Cisco Founder Launches a Startup That Will Compete… Cisco

The two men who helped make Cisco Systems the internet networking giant – John Chambers and Pankaj Patel – have teamed up to form Nile, a startup that aims to disrupt their former home, Cisco. Both executives left the iconic company six years ago.

His new company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., came out of stealth mode today by introducing a next-generation network-as-a-service product that CEO Patel says requires little to no human intervention to operate and features predictive artificial intelligence to prevent network issues. data flow before they occur.

Chambers, an investor and board member who served as Cisco’s CEO and executive chairman for 22 years and grew the company through numerous acquisitions and new product lines, said the Nile represents the biggest change in networking in more than one decade.

Nile is all about “disruptive simplicity,” Chambers said in a LinkedIn post. “We have a bold vision to innovate and change the status quo”, he guarantees.

“In an industry historically known for new capabilities that define growth, the Nile team has returned to the drawing board to deliver a new system that will transform the way customers acquire, deploy, consume, support, secure and evolve their networks, delivering simplicity much needed, reduced risk and total cost of ownership. We’re coming out of the ground with 50 solution providers already engaged with Nile Connect.”

High-quality enterprise Wi-Fi delivery

Nile’s SaaS Connect product will deliver high-quality enterprise Wi-Fi instead of the traditional method of having companies guess how much network hardware and software they need.

“I would say we are a company defined by a very bold vision,” Patel told ZDNet. “From day one, we’ve sought to remove this critical human dependency on network management. We hope to forever change the way companies architect, design, acquire, deploy, configure, secure and maintain connectivity. security; we will make the first Zero Trust network that does not require any network operations.”

According to Patel, Nile Connect also includes the following features in its platform menu:

  • Maintain a secure storage of user information metadata/data that is used by Nile monitoring sensors to anticipate network flow and fraudulent access issues well in advance.
  • A holistic pay-as-you-go consumption model that simply aligns with network users.
  • Ensuring network performance levels based on the results that matter – availability, capacity and coverage.
  • It removes operational overhead and reduces risk by providing full lifecycle management without AI/ML-based management.

“While the world has changed, networks have not essentially changed,” Patel said. “Of the $25 billion in hardware spent annually on wired and wireless access technology, we estimate that an additional $75 billion is spent on operations. This situation is simply not sustainable, but incumbent operators have not responded because they have business models , ecosystems, and an installed base to protect, and they would have to completely overhaul their own existing platforms. Nile is changing that.”

Nile considers Cisco, which has more legacy networking equipment around the world than any other company, as one of those companies.

Zero Trust security is already built in

According to Patel, Nile’s approach offers the first out-of-the-box zero-trust network that requires no network operations. Each user and device is automatically segmented and each request must be authenticated and evaluated before access is granted. The result reduces the risk of cyber thieves spreading laterally to launch ransomware attacks. Plus, without complex configuration, security teams can ensure that all connections are seen and controlled, wherever they are on the network.

CIOs and CISOs have long known that networks are one of the biggest sources of security risk, conflict and workload in the enterprise. “Zero Trust has been a goal for many organizations, a goal that required a lot of time and attention from network engineers,” said Andy Goodenow, CIO at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. “Nile’s holistic approach to security solves the missing link in extending Zero Trust to the network.”

Complete lifecycle management – without the management

Nile’s cloud-native design includes physical and virtual instrumentation that provides continuous monitoring, detailed analytics, and AI/ML-driven automation, Patel said. The result is a self-managed network that is always optimized for maximum performance, he added. Software updates and security patches are orchestrated and delivered through automation to avoid disruption to users and devices, with Nile taking full responsibility for network management, Patel said.

Consumption-based model

Patel said Nile aims to provide its customers with the same benefits they get from cloud-based storage and software. This approach combines design, hardware, software, installation, maintenance and ongoing management into a simple pay-as-you-go model, Patel said. Organizations no longer need to make large upfront investments as they try to anticipate their needs for the next 5, 7 or even 10 years. Nile will simply add or change capacity and coverage as each customer’s changing needs change, Patel added.

Nile Connect is available in the US and Canada and is expected to arrive in France in the coming months, Patel said.

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