Alkira comes to market with $30 million in initial funding
The two brothers who founded software defined-WAN (SD-WAN) vendor Viptela before it was bought by Cisco for $610 million in 2017 are launching a new company focused on cloud networking and backed by $30 million in funding.
The Lowdown: Amir and Atif Khan, who were at Juniper Networks before launching Viptela in 2012, this week brought Alkira out of stealth mode and unveiled the start-up’s Cloud Services Exchange (CSX), a virtualized multicloud solution.
The Details: CSX, which the company will sell through partners, is designed to simplify the process of deploying a multicloud network. It’s a unified and on-demand offering that enables cloud architects and network engineers to build and launch a multicloud network in a point-and-click fashion within minutes. They then have the ability to turn services on or off as needed.
Features in Alkira’s CSX include:
> Network connectivity: From on-premises to clouds, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform
> Cloud-to-cloud connectivity: Within and across regions
> Regional clouds: To the Internet or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) connectivity
> Multicloud network service suite: Includes security, global load balancing, and IP address management
> Operational suite: Includes a unified dashboard
> Granular billing: For multicloud network and services, which gives users better financial management and control
> Portal: Includes an intuitive design canvas with simplified graphic modeling of the network that includes network services, network segmentation, and visualization of intent-based policy for multicloud networks
The Impact: Enterprises continue to adopt multicloud strategies that include using more than one public provider. A survey by Flexera last year found that 84% used more than one cloud service provider while another by network analytics technology provider Kentik said that 58% of respondents were using more than one of the top three providers: AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
Background: The $30 million in initial funding for Alkira came from Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital, and GV (formerly Google Ventures).
The Buzz: “Now more than ever, businesses rely on a mobile workforce and applications accessed in the cloud, securely, and on demand. This shift requires that IT organizations have extreme agility, automated scaling, and the highest level of network resiliency,” said Amir Khan, CEO and founder of Alkira. “Alkira CSX reinvents cloud networking, delivering as-a-service consumption of a global multicloud network with unified services, security, intent-based policy, visibility, and governance. Alkira CSX seamlessly connects to your corporate infrastructure and enables customers to secure and connect a multicloud environment in minutes, providing businesses the agility they need to navigate through volatile market conditions.”
“Alkira is a game-changer that empowers networking professionals to build and operate a network as a utility and address the challenges that enterprises face connecting and supporting multiple clouds,” said Ernest Lefner, co-founder and co-chairman of ONUG, the largest open networking user group. “Alkira is like having your own personalized virtual co-location capability for cloud network access. It comes with a rich suite of secure and resilient unified services that enable on-time and at scale cloud connectivity. Alkira CSX handles the heavy lifting in operationalizing virtual cloud networking, including the delivery of new capabilities like patching, security, monitoring, troubleshooting, visibility, and upgrades, which are all handled transparently.”
“Alkira Cloud Services Exchange is the first unified multicloud network with an integrated network services marketplace, deep network insights, and governance – resiliently delivered on demand and as-a-service,” said Atif Khan, CTO and founder of Alkira. “At the heart of Alkira CSX are Alkira Cloud Exchange Points, which are globally distributed multicloud points of presence, providing a full routing stack and network services capabilities. CXPs natively leverage cloud capabilities, when and where needed. Alkira CSX and CXPs are built on top of Alkira’s Multi-Cloud Fully Integrated Routing and Services Technology (Multi-Cloud FIRST) architecture.”
“At Global Eagle we’ve been impressed by the speed and ease of the Alkira multicloud network service. It took under one hour to design, deploy, and provision connectivity from on-premises to applications in the cloud across two regions,” said Andrew Rae, head of IT Infrastructure and Networking at Global Eagle. “It is an efficient and effective way to have multiregion cloud connectivity with seamless security services.”