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Optical/IP

Matisse Targets the Enterprise

Still waiting for its first telco win, Matisse Networks has announced a new suite of features targeting the rapidly growing market for optical transport in enterprise and campus networks.

The new feature suite, called vMetro, enables the virtualization of IT resources across distributed data centers and campus networks and comprises three key components: Virtualized Metro Switching (vmSwitching); optical VLANs (virtual local-area networks); and Metro-wide Quality of Service (mQOS).

vmSwitching allows a network of Matisse boxes (known as EtherBursts) to operate and be manageable as a single entity, even if the resources are located in separate data centers.

Optical VLANs enable applications, servers, and storage devices to be interconnected simultaneously, thus allowing resource grouping and virtualization across multiple data centers.

Finally, mQOS delivers dynamic bandwidth reallocation across applications and sites to ensure that applications with the greatest QOS needs receive the necessary resources.

Timon Sloane, Matisse's VP of marketing, says that by extending virtualization through its vMetro products, enterprise data centers "run like an Ethernet data switch." The result is a more efficient way of scaling and managing enterprise resources.

When it came to market, Matisse targeted service provider customers with an optical transport system based on packet switching. (See Matisse Networks.)

However, despite receiving $80 million in three rounds of financing, the company has yet to secure a carrier customer. (See Matisse Aims to Make Impression, Matisse Primes Metro Ethernet Makeovers, Matisse Intros Products, and Matisse Lands $45M More.)

That's not to say the company can't still take its virtualization expertise into the telecom market, says Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin.

"Virtualization is not unique to the enterprise," says Perrin. "Matisse sees it can apply its technology to virtualization, which it can push with service providers as well."

Perrin points to optical equipment manufacturer Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN), which has won deals with Interoute Communications Ltd. , Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), and 360networks Inc. based on its ability to do bandwidth virtualization. (See Infinera Muscles Into Interoute, Interoute CTO Blames Vendors for Confusion, Equinix Calls on Infinera, and Infinera Pulls a 360.)

While still searching for that elusive first carrier win, Sloane says the company is getting closer. "We've made tremendous progress in terms of moving to larger-scale deployments" in carrier networks, he says.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 3:42:07 PM
re: Matisse Targets the Enterprise Ahem ... excuse me ... this is news because?

Wait, let me take some guesses on this new strategy:

1) Their telco strategy failed so they coined some marketing buzzwords (vmetro? really?)

2) Their telco strategy is really slow in evolving because all those carrier trials are just ... trials. No carrier will buy from a startup anymore.

3) Their marketing strategy of "optical burst switching" as the post-ROADM strategy did not work. (Notice no mention of optical burst switching anywhere? Oh wait .... I see another new phrase EtherBursts!)

4) $80M, no customers, did I sleep and go back in time? Is it ... 1999?

I better stop - don't know what's worse, the poor startup trying this marketing stunt (and frankly, kudos to them for trying), or LR buying it hook, line and sinker.

odo

p.s. Can't resist - notice the parallels drawn to INFN, the only emerging optical company that's doing well? Investors will definitely fall for this one!! :-)
bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 3:42:06 PM
re: Matisse Targets the Enterprise Good post odo,

The news is that Mattise under Sam and I mean under is struggling to find the sweet spot for its underperforming product.
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 3:42:03 PM
re: Matisse Targets the Enterprise odo,

I'm not sure what else I could add. It's made pretty clear in the article that Matisse hasn't gotten a telco customer -- it's in the first paragraph, no?

As for the comparison drawn to Infinera -- that was by an analyst, not myself or the company -- and it was about the carryover of virtualization into the telco realm, not an indication that Matisse will repeat Infinera's success.

This doesn't look like a departure from Matisse's carrier strategy so much as it is taking the same technology and offering it into an adjacent market. The company still expects -- or perhaps hopes -- that a significant portion of future revenues will come from carrier customers.

However, I'm sure the fact that enterprise sales typically have faster lead and deployment times certainly had an impact in this strategic decision, as it could give Matisse some short-term revenue while the company tries to secure a carrier or MSO.
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 3:42:03 PM
re: Matisse Targets the Enterprise odo,

I'm not sure what else I could add. It's made pretty clear in the article that Matisse hasn't gotten a telco customer -- it's in the first paragraph, no?

As for the comparison drawn to Infinera -- that was by an analyst, not myself or the company -- and it was about the carryover of virtualization into the telco realm, not an indication that Matisse will repeat Infinera's success.

This doesn't look like a departure from Matisse's carrier strategy so much as it is taking the same technology and offering it into an adjacent market. The company still expects -- or perhaps hopes -- that a significant portion of future revenues will come from carrier customers.

However, I'm sure the fact that enterprise sales typically have faster lead and deployment times certainly had an impact in this strategic decision, as it could give Matisse some short-term revenue while the company tries to secure a carrier or MSO.
Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 3:42:02 PM
re: Matisse Targets the Enterprise Odo,
As Ryan noted in his post, the comparison to Infinera was drawn by me, not Matisse. I see similarities between Matisse and the early Infinera because they both have truly unique technologies for the market. This cannot be said for the vast majority of optical start-ups today, which compete based on minor feature differentiation, it seems.

In the case of Infinera, the technology found its market and has proven disruptive. In the case of Matisse, the technology is potentially disruptive, but has not yet found its market. Finding their market is clearly their challenge. Based on everything I've heard, though, the technology works, and this is a great optical networking achievement.

Sterling
bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 3:41:58 PM
re: Matisse Targets the Enterprise Sterling, for you to make the comparison please visit the compnay and take a look at the product. It is a half backed solution - the reason they have no telco customers is the box is not suitable for carrier grade and lacks many basic features.

They have raised money but they are NOT in the same class as Infinera - who new their market befoer buildign a product.

Enterprise may be the only market left open to them - however there are many other solutions that can achieve the same result at less price so it is not disruptive in enterprise.

So you are right finding the market is their challenge - a technology wihtout a market is nothing we can all agree on that. The only way out is a BUYER and quic one at that.
rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 3:41:48 PM
re: Matisse Targets the Enterprise Oh wow, I got responses back from Ryan and Sterling!

Ryan & Sterling:

Thanks for the responses - my post was more of a tongue-in-cheek comment and not based on any facts. I don't know any deep details on Matisse, except maybe their tagline and some professional animated viewgraphs at a conference. (All those photons flying around from tranponders - brilliant!). As a result, my comments were not based on any facts regarding their product.

So I will defer to you on the serious comments!

odo
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