hosted a daughter card called IOD that gave the IOP its L2/L3 personality. The physical media card called IOA, connected to the IOP from the rear over a midplane and had the optics on it. The IOP had the forwarding engine, which connected to the switch fabric via ASICs called Ingress/Egress Fabric IO (iFABIO/eFABIO). The packet data was sent to the central memory, while the control information was managed by the Ingress Buffer Manager chipset and the Egress Queue Manager chipset. The control path was a full mesh between the line cards. If LU has made any significant changes to the control path (FE, iBM, eQM) or even the whole IOP, I will agree that the TMX880 is the NX64K box with only the backplane and the chassis left as is.

The IOD and IOA were meant to change so that we could add more interface types so if LU has added any new card types, hail LU!

On the rear of the box, between the upper two quadrants of IOA and right behind the switch fabrics, there is space for four cards , but only two are used for stratum timing. It is possible, though unlikely, that LU simplified these cards.

So please verify for yourself, how much of the SF & IOP (fast data path and the control path) has changed - if they have not, then the TMX is the old NX box verbatim et literatim. I know a few people at Westford, and have a very good idea of what has been changed so help yourself to facts instead of pandering to lunatics with an axe to grind.

BTW, yes, this was a 160 Gbps box - just like Juniper's M160 which came a year later and by this standard should be called M80! Likewise, the Cisco box which came two years later.

Now for some opinion:

If anyone here or elsewhere thinks that LU made any changes to the fast data path or the control path, I want some of what you are smoking!

I truly believe that at the end of 1990's, LU, NT, Alcatel etc. were like dinosaurs just before the meteor impact. With their 1960's style management, these companies (LU, NT ...) were doomed from the start. They had no strategy to manage data networking companies that they bought. Even as early as the summer of '99, the Ascend/Cascade people were bailing out of LU as though there was no tomorrow (and boy were they right).

Robert Hooke had written "And the ends of all these enquiries, they tend to be the pleasure of contemplative minds, but above all, the ease and dispatch of the labours of mens hands". Those of us who have worked on successful products know that the true rush is not in starting a project or even doing some interesting part in it or even finishing it; it is in getting your product into the hands of customers, solving some of their real problems and making their work easier. So you can imagine our disappointment that this product did not achieve our own expectations. As for the 900 million $, that was paper money; in the final analysis, I would be surprised if it cost LU even a third of that - so they really have the last laugh.

It has taken many of us a long time to recover from this. As for me, I am looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars movie with my kid.

May the Force be with you!

fleshpeddler
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50%
fleshpeddler,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:30 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding

Their receptionist was HOT HOT HOT!
hrdhtr
50%
50%
hrdhtr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:53 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
The chassis/backplane is the old NX.
Was originally supposed to be a 6.4Tbs IP core router. (hey LU/NT look what we got)
Actually is a 160Gbs Multi-service switch w/IP capability. (gotta leverage the LU/Ascend/Cascade install base you know)
This story is far from over...
Stay tuned
Steve Saunders
50%
50%
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
12/4/2012 | 10:25:53 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
hrdhtr,

Thanks,

Steve
Steve Saunders
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50%
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
12/4/2012 | 10:25:54 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
hrdhtr,

Thanks for the link (http://www.lucent.com/products...

Is this really the old Nexabit product. It looks more like an (ATM-based) multiservice switch than a terabit router.

Maybe that is what you mean by "much more than a rehash"?

Steve
realdeal
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50%
realdeal,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:55 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
The reality is Chatter sold LU a "project" but LU was more than willing to shell out the $ and stock for Nexabit.

I guess at that point Chatter was under no obligation to see it finished and made available.

But I think this time around it will be impossible for him to sell a "project" to anyone. He'll have to have a "real" product which can generate some real revenue or else he'll be toast like many of the other startup's.

My 2 cents on the Ascend deal: LU could have and should have grown that and increased revenue from the cascade line. But LU screwed up on something which is still generating over 1bil per year in revenue for LU- go figure!!!!
netskeptic
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50%
netskeptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:56 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
> If 1bill was a waste, what was 24bil for
> Ascend?

At least they got something real from Ascend, so it was infinitely better deal than a bunch of others - I would not be surprised that by the end of the day we will find out that buying Asscend was indeed a best deal ever done by LU business management :).

At the same time there is no reason for anybody to look down on ex-NX engineers, they were in a tight bind and they managed to do reasonably well.

Thanks,

Netskeptic

richinhealth
50%
50%
richinhealth,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:03 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding

Lesson to be learned for all companies looking into acquiring others is:

"Do your homework, otherwise you'll be holding onto a bad stock hoping it will bounce back." :)
seeallwan
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50%
seeallwan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:03 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
re: I just don't see how ex-nexabit people can say anything was ever accomplished other than the fleecing of good ole LU.

I agree with you on that point. When 95% of them bailed, no one beleived in the NX product. That will tell you something right there. If it was such a great product, why leave and bail? They followed the money just as I said before. Look at the Cascade/Ascend merger, more than 90% stayed.

re: And LU is keeping the TMX garbage because mgt...

I won't mention any names, but it was very very political to dismantle westford as I last posted. If 1bill was a waste, what was 24bil for Ascend? The reality of it all is, Lucent has no clue how to run a data networking company, period.

Claiming past success with the Ascend data products is the only story they have? Do they really have anything else in that space that can claim any success, market share, leading technology, vision, etc ? I can't see anything?

The NX platform is an IP Router, not an ATM switch. SpringTide has the features, but way too expensive and too late for the market.

Lucent should just spin-off and/or sell the data market to someone with some vision to keep it going? Dismantling it in favor of two failed products won't keep there customers at all?

Just my two cents...
h
50%
50%
h,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:08 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
The latest thing being to try to add an optical backplane into it...in the name of rubicon project, which was earlier known as sligshot...the amount of effort they keep spending is amazing, when they cannot even have basic sofware problems fixed..

another funny part is they keep changing the names of the projetcs by the time u get to know what it is...perhaps that may not be so LU specific, or is it ?
realdeal
50%
50%
realdeal,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:10 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
I have nothing against the chatter man or anyone else who worked at Nexabit.

I just don't see how ex-nexabit people can say anything was ever accomplished other than the fleecing of good ole LU.

And LU is keeping the TMX garbage around because mgt is afraid to admit they spent 1bil on junk and are afraid they will be fired. So they keep the project going and re-hash it now and then to make their incompetent decison to buy Nexabit in the first place look like a long term power play into core routing, now atm switching and tomorrow it will be edge routing to compete with Unisphere.

let-there-be-light
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let-there-be-light,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:11 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
seeal..,

thanks for telling the other side..

It was really one of the biggest screw-ups of all time.
seeallwan
50%
50%
seeallwan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:13 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
I can agree with you on how Lucent has screwed ALL of its acquisitions by spreading it's cancerous dinosaur ways and causing them all to fail. I'll agree with you all day on that point and am sure there were some very bright
engineering and/or visionaries within nexabit.

However, to the point of calling Ass's End and nitwits (as you call them)is pretty much a joke at best. I guess you won't mind me calling you an
ex "Not-a-Bit" employee then?

How can you not give some sort of entitlement to the legacy Cascade/Ascend division, considering that they have approx 15,000 switches WORLDWIDE
and were contributing 1.2 BILLION to the bottom line before Lucent came in and screwed everything up. Believe me, I was there at a few "Not-a-Bit"
trials watching it crash very frequently when it was still an IP router. Now, it happens to be a 20 Gig ATM switch.
The ONLY reason the NX box is still around is that lucent political dipsh*t management did not like the way the Ascend data division treated them. Lucent wanted to shove all there archaic processes and management bullsh*t into a successful division. So the push back from the Ascend management ultimately drove them out. Go ask Equipe why they started an ATM core switch.

So in the end, lucent VP's decided to fire all Ascend management and put in place all the good ole quiet NX boys down the road, who constantly yes them to death to run the show. Real brilliant, considering how novice they are now running what was a billion dollar business. Once again, another lucent disaster.

While were on the subject, many of the ex Not-a-Bit employees still at lucent, have continually said that Mukesh had it out to SELL the start-up,
not the product. Unless Mukesh can publicly say this, I tend to believe all who say this.
What lucent has left from this mess is a failed IP router, now turned into an ATM switch with the TMX. Destroying all the legacy Cascade/Ascend
data products, and while were at it, Low tide, I mean Springtide...but we'll save this for another story.

All in all, we come full circle to the point that Lucent does not know how to acquire any company, whether it's pre/post IPO regardless of it's
successes, visions, etc.

I hope you don't take offense to anything I've said, I'm sure you have your frustrations as well.

Best of luck.
chechaco
50%
50%
chechaco,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:17 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
realdeal, would you know a bit about NX-64000?
Regardless of who ex-nexabit is I stand by each and every word written in the post. You have to work with Mukesh first and then you might come here and tell of your experience.
hrdhtr
50%
50%
hrdhtr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:19 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Steve, Check it out.
There is much more to it than a "rehash"


http://www.lucent.com/products...
hrdhtr
50%
50%
hrdhtr,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:19 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
h, You have no idea what you are talking about.
realdeal
50%
50%
realdeal,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:33 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Ex-Nexabit, or should I say mrs. Chatter, you are a well spoken woman and did the honorable thing by standing by your man. think you could reserve a domain name for me? I was thinking somthing along the line of:

www.exnexabitnowturnedpopielpo...

cheeeeeeeeeeeers!
jamesbond
50%
50%
jamesbond,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:33 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
note from a friend -

Eluminant's CEO just sent a memo to employees
implementing a mandatory 10 hour work day --
plus two bonus Saturdays each month! This lovely package also includes a no-expense paid holiday at work over *BOTH* Memorial Day and 4th of July. If, after months of us riding your ass into the ground, their VC's don't buy that dog and pony
show, you also get a lovely pink
slip and a heartfelt "F**k You".
h
50%
50%
h,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:34 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
yes...its the re-hashed version
Steve Saunders
50%
50%
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
12/4/2012 | 10:26:35 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Question: what is the TMX880? Is this the Nexabit product?

Thanks

Steve
h
50%
50%
h,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:36 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding

nexabit and mukesh both are more or less a product of the boom time...LU was stupid to buy something that half worked or even that didn't...The amount of resources it has poured in to salvage it is enormous and even today the software story that they have is pathetic....so, I'm not sure I can agree about the nexabit team ...sure they could be hardworking and slog, but then the through put is sometimes roughly measured by IQ*hardwork...
Route495
50%
50%
Route495,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:38 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
ex_nexabit,
Thanks for the insight. excelent post.
Another category of bashers could be the
ones who are still at startups and hoping
to be acquired for a fraction of the amount
that lu paid for nexabit. They are plain jealous.
let-there-be-light
50%
50%
let-there-be-light,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:48 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Certainly something "Monumental" about all this is Lucent's stupidity in thinking that a team of 65 people, no matter how good, could build a product in a such a short period of time that would compete with Cisco's router
ex_nexabit
50%
50%
ex_nexabit,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:50 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
After having suffered years of criticism and needling from a few nitwits, some of us ex-Nexabit engineers have to come forward and say something.

First, the Nexabit product was an excellent product - Hardware, Software and Mechanical. The hardware (chips and all) worked on rev 1 of all boards. The major hassle was a full custom ASIC that our ASIC vendor could not deliver in good time because they were themselves ironing out the process (and we helped them clean up their process). The base technolgy brought into Lucent by Nexabit could have been (and still can be) fruitfully used not just in a core router but also the edge and possibly by enterprise routers. Also, some of the chipsets were versatile enough to be used in non-router applications. All this would have been possible, if the knuckleheads in Lucent worked instead of playing politics.

Second, the Nexabit team was almost wholly first rate - very smart, very hardworking and very motivated. A monumental project of that size was accomplished by around 65 engineers and support staff - we raised the bar on what could be achieved by a small but dedicated team such that many startups around us, used us as an example of how a startup should work.

Third, it was Lucent that screwed Nexabit. Lucent was supposed to provide the sales channel and bring on some help in the software area - Nexabit had around 22-24 software engineers including SQA. We desperately needed help in software and Lucent was supposed to help us with man power - none came. By spring of 2000, 9 months after acquisition, we delivered a very stable GA release of software. Furthermore, it is public knowledge that Lucent was in deep sh*t by this time and the only interest the top brass had was in covering up the shady on-goings which brough the company down to its knees eventually - think Enron.

Fourth, what technical success Nexabit had, would not have been possible without Mukesh. He brought the energy and the will to succeed. For all the negative things said by most who, incredulously enough, have not worked for him (and possibly a handful of disgruntled people within Nexabit), those of us who did infact work for him, will stand by him and say exactly the opposite. Proof positive for this is that over half the Nexabit engineers went to work for him at Axiowave. Mukesh had to limit the number of people he could take from Nexabit-Lucent because of Lucent sensibilities (whatever that meant)! Most of the other half who did not go to Axiowave were people who were tired and did not want to join a startup or some wanted to start a company of their own or those who simply did not move fast enough to join Axiowave before Mukesh had to shut the door.

I have found that Mukesh bashers can broadly be classified thus:

1. Nexabit Employees - A very small (I can count max 6-7 out of the final 120) people who themselves did not cut the mustard and felt small in the company of an over-acheiving team.

2. Non-Nexabit Lucent Employees - A majority of these nitwits come from Ass's End failed acquisition. If Nexabit was a $900 million mistake by Lucent, what does one call the $22-$24 BILLION mistake that was the Ascend acquisition? Many of these people (and I have run into a lot of them) thought that Ass's End had some sort of entitlement in Lucent to all things related to Data Networking - my answer to these people was to go suck an egg. Lucent nixed Chromatis which was a ~$3.5 billion acquisition, but, they are still hanging on to the Nexabit box. The story of Lucent's mismanagement of acquisition can fill a library, so why is it that a smaller acquisition that did not work out gets some of the jokers on this bulletin board point to Mukesh? Does it not occur to these geniuses that Lucent screwed up this acquisition also?

3. VCs and paraphernelia - Mukesh does not give the company equity away to VCs. Period. He financed Nexabit privately with the help of Ray Stata and went for VC money after the company valuation was significant. This meant starving out the VCs, who control their pet analysts who in turn influence the press.

What were the wrong things with Nexabit? With 20/20 hindsight, everyone has something to say about. I think,

1. We should have hired more engineers (mostly software and sqa engineers) in the startup stage.

2. Bribed some of the carriers - just like Juniper, Sycamore ...

3. Built our own sales force.

4. Not be acquired by Lucent.

5. But having been acquired by that organization with dipsh*t management, I think, the biggest lesson was that, despite the poor condition of Lucent to help us in this aspect, we should have stuck it in there and seen the product through to deployment.

I have much to say, but will leave it at this.

flame >> /dev/null


manoflalambda
50%
50%
manoflalambda,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:26:56 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Sounds like you are jealous, did you miss the boat buddy? TMX880 is in trials at a number of RBOC's and carriers, getting a lot of traction. Go check LU's quarterly and annual report.

Ah yes, but that wasn't the Nexabit concept eh? However perhaps it will be a nice recovery though.

Salute,
Manoflalambda
ExIXC
50%
50%
ExIXC,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:00 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
What a sour loser you are. You expect us to believe that you checked with every single ILEC/BLEC/CLEC/IXC since the article appeared - last evening.

I work for another startup and I can tell you first hand it is very difficult to raise money and hats off to anyone who has. The bar to get funding is sky high and not to mention the extremely delailed due diligence process. I suggest you start raising $$ for your 'Popiel Pocket Fisherman' project -- let us know how you make out.

Cheers!
netwiz
50%
50%
netwiz,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:01 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Sounds like you are jealous, did you miss the boat buddy?
TMX880 is in trials at a number of RBOC's and carriers, getting a lot of traction. Go check LU's quarterly and annual report.
Outsider
50%
50%
Outsider,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:04 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
How did Mukesh manage to get $45 million more in funding even though:

1. Nexabit's product was a terrible and resulted in a major loss for Lucent.
2. The Systems market now is in very bad shape.
3. And he has a mean personality.

He sells several companies for huge amounts (Nexibit for $900 million) and now he receives this kind of funding. Is he brilliant or just very very lucky?
simpleton
50%
50%
simpleton,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:09 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
37 mil seems a lot these days considering that a lot of startups are either in their graves or close to it (see BrightLink, Nexsi, Accordion ...). Apparently, some people are putting their wallet where their mouth is.

Anyone here has any idea how long this kind of money will last a startup like Axiowave?
realdeal
50%
50%
realdeal,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:10 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
I hear it's a next generation Popiel Pocket Fisherman - they'd probably be better off trying to do this vs. what they are working on.

I can't find anyone at any ILEC/BLEC/CLEC/IXC who has been asked to look at their box.
BobbyMax
50%
50%
BobbyMax,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:11 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Lucent was duped into buying Nexabit. A few con artists robbed Lucent over a billion dollars. The company simply cannot be trusted with what it says.
Prizm
50%
50%
Prizm,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:14 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
The following quote sounds like BS for "we don't have a product ready to show":

'Axiowave will not have a booth at this year's Supercomm 2002 trade show in Atlanta, however. "We'll be there seeing and meeting and talking, but it seems the idea of showing your gear in demos doesn't carry the weight it used to,"'
Dr.Q
50%
50%
Dr.Q,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:27:16 PM
re: Axiowave on Track for More Funding
Anyone have educated guesses on what Axiowave is doing?

- Dr. Q
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