18 companies launched by former Cisco people

companies started former cisco execs 1

Cisco pedigrees

Numerous tech companies have been founded over the years by former Cisco big shots and lower-level employees, with many a venture capitalist no doubt attracted by these entrepreneurs’ Cisco pedigrees. Some of the companies have gone on to be successful on their own, others were acquired, and others just failed. Here’s a look at some of these companies (listed alphabetically).

agito
Agito Networks

Agito Networks

Agito was founded in 2006 by Pejman Roshan, a former Cisco IT staffer who shifted into product management in the company’s Wireless Business Unit; and Tim Olson, a Cisco wireless software architect. The company developed software to ease roaming between WiFi and cellular networks, and was acquired by ShoreTel in 2010.

Altocloud

Altocloud

Founded by Cisco collaboration engineer Joe Smyth and led by ex-Cisco mate Barry O’Sullivan, Altocloud makes predictive unified communications products that analyze traffic and suggest the best mode for interaction: voice, video, chat, etc. The company began operations in 2013.

Arista Networks

Arista Networks

Arista was founded by Andy Bechtolsheim, Kenneth Duda and David Cheriton, founders and engineers at Ethernet switch start-up Granite Systems, which was acquired by Cisco in 1996. Jayshree Ullal, an ex-Cisco data center executive, serves as CEO at Arista, which makes data center switches based on merchant silicon and modular OS software. The company’s been successful, going public in 2014. So successful, in fact, that it’s being sued by Cisco and founder Cheriton.

Avi Networks

Avi Networks

Avi was founded in 2012 by CEO Umesh Mahajan, who previously was vice president and general manager of a $2 billion data center switching unit at Cisco, and before that led the software team at Cisco SAN spin-in Andiamo. The company makes a virtual application delivery controller designed to boost the performance of enterprise applications accessed via the cloud and mobile devices.

Blue Jeans Network

Blue Jeans Network

Blue Jeans Network was founded in 2009 to simplify videoconferencing. Its Cisco pedigree includes co-founder Krish Ramakrishnan, a former general manager for Cisco’s Server Virtualization business.

bracket computing 2

Bracket Computing

Bracket was founded in 2011 by Jason Lango (pictured), Tom Gillis (pictured) and Keith Valory, all former executives in Cisco’s Security Technology Group. Bracket is looking to make the public cloud more appealing for security-sensitive enterprises.

Embrane

Embrane

Embrane was an SDN startup founded by in 2009 by former Cisco executives Dante Malagrinò and Marco Di Benedetto, who were involved with Cisco’s NX-OS data center operating systems and overall data center strategy. Embrane’s Heleos product is a distributed software platform for virtualizing Layer 4-7 services like load balancing, firewalling, VPNs and the like. Cisco acquired Embrane last year.

Infinite io

Infinite io

Infinite io is a storage startup co-founded by CEO Mark Cree, who previously led Cisco into the storage networking market with its acquisition of NuSpeed in 2000. Infinite io is looking to help customers exploit the cloud by using metadata-informed policies to inexpensively store inactive data and ease access to frequently used data.

Latamkey

Latamkey

Latamkey specializes in helping tech companies expand their business in Latin America. It was founded by Jaime Valles and Osvaldo Bianchi, both with past international leadership positions at Cisco. Valles served as president of Cisco’s Asia Pacific Japan and Greater China operations, and president of Latin America operations. Bianchi managed sales to carriers, channels and operations in Latin America for Cisco.

Monterey Networks

Monterey Networks

Monterey made optical wavelength routers back when everyone was pumping up optical companies and their stocks just before the dot-com bubble. Monterey was founded in 1997 by H. Michael Zadikian, a former Cisco enterprise product manager, and Cisco acquired the company in 1999 for $500 million. Monterey’s Wavelength Router, which Cisco renamed the ONS 15900, was met by tepid demand from service providers and Cisco killed the product in 2001.

MosaixSoft

MosaixSoft

The stealthy 11-month-old company is developing data center and cloud software, and is seeking programmers with cloud computing, virtualization, distributed systems, distributed operating systems and kernels, distributed databases, containers, and OpenStack expertise. Its founder is Brett Galloway, who spent seven years at Cisco running the wireless networks business unit. Galloway was CEO of Airespace, a WLAN company Cisco acquired in 2005 as part of the foundation of its own leading WLAN business.

node
Nodeprime

Nodeprime

Nodeprime is developing a hyper-scale data center management platform that the company claims is “100% vendor agnostic.” One of its founders is CEO James Malachowski, who spent about four years at Cisco as a systems engineer in various disciplines, including data center consolidation and virtualization.

Pexip

Pexip

Pexip was formed after Cisco fought for and then acquired videoconferencing leader Tandberg in 2010. Tandberg executives and Pexip founders Simen Teighe and Hakon Dahle left Cisco two years later to build a unified communications platform for bandwidth efficient distributed videoconferencing.

PLUMgrid

PLUMgrid

PLUMgrid is another SDN startup that develops software for creating virtual domains that replicate the physical network infrastructure in a programmable environment without requiring changes to existing hardware. It was founded by former Cisco engineers Awais Nemat, Pere Monclus and Sushil Singh, who helped develop the company’s Catalyst 6500 and Nexus 7000 switches. PLUMgrid recently named former Cisco executive Larry Lang as its CEO.

shasta 2

Shasta Networks

Shasta Networks made subscriber management services routers for content delivery networks. It was founded by former Cisco executives Anthony Alles, Arthur Lin and Tom Daly, and by Cascade Communications Founder Wu-Fu Chen. Shasta was acquired by Nortel in 1999, and Nortel sold the Shasta assets to Ericsson in 2010 as it shuttered its business.

socketplane

SocketPlane

One of the four founders of SocketPlane is Madhu Venogopal, who spent about 81/2 years at Cisco as the senior technical lead for SDN and network virtualization. SocketPlane helped usher in container-based DevOps-defined networking, and was acquired by software container leader Docker early this year.

Viptela

Viptela

Viptela makes software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) products designed to simplify the configuration, operation and management of branch router WANs. It was founded in 2012 by Khalid Raza, who managed a team of senior Cisco network architects during a 17-year tenure, and IOS software and desktop switching specialist Amir Khan.

zingbox 2

ZingBox

Brand spanking new, ZingBox is working on software that guards Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices from Internet threats. The software is designed to allow routers and gateways to detect when IoT devices are behaving abnormally. Two of the company’s three founders are May Wang, who spent 14 years at Cisco as principal architect in the office of the CTO; and Xu Zou, a former senior software engineer for high end routing at Cisco.