Like a wide-area networking phoenix, Vello Systems rose from the ashes of OpVista, a purveyor of optical-transport systems for cable and telco customers. Leveraging its past in pursuit of a brighter future, Vello now has recast itself as an emergent player in software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization.
As one might expect from a company whose roots are in optical transport, Vello is a company in transition, shifting focus and resources from a market opportunity that never fulfilled its promise to one whose promise remains undimmed. Indeed, the company apparently has ample resources at its disposal, with Dow Jones Newswires reporting this past October (I hope DJN doesn’t block access to that URL) that Vello had raised $25 million to continue its transformation from an optical-transport, carrier-oriented vendor to one focused on cloud data centers at enterprises and service providers.
Gridless Optics and “Cloud Switching”
Vello now sells two WAN boxes — it calls them the “CX family of cloud infrastructure systems” — both of which are managed by the CloudMaster software suite. The CX family comprises the 17-slot, 14-RU CX16000 and the 5-slot, 3-RU CX4000. Vello says the systems are designed to expand 10-gigabit fiber networks to terabits of virtualized capacity, a result the company says is achieved through a combination of gridless optics and “cloud switching” software. The systems are powered by the real-time, Linux-based VellOS, which Vellos says delivers extensive programmability and performance.
In a presentation given a few weeks ago at the Cloud-Net Summit in London, Karl May, Vello’s president and CEO, identified three strategic market opportunities for his company and its products: enterprise Internet services, with early emphasis on content-delivery networks (CDNs) for financial-services companies; public cloud computing, with a focus on data-center internetworking; and enterprise data, where data continuity as a service (DCaaS) is targeted. (Yes, the “aaS” acronyms multiply like rabbits).
Old Wine in a New Bottle?
May and others at Vello have emphasized previously that those market opportunities aren’t being pursued through a simple repurposing of the intellectual property that Vello obtained from OpVista. In the article published by Dow Jones Newswires, May said that substantial new product development had been done in pursuit of the company’s rejigged target markets.
Vello’s pitch in those markets will be that its technology can deliver low-latency, scalable, reliable, and cost-effective interconnect between data centers. Having secured its $25 million in funding, which was disclosed in an SEC filing, Vello says it won’t need further financing. It claims to be generating revenue from product sales to existing customers, and it says some of its financial-services customers are among its investors.
That said, many of those existing customers were inherited from the defunct OpVista. The challenge for Vello will be to keep those customers onboard, and to add plenty of new ones, as it relegates OpVista to a historical footnote in the company’s history.