M. H. Raza, the Founder & CEO of Fiber Mountain, was a recent guest on my TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode, we discussed everything from network architecture to virtualization and Glass Core.
Below are M. H. Raza’s five biggest insights from the conversation.
1. There's a lot of talk and sessions at ITEXPO on the topic of SDN, NFV and virtualization.
If we really look at it, we've been talking about SDN for a while. Certainly, there's more and more adoption coming. But at the end of the day, you have to look at specific applications that SDN can deliver to customers, and what are those benefits.
2. Virtualization has been around awhile but is ripe for innovation.
If we look at SDN, NFV, and virtualization, virtualization has been around the longest of those three. If you look at virtualization, we virtualize servers, and compute virtualization benefited customers tremendously. Tens of billions of dollars were saved in networks by server virtualization.
You can virtualize servers, you can bring them into service extremely fast because you’re using software to configure hundreds and thousands of them. However, as you virtualize servers, you also need to virtualize other parts of the network. You want your switches to be configured via software without a lot of human hands and human intervention — the industry is working on it, Fiber Mountain is working on it — but you also want that same capability for your physical infrastructure.
3. The foundation of a network is critical to its success.
If you think about a network, how is it constructed? We know what we want to build in a network. Somebody comes up with an architecture, we go and install the cable and the patch panels and all the physical infrastructure, and then we add switches on top of it, we add servers, we add applications. But in that stack of building a network, let's go to that first one, where you're putting in the cable and the patch panels and the physical infrastructure. Once you lay it down, once you put it in, you are stuck with it for the rest of the life of that network.
We have never had the ability to change that.
4. Fiber Mountain is virtualizing the physical infrastructure with an intelligent SDN.
Today, virtualizing the physical infrastructure with our Intelligent Optical SDN, for the first time, Fiber Mountain delivers to the industry the ability to make a change to that infrastructure and not have to live with it forever - make a change via software.
Certainly, you could use a lot of operational dollars and make a physical change to the network, but we allow the change through software. We do that also at the switch layer and also how servers are connected into the network, so we're really virtualizing the stack. Essentially, Glass Core is the component that allows that very fluid software-controlled environment in a data center.
5. You can build an amazing product but no one will use it if they don’t know about it.
One of the challenges that any new technology faces is you've got to get out there, evangelize it, and demonstrate it. How we are dealing with that is really showing up at places like ITEXPO West and other ITEXPO events. And when we come in, we truly try to demonstrate to people and show them how it's done. And frankly, once they see it, the benefits are just self-evident when you can see from a single screen you can control the entire network.