Tags: 2012, appliance, converged, data center, datacenter, enterprise IT, funding news, infrastructure, Nutanix, storage, virtualization, vmware
Over the past two years we’ve seen a lot of disruption in the enterprise storage market with everything from the game-changing performance of flash to next-generation storage architectures required to support the cloud and virtualized data center environments
And notwithstanding some early wins from companies like Fusion-io, we believe the underlying data center compute, storage and networking transformation is still in early innings of playing out. A case in point is Nutanix, a company worth paying attention to and one where we recently led an oversubscribed growth round of financing.
So why are we so excited about Nutanix? We believe the company represents the next-generation of IT infrastructure – a CONVERGED storage and compute platform uniquely able to cost-effectively power the datacenters of today and tomorrow.
Nutanix combines enterprise-class compute and storage resources into a single, inexpensive x86 system. It also incorporates elastic scale-out technologies that have historically only been available to some of the world’s largest, and most technically sophisticated companies like Google and Facebook. Now, for the first time, this revolutionary computing paradigm is being delivered to mid-range and large enterprises that are also looking to ride the disruptive economic wave afforded by cloud computing and large-scale virtualization.
The Nutanix magic is in its’ software which is highly sophisticated and delivers the world’s first SDS (Software-defined Storage system), similar to Nicira, also a LIghtspeed portfolio company, which built the world’s first SDN (Software Defined Network system). The combination of SDS, inexpensive compute, and a radically simplified appliance form factor which is easy to deploy and manage has customers excited and highly engaged. They are calling Nutanix Complete the world’s first “datacenter in a box.”
Beyond the technology, we have been hugely impressed by the team at Nutanix. We’ve had the privilege of working with them from the earliest days of the company when Lightspeed originally lead the Series A financing more than two and half years ago. The founders came to us with an extremely bold vision to redefine datacenter storage and computing and we’re incredibly excited to see how emphatically the market is now embracing this vision.
If you found this post useful, follow me at @rmtacct and follow Lightspeed at @lightspeedvp on Twitter.
A Tremendous Day for Nicira And The Networking Industry July 23, 2012Posted by John Vrionis in Uncategorized.
Tags: infrastructure, networking, Nicira, SDN, virtualization, vmware
With their acquisition of Nicira today, VMware is making a brilliant strategic move that gives them not only the leading network virtualization technology but also a world-class of team of executives and engineers. Congratulations to Martin, Steve, Rob, Alan, JJ, Paul, Denis and the entire Nicira team – for me, and the rest of the Lightspeed team, it’s truly a privilege to have been a part of the effort where an entrepreneurial team realizes a vision and begins to transform an industry.
Nicira is fundamentally changing networking as we know it, much in the same ways that server virtualization changed the datacenter only a few years ago. The company virtualizes the network, separating the logical network from the physical topology, much like server virtualization decouples the virtual machines from the underlying server hardware. With Nicira, networks can have the same dynamic and flexible operational model of virtual machines and they can be programmed and configured without disruption or manual intervention.
So while today’s news will likely center on the financials of the deal (which admittedly are tremendous for all shareholders) and how the two companies will integrate, to me, the real story is the impact that Nicira has had on the industry in just a few years and the team behind it. These are truly some of the best talents in networking and infrastructure, more broadly, in the world. The spotlight should shine brightly and entirely on them as they’ve done all the hard work to make this happen.
On a more personal note, I’ve known Nicira’s co-founder Martin Casado since 2004 when we were both studying at Stanford. He was getting his PhD and I was in Business School; we were introduced by Andy Rachleff and Nick McKeown and have been friends ever since. Martin is a genius, really. That word tends to be overused, but in Martin’s case it’s the absolute truth. You don’t have to take my word for it, Scott Shenker, a co-founder of Nicira and UC Berkeley computer science professor recently told WIRED, “I’ve known a lot of smart people in my life, and on any dimension you care to mention, he’s off the scale.”
Congratulations guys, thanks again for all the effort and for letting me be a part of it, and of course to VMware for a great move.
What is the right age to found a company? February 29, 2012Posted by jeremyliew in founders, startups.
Tags: founders, infrastructure, internet, startups, VC
I read a story in this weeks economist that surprised me. It claimed that founding new businesses is not just a young persons game, but rather that the average age of a founder of a tech startup was 39.
Research suggests that age may in fact be an advantage for entrepreneurs. Vivek Wadhwa of Singularity University in California studied more than 500 American high-tech and engineering companies with more than $1m in sales. He discovered that the average age of the founders of successful American technology businesses (ie, ones with real revenues) is 39. There were twice as many successful founders over 50 as under 25, and twice as many over 60 as under 20. Dane Stangler of the Kauffman Foundation studied American firms founded in 1996-2007. He found the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity among people aged between 55 and 64—and the lowest rate among the Google generation of 20- to 34-year-olds. The Kauffman Foundation’s most recent study of start-ups discovered that people aged 55 to 64 accounted for nearly 23% of new entrepreneurs in 2010, compared with under 15% in 1996.
There is definitely an availability bias (dominated by people like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates) that leads us to think that tech startup founders drop out of college to start their companies. But I did a quick and informal poll with my partners and found results consistent with Wadhwa’s findings. Roughly 50% of the founders of our current portfolio were in their 30s when they founded their companies, with roughly equal numbers in their 20s to their 40s:
I went one level deeper, and compared the ages of the founders of internet companies to those of infrastructure companies:
Here we start to see a difference – although half of founders in both categories are in their 30s, the remainder tend to skew to their 20s for internet companies and to their 40s for infrastructure companies.
This squares with my intuition more- what do you think?