TelecomNewsroom interview with Chandra Sekar, Senior Director of Product Marketing, VMware
By Contributing Editor Anne Whealdon
Chandra Sekar is Senior Director of Product Marketing for VMware and former Vice President of Marketing for Avi Networks (now called VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer). Recently acquired by VMware, Avi Networks delivers multi-cloud application services by automating intelligence and elasticity across on-premises and cloud environments. Prior to Avi Networks, Chandra held leadership roles in marketing, product management and engineering at Illumio Inc., Citrix Systems, Zenprise and McAfee Inc. Chandra started his career as a software engineer at Talx Corporation, where he developed distributed data communications systems.
With ONUG Fall 2019 happening soon, we sat down to chat with Chandra about the problems that the company solves, what the company is looking forward to at the upcoming ONUG event and more.
TelecomNewsroom, Anne Whealdon (TNR-AW) Question: Tell us about what you do and what problems your company is solving.
Chandra Sekar, Avi Networks (CS-AN) Answer: Avi Networks, now part of VMware, delivers automated, analytics-driven load balancing, WAF (Web Application Firewall) and container traffic management services on a software-defined platform. The platform overcomes the common problems of overprovisioning, lack of flexibility and management complexity that are associated with hardware or virtual appliance-based load balancers. Multinational enterprises deploy the Avi Platform across multi-cloud environments to deliver applications faster, troubleshoot without TCP dumps, deliver self-service to their app team and save costs.
TNR-AW Q: What is the one thing that differentiates Avi Networks within the industry?
CS-AN A: Only Avi delivers load balancing and WAF as a distributed, multi-cloud fabric that can grow and shrink its capacity based on real time traffic intelligence and deep automation powered by closed-loop analytics. Avi is delivered as a software-only platform that can be deployed in any environment across any cloud and gives complete visibility and application insight that eases the operational burden on network administrators
TNR-AW Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the enterprise market today?
CS-AN A: Enterprises have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to automate compute, storage and networking, but application services such as load balancing and security remain a last-mile blocker for digital transformation. Network administrators are tasked with supporting an ever-increasing number of applications and application updates across multiple cloud environments. They need to automate, simplify operations and deliver self-service.
TNR-AW Q: What is Avi’s position on hybrid multi-cloud deployments for the enterprise?
CS-AN A: The Avi Platform was built from the ground up with a software-defined architecture that is not tied to any particular hardware or cloud environment. Avi deploys application services such as load balancing and WAF as a distributed pool of resources across data centers and clouds that is centrally managed and orchestrated. This unique architecture means that the platform can be deployed in bare metal servers, VMs, or containers and in any cloud.
TNR-AW Q: How do you define digital transformation, and what is Avi doing to help enterprise businesses adapt more effectively?
CS-AN A: Digital transformation is necessitating new ways of automating, simplifying operations and delivering self service. Avi helps enterprises to overcome the challenges of hardware-defined appliances and delivers agile application services that match the flexibility of the public cloud consistently across any environment
TNR-AW Q: What is the one thing that enterprise companies need to be aware of as they embrace hybrid multi-cloud computing?
CS-AN A: Enterprises need to choose solutions that operate consistently across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Customers have found that they need to hire or retrain teams to operate different solutions with different capabilities across multiple environments. Some customers have found that they need to refactor applications or carefully consider which applications they can migrate to clouds based on capabilities available in that cloud platform. Automation, visibility, security and a consistent experience across clouds is a key requirement.
TNR-AW Q: Based on your experience and industry knowledge, what are you seeing enterprise businesses doing with technology that is a ‘waste of time?’
CS-AN A: Many enterprises try to force-fit automation on top of existing technology investments. As an example, in the load balancing space, this can unfortunately cost a lot of dollars and wasted effort due to the architectural limitations of monolithic appliances. They find that considering the public cloud requires an entirely new set of considerations and tools, and lifting and shifting appliances simply doesn’t work since they don’t provide the cloud-native automation.
TNR-AW Q: What products or services are you most excited to share with the enterprise community at the ONUG Fall event?
CS-AN A: We’re excited to share the software-defined, elastic Avi Platform and discuss its ability to apply deep automation to day 0 as well as day n+ tasks for network teams and its ability to reduce troubleshooting time to just seconds instead of hours or days.
TNR-AW Q: What roles should Artificial Intelligence play in the enterprise?
CS-AN A: AI promises to be the single biggest technological advancement for powering highly automated application networking services. The ability to “learn” from traffic patterns, security incidents or common application deployment tasks and execute actions that create a resilient application infrastructure will be important for modern applications.
TNR-AW Q: What are you looking to gain from participating in the ONUG Fall Conference?
CS-AN A: We’re looking to understand how enterprises are solving their most urgent challenges in the data center and explore their cloud strategies. We want to investigate how infrastructure teams are keeping pace with application teams and how they are serving their internal customers.