Apstra Has a New CMO

Mike Wood Apstra

By: R. Scott Raynovich

Apstra, the Menlo Park-based company that pioneered Intent-Based Networking (IBN) and Intent-Based Analytics (IBA), announced today it has recruited Michael Wood, former VP of worldwide marketing a VeloCloud (now owned by VMware), to be its new chief marketing officer. 

I can confirm that Michael's already started because I just spoke to him on a conference call. He seemed ecstatic about the opportunity, saying that he wasn't actively looking for a job until a recruiter friend asked him to talk. He was then seduced by the Apstra story. 

"This company has everything," said Michael. "I fell in love with the product, the leadership, the team and the culture."

It should be interesting to see if Apstra now accelerates its marketing efforts. So far, the company is famously focused on engineering and customer service, without a lot of marketing glitz. But as the company grows, it will be looking to expand its story and market partnerships. This will include some announcements next week and at VMworld in two weeks. 

Wood has spent the majority of his career in networking. Prior to VMware and VeloCloud, he was at Akamai, Cisco, and Stratacom (remember them? Also acquired by Cisco) working in product marketing and engineering roles. He's got chops in product management, product marketing, scaling businesses, driving revenue, incorporating process, and outbound marketing. 

"It's been a fast 72 hours. We are thrilled to welcome Michael to our growing team,” said Mansour Karam, CEO and founder of Apstra. 

Apstra's product is unique by using extensive network telemetry and a "single source of truth" with closed-loop network telemetry to build a comprehensive view of the network. It can then be used to manage and build networks that respond and re-configure themselves based on changing network and application conditions. The software can also be used to configure and build new data-center networks based on intent. 

Apstra is part of the new open-networking "disaggregated" ecosystem which aims to build a more modern network based on open standards and interoperability. It works with a wide variety of open networking equipment and operating systems, including those provided by Arista, Big Switch, Cisco, Cumulus, and Dell, and Juniper among many others. It also recently upgrade the OS to enable multi-vendor data-center network features such as Ethernet Virtual Private Networks (EVPNs). 

Apstra says it has dozens of customers but the only customers it has publicly announced include Yahoo Japan and an unnamed Tier-1 service provider, believed to be either AT&T or Verizon.