Andrew Pryfogle: Ok! Back here in the studio. Ashwath, thanks for coming back in. As the CTO of Aryaka what I want to talk to you about is this concept that we talk about, Software-defined networking and SD-WAN. What you guys have built is a platform to run all your additional services on top of. We are looking at a slide here that illustrates that for us, but walk us through it. Foundational to the platform is what?
Ashwath Nagaraj: We have a worldwide distributed software layer which we call the Software-defined networking platform. It runs on top of our global private network within Points of Presence, which are data centers that have servers running our software. This entire set of data centers, the piece of software that runs across this world wide network, it’s sort of like a layer of glue, right?
What it does is really, is to enable the integration and addition of services globally. And integration is a very loaded word. So I will give you an example here. Let’s say you wanted to have a specific application run with certain characteristics for a specific customer, out of a specific location, right? All of that should be constructible sitting in a network operations center without CLI, without touching buttons in different boxes and so on. The orchestration system is a key piece of this platform. You need to have all these services sort of tied to each other seamlessly, in the sense that I want Microsoft Office accelerated. So, I need it to take the following path. But I don’t want this traffic, for example, to go through these countries. In addition, I want this kind of acceleration, and I want my SSL optimized inside that traffic. I want to have visibility into the applications at a much finer granularity. All of that should be controllable, buy the different components that actually work together, and different applications. One could be TCP optimization, another could be application visibility, they should all work together seamlessly.
This really means that we cannot afford to be solving this problem by having 25 different consoles, 25 different things to be tuned, right? It should all work together, and we should also have the ability to expose an API where other services can be added into this flow, without a significant amount of work. It needs to break the paradigm of traditional systems, where the system was designed to do something, and that’s where the buck stopped. What the cloud said is no no no, lets figure out how to do a much better job of integrating, scaling out and scaling up of products. All of that should be available. That’s what the platform does. The platform includes this orchestration layer, in addition, it includes a monitoring layer. So we are able to, for example, correlate some network issue at a Microsoft Office data center to a problem seen by a user somewhere else in terms of latency that should appear before the user can complain about it.
That’s so important. And the ability for us to be able to fix the issue before it reaches the pain point of the customer, and we are talking about half a minute, right? We should be able to react to that issue in half a minute. Now, to do that, you cannot put together disparate components. I can’t put a Juniper mobility system integrated with a Cisco router, integrated with Alcatel infrastructure for an access. They are all disparate, and they are hardware. They cannot scale. They cannot easily enable applications to cooperate.
On top of this platform, we have our first suite of product families which we deployed, and have been selling for the last four years. And now we are starting to get into phase two of the company, where we are actually starting to get to the next set of applications.
We have two product families. We have SMART CONNECT and SMART CDN. SMART CONNECT allows enterprises to connect to applications, either on premises, or off premises. It provides a domestic region, a much simpler solution with SD-WAN Ultra, and scales all the way up to a global, highly optimized solution we call WAN optimization-as-a-service. And that family is the CONNECT.
Then, it also includes a SMART CDN. Our CDN is really targeted towards Web and IP access delivery, but much more focused on the speed of application responses, which are not heavily cache-based. I mean, we are not trying to do an Akamai model, where you have a lot of cache, and you serve it locally. No, this is getting the data from the servers. How fast you can get it. Or, you are putting the data back into the server, and how fast can you get it? So, that’s the real differentiator. So, interactive applications, that’s the basic.
Andrew Pryfogle: So, we have a platform. On top of that is SMART CONNECT and SMART CDN, and additional services on top of that.
Ashwath Nagaraj: Yes, so inside these families of SMART CONNECT and so on. Right now we have the SD-WAN Ultra, WAN optimization-as-a-service and web delivery and IP delivery on SMART CDN. And as we expand in the second, new generation of our company, opening up the APIs to this platform to say alright, you have an application. A good example of an application is mobile, or VPN gateways, what we call remote access concentrators, and so on.
Road warriors want to be able to connect fast into the network, and want to see the same performance that they would have inside the office. That is an API driven solution, where we provide the API for an application like this to integrate and run all over the world. And the software will allow us to say – let’s turn on this service, for this customer, at all these locations, for a thousand licenses, right? They can use them as they want across the world; that flexibility is what the platform provides, going beyond that, security and a few others.
Andrew Pryfogle: Very interesting! So, you built the platform, I mean purpose built from day one, to remain very very agile as you continue to develop new services, new capabilities that you layer on top of it. I have got to imagine even stuff that you haven’t even thought of yet.
Ashwath Nagaraj: Absolutely! I think the reality is that a lot of these are coming up as applications migrate more to the cloud. That’s a big driver, and I would say that five years ago, security in the cloud for an enterprise, you know your firewall on the cloud, was just starting to happen with Zscaler and so on, right? Now I think that’s going to become the prevalent model, as a lot of other companies understand what they want to be able to deploy.
There is clearly a challenge for an appliance company. So, I have got an appliance and making X dollars right now. The soft version of that is going to do the same thing. But there is a completely different angle of the customer view point which is, he wants a manageable solution without having an expert on board. Microsoft has realized that. They have moved their entire Office 365 suite, which was a bunch of applications. The same thing is going to happen with security, and its going to happen with a bunch of things which are network level product and services, and that’s where we want to go.
Andrew Pryfogle: Got it! Very very cool. Great explanation. Thank you very much. Guys, you can download that slide on the learning center with Aryaka. Check it out, go deep on that, and get their engineers on the phone to talk to your customers about how they can solve these real problems. I think the key message here, is that you need to have access. Your customer needs to have access to a platform that can grow with their ever evolving, rapidly evolving network needs across their global footprint. Very very advantageous, and very very helpful explanation. Ashwath, thank you, appreciate it. Good selling.