Something dawned on me whilst driving around California last weekend. I couldn’t help but think about Aristotle’s quote “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. There are some companies that ripe for acquisition by others. Some companies that have great stand alone technology but extremely complimentary when aligned or amalgamated with other vendor technologies.
Plexxi have a strong play in the Photonic Agility market. I actually think that there is nothing quite as unique as their solution. The ability to program flow based forwarding with their Affinity is useful. Where their real strength plays into the hands is the ability to assign a physical fiber to a specific flow. Physical segregation works well in DC’s where regulations and compliance is required.
This leaves Plexxi ripe to be the DC access underlay. An underlay provider who is ripe for acquisition by an overlay vendor. Juniper’s Contrail and Nuage Networks SDN are great overlay vendors. Juniper does have some great DC products but miss what I think is a mover and shaker in Photonic Agility technologies.
ThousandEyes monitoring is in the same basket as Plexxi. They deliver delicious insight into SaaS applications, path information, and what is occurring between you, intermediate ISPs, and a SaaS provider. Later during the week Solarwinds, the network monitoring behemoth, made a comment about ThousandEyes in their presentation at #NFD6. Joel Dolisy stated “Oh, we’ve got our eye on them”.
These are only two examples of a snapshot of what these vendors do. A finer comb through product portfolios and work culture may find a deeper intrinsic integration or the exact opposite. So when you step back from a technology and look at your own or other disciplines, you quickly realise Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Now even though this is just the machinations of my own head, and Solarwinds may never buy ThousandEyes or Juniper buy Plexxi, it definitely raises conversation around the Aristotle quote when applied to our industry.