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In the last part of a three-part blog, Sonal Puri, CEO of Webscale (a BGV portfolio company) shares the company’s vision, how its cloud application delivery platform is differentiated in the market and their move to the broader mid-market. WEB ONLY, CLOUD FIRST We have a saying at Webscale – “Deliver, no matter what.” It speaks to the laser focus we’ve had since the company was founded, to deliver an amazing web application user experience to every one of our customers, regardless of the situation. For our core target of mid-market e-commerce, those situations can vary greatly. Maybe they’re experiencing a major surge in traffic caused by a successful marketing promotion, or maybe their sudden perceived popularity is not so positive and happens in the form of a DDoS attack designed to take their site down. Whatever the circumstances, our promise to our customers is that we have their back, and their site will showcase the highest performance, availability and security that we can deliver, every day, no matter what. In addition to this, is our commitment to delivering the robust feature set of our cloud-based application delivery platform with a level of simplicity that has previously alluded this segment. What do we mean by simplicity? Well, it’s ease of use, first and foremost, and that starts with getting your critical web applications migrated into the cloud, with as little effort as possible, as a software-defined infrastructure. This auto-provisioning methodology means there is no need to re-write, saving massive amounts of time and resources, nor is there any need to lift-and-shift and use only a subset of the cloud’s capabilities. Once you’re deployed in the cloud, Webscale’s automated technology stack manages the rest – from predictive auto-scaling in the event of a traffic surge, content optimization and caching to ensure fast page load times, to a powerful web application firewall that will automatically block malicious attacks and apply rules to prevent any loss of business or corporate reputation. That simplicity continues with easy monthly billing and proactive support that identifies and resolves issues often before they’re even known, and certainly before they cause disruption. End of the day, its peace of mind, and it’s one of the most important things we bring our customers. Make no mistake – the mid-market e-commerce segment is no slouch when it comes to its demands on a web application infrastructure. Flash sales, viral events and seasonal fluctuations make sudden changes in traffic commonplace, and when your customer is likely to go to a competitor if your site takes more than three seconds to load, there is zero tolerance for performance or availability issues. For these reasons, e-commerce has been an excellent foundational segment for Webscale to target, and tackling these challenges has contributed to the development of a number of features that we uniquely enable in the application delivery segment. It’s one of the reasons that Webscale was recently named a Top Innovator in cloud application delivery by research firm IDC, citing simplicity as one of our key differentiators in the space. We predict that more than 90% of enterprise applications will be HTTP/S-based by 2020 based on our own experience with working on large scale enterprise network and application deployments. With its core expertise built around the delivery of web-based applications, Webscale is in the right place at the right time, with a mature platform designed to address the performance, availability and security issues that web-based applications will face when leveraging the public cloud. From migration, to deployment and simple ongoing management, Webscale has become a true partner to businesses wanting to deliver world-class web applications that not only delight their users, but truly use the cloud the way it was meant to be used – as a powerful and utility style computing platform with infinite resources, not just a static and oversized datacenter.
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In part II of a three part blog on cloud computing Sonal Puri (CEO Webscale Networks) and Anik Bose (BGV General Partner) share their perspective on the next big cloud disruption – the application delivery controller market. (Our first blog on this topic can be viewed at http://benhamouglobalventures.com/2016/11/10/cloud-computing-adoption-and-challenges/) Have business owners wondered why we still hear about websites crashing when too many people try to get in? Stories were rife during the recent 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday events with big names like Old Navy, Macy’s and Walmart, all experiencing availability issues due to surge traffic, even though these businesses have been around for decades and have adequate budgets to support their needs. Part of the problem is that many companies are still using traditional hosting and networking solutions for the scale, security and management of their websites, and web applications, instead of the cloud. And the other part of the problem is a lack of expertise in bringing all the disparate pieces of the solution together to solve for the big picture. Lying in many data centers and server rooms today is an appliance we have all heard about (hardware, software, virtual or otherwise): the application delivery controller (ADC). During periods of high demand, like Cyber Monday, an ADC is expected to distribute incoming website visitors across multiple servers until they are at capacity. The ADC space is set to grow into a $2.9 billion global market by 2020 – but what’s driving this massive potential is certainly not an appliance. Traditional ADCs – are they even worth it? Anyone who’s worked in a small-sized business knows that building a traditional server deployment with an old-fashioned ADC is expensive, time consuming and challenging to manage. When an ADC and its associated functions get converted to a SaaS-based utility, everything changes. The deployment is a service and managed by the software vendor instead of the company who needs its features but not its associated headache. One can eliminate the need to constantly buy licenses and scaling out is automated, instant and cost effective, versus installing more physical servers, which may then sit dormant for a large percentage of time when not running at peak. Old dogs can learn new tricks? Not likely Traditional ADC vendors such as F5, Radware and Citrix are moving to embrace the cloud and stay relevant in the ADC business, but their entire business model has yet to pivot from the approach of deploying hardware. And their sales and go to market models are not suited for the new world. While these companies may feel like a safe bet and their cloud vision may seem compelling and logical, the ADCs still have to be installed for a cloud deployment and the customer still needs to support it. Parallels across the storage, wan optimization and caching markets replaced almost entirely by SaaS services is difficult to ignore. Layer 4-7 functionality is moving to the cloud quickly. What the cloud can really do It is no secret that the cloud offers infinite scalability, but an ADC delivered as a utility-type service truly built for the cloud offers much more. Traditional ADCs are missing out on content optimization and the ability to offer analytics for customer insights. A built-in-the-cloud ADC solution like Webscale can detect changing requirements (sense) and respond to those requirements (control) – thereby monitoring a customer’s web traffic and infrastructure and resolving issues before they cause disruption. This can be anything from improved page load times to a full scale-out because of a sudden surge in traffic. There are many stories of Webscale customers that have experienced unplanned scale out events just like this. As a vendor, the benefit of a service is constant feedback and improvement. The ADC market remains challenged because they get limited feedback from their customers. If you don’t touch your ADC appliances (either physical or cloud-based) after a customer purchases them, how can you know what your customers are doing with your solution and if your future enhancements are on track, right or wrong? Isn’t it time to think outside the ADC box? Despite these trends and ample proof points, some organizations aren’t being swayed to adopt the cloud or services that make the cloud more efficient, even when, in today’s rapidly moving, always-on world, any enterprise can be subject to a sudden traffic overload that traditional hosting solutions can’t keep up with. Organizations should be asking themselves the following question: is it better to worry about and maintain our own systems and ADCs or instead use that time and money to focus on growing the business? The answer should always be to favor whatever route facilitates laser-focus on one’s business and leave everything else to service models available as a utility. And that is why old school ADCs are such prime targets for disruption from the cloud.  
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Hits record Numbers And Blazing Fast Page Load Times And Efficient Cloud Resource Allocation Delivers Millions In Sales Mountain View, CA – December 01, 2016 – Webscale Networks, the leader in multi-cloud web application delivery and control, is delighted to announce the successful completion of a flawless holiday shopping weekend across the 571 web applications managed by the company’s converged platform. In the course of more than 5000 scale out (and scale in) events since Friday morning, Webscale’s patented dynamic resource allocation technology ensured that its customers only used cloud compute resources when needed, slashing their individual costs by more than 50%, as compared to fixed price infrastructures. Webscale saved its entire customer base more than $1,000,000, as well as thousands more in human capital, all while keeping their sites fast, available and secure from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Consumer spending on Cyber Monday alone hit a new record of $3.39 billion this year, while some of the biggest names in retail like Old Navy, Macy’s and Walmart, managing their own infrastructure or using other providers, experienced availability issues due to traffic. “Webscale right-sizes front and back end infrastructure and manages cloud computing resources efficiently, eradicating over-provisioning and drastically reducing costs,” said Sonal Puri, CEO, Webscale. “Our customers ran a wide range of bold, innovative promotions, and saw up to 400% increases in traffic and hundreds of transactions per second through their storefronts as a result. Thanks to Webscale, the revenues they earned were not siphoned off by out-of-control infrastructure costs, commonly seen in static hosting environments and poorly managed cloud deployments.” Webscale’s customers’ promotions included: Leading skincare brand Murad, discounted every purchase by 30%. Slickwraps, provider of premium skins for consumer devices, is running a 50% off week, as well as giving away a car and a vacation. Winter clothing specialist Winterkids, discounted their products by 70%. Skinit, who sell customized cases for consumer devices, ran a buy-one-get-one-free promotion. Webscale’s customers also benefitted from the peace of mind provided by its predictive analytics, automated provisioning, monitoring and alerting systems, backed by a global 24/7 support team that closely monitored their sites for any hidden issues throughout the weekend. With experience gained from migrating more than 500 storefronts to the cloud, and supporting the transaction of more than $1 billion in revenue this year alone, Webscale continues to be the platform of choice for mid-market businesses looking to manage, scale and optimize their online presence, leveraging the cloud as a true utility. For more information on Webscale’s converged application delivery platform, please visit www.webscalenetworks.com About Webscale Webscale is a pioneer in integrated web application delivery in the cloud. Delivered as-a-Service, the Webscale platform allows businesses of all sizes to benefit from application scalability, load balancing, high performance, outage prevention, improved security and simple management across multiple cloud providers. Experts in cloud technology and creating powerful solutions for mid-market e-commerce and enterprise customers, Webscale is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, with offices in Boulder, CO and Bangalore, India. For more information, please visit: www.webscalenetworks.com Media Contact: Andrew Humber ahumber@webscalenetworks.com (650) 980-7385 —————————————– Sonal Puri | CEO WEBSCALE 650-525-4433 x105
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In this first part of a three part blog Anik Bose (BGV General Partner) shares his perspective on cloud computing and the challenges imposed on moving enterprise applications into the cloud. Cloud computing adoption in Enterprises is being driven by the powerful benefits of CAPEX and OPEX reduction. This represents a paradigm shift where IT resources and services are abstracted from the underlying infrastructure and provided on demand, and at scale, in a shared multi-tenant and elastic environment. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition includes:
  • A pay-as-you-go model with minimal or no initial costs
  • Usage-based pricing, so that costs are based on actual usage
  • Elasticity, so that users can dynamically consume more or less resources
  • Location independence, high availability, and fault tolerance
  • Ubiquitous access to services, where users can access services from any location using any form factor – infrastructure as a service (IaaS); an application deployment platform with application services such as databases, or platform as a service (PaaS); or subscription-based software applications, or software as a service (SaaS).
Challenges However, even for companies that want to be “all-in” when it comes to cloud adoption, it’s not always possible because legacy applications, security/privacy and many other issues can keep portions of the IT infrastructure and applications on-premise. As a result some enterprises are choosing to build a private cloud—enterprise IT infrastructure services, managed by the enterprise, with cloud computing qualities.  Enterprise IT teams need to also balance performance, compliance, interoperability and compatibility to decide which enterprise applications and workloads make sense in the cloud, which ones should stay local or when a hybrid cloud or private cloud is a best fit.   Sometimes based on the type of application (and if SaaS-based alternatives exist), it is worth considering if the SaaS alternatives can meet both business and technical needs. Such a change is no longer an application migration but more of a replacement of the existing application with a SaaS option. New requirements The strong momentum of applications migrating to the public cloud, the adoption of SaaS applications coupled with internal applications becoming increasingly web-enabled is creating new requirements for how enterprise applications are delivered and managed including:     Need for workloads/applications to be cloud agnostic     Ease of manageability for multiple applications across infrastructures     Building resiliency within and across disparate clouds In our next blog we will elaborate on the demise of traditional approaches to managing and delivering application performance in the cloud computing era.
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