Industry Voices: Arrcus has a plan for the metaverse – Raynovich


Arrcus, the venture-backed company focused on delivering open networking solutions for cloud, service providers and hyperscale providers, released a flurry of news today including 300% growth in bookings, a new routing patent and an upcoming demonstration of a joint solution developed with VMware targeting the telecoms market. The company has also grown its headcount at a rapid pace, adding 30% in the fourth quarter.

Arrcus CEO Shekar Ayyar says it’s all a response to the need for better networking for new applications and devices at the edge. To this end, the company announced that its Arrcus Connected Edge (ACE) platform is being rolled out to key customers in verticals including retail, communications, web and financial services.

It’s the Metaverse, Stupid

Of course, you can’t talk about cloud, edge or 5G applications these days without bringing up the metaverse or Web 3.0, which Arrcus mentioned in its press release.

The Web 3.0 markets, or the metaverse, is loosely defined as digital products and services demanding high-performance apps such as artificial Intelligence (AI) and virtual reality. These require a network upgrade – especially when moving data at the edges of the network, such as in retail outlets, factories or access points for vehicles or mobile humans.

Ayyar, in an interview this week, told me the new demand is connected.

“It's important to understand with the advent of Web 3.0 – these apps are all riding on top of the internet,” said Ayyar. “The internet is held together with routers that use BGP [Border Gateway Protocol]. It is becoming increasingly important that the security features, functionality and policies that can be imposed using routing standards that support the scale and distribution requirements of all these Web 3 use cases.”

RELATED: Arrcus CEO sees a ‘critical’ need to address internet transport security

Arrcus products are part of a next generation of networking technologies focused on a software and cloud-based approach, running as distributed services. The network operating system (NOS) can run on open hardware supplied by partners and provides routing and networking 5G, edge and access networks with a highly scalable, low latency, carrier-grade approach. Arrcus says that by simplifying the transport network and adding APIs for connectivity and interactive third-party apps and services, it can improve reliability and performance while lowering the cost of operations.

“As the applications world is getting more complex and latency sensitive, the underlying infrastructure need to have a consistent set of policies at [the] network level to support these applications,” says Ayyar. “That’s what ACE does.”

Arrcus just announced its participation in the upcoming 2022 Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona. Of note will be a joint demo with VMware to showcase state-of-the-art virtualized, service-provider transport networking technology built by combining communications and computing infrastructure at the edge. 

RELATED: Arrcus taps former VMware exec as its new CEO, banks another $28M=

Ayyar was previously a senior executive at VMware where he spearheaded roles in M&A strategy and VMware’s strategy in the telecom sector. The joint demo of Arrcus and VMware at MWC represents the company’s biggest partnership to date, he said. The CEO is starting to put his imprint on the company. Ayyar joined Arrcus last October following a large investment from well-known investors SoftBank and Liberty Global. Arrcus has raised a total of $77 million through its C round and other investors include Clear Ventures, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Samsung Next.

Patent for Segment Routing

With a focus on software-based networking, Arrcus has a long history in the networking industry, with heavy expertise in routing. Company CTO Keyur Patel was a long-time distinguished engineer at Cisco, where he worked on modifications to important internet routing technologies including BGP and virtual private networks (VPNs). The team also includes founder Derek Yeung, a former principal engineer at Cisco.

Following down this technical routing path, Arrcus announced it has been awarded a new patent for Segment ID allocation – its tenth. The company says that ID allocation is a critical factor in accelerating internet traffic and content delivery over the web using Segment Routing (SRv6), which is a next-generation technology being used to provide quality of service and service segmentation in 5G networks and IP infrastructure.

Of course, Arrcus isn’t the only player in the space. Major competitors Arista, Cisco and Juniper Networks have all ramped up efforts to go after the cloudscale and edge networking space with software offerings. This includes Cisco’s move to disaggregate its NOS from hardware as well as develop its own chip, Silicon One, targeted at these markets. In addition, startup DriveNets has been focused on the service provider space with a disaggregated, cloud-based networking system.

Both Arrcus and DriveNets were recently added to my firm Futuriom’s list of 40 companies to watch in 2022, the Futuriom 40.

R. Scott Raynovich is the founder and chief analyst of Futuriom. For two decades, he has been covering a wide range of technology as an editor, analyst, and publisher. He has won several industry awards, including an Editor & Publisher award for Best Business Blog, and his analysis has been featured by prominent media outlets including NPR, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, and the San Jose Mercury News. He can be reached at [email protected]; follow him @rayno.

Industry Voices are opinion columns written by outside contributors—often industry experts or analysts—who are invited to the conversation by FierceTelecom staff. They do not represent the opinions of FierceTelecom.