Yottaa, an impressive application-oriented CDN, has kicked off a new stage of corporate transformation. After launching an initial set of Web Application Optimization technology – primarily centered around CDN, FEO, monitoring and security – Yottaa recently extended its technology to optimize the entire customer’s journey and maximizing online and mobile end user engagement. The key takeaway from our latest interview with CEO Vick Viren Vaishnavi is that Yottaa is no longer content with the IT-dominated Web Acceleration approach typical of CDNs. The company’s new executive team is injecting unique insight to evolve the conventional IT-centric view of Application Optimization with a pluggable platform approach. This approach to business technology includes increased automation and built-in intelligence, and intersects areas that have historically been Marketing, eCommerce or deeply Technical silos: analytics, application optimization for web and mobile presence, user experience management, and more.
Vick Viren Vaishnavi, recently brought on to head the company, is a future-focused, enterprise software technology veteran. Beginning his career in networking infrastructure, he has realized success in the areas of analytics, optimization and security. After helping to lead companies like BladeLogic and Aveksa, Vick has become an expert in Data Center Automation, Identity & Access Management, and Application Performance Management. Yottaa attracted his attention with its efforts towards creating a customized end-user experience, and its focus on application optimization. We spoke to Vick about his perspective on the industry and his plans for Yottaa.
Q: You’ve had a lot of success building and selling companies like BladeLogic to BMC for $800M and Aveksa for $300M to EMC. Can you tell us about that experience and how it’s going to help you at Yottaa? Do you see Identity & Access Management at the edge for Yottaa?
A: My passion is bringing innovation to the marketplace, and building successful companies. I definitely plan to leverage my domain expertise in a multitude of different technology areas to continue innovating at Yottaa. You can look forward to seeing it firsthand circa the end of this quarter, particularly in the networking area – think networking from the perspective of an end-user’s experience, and for the first time being able to understand and pinpoint the resulting business impact.
We will bring concepts inspired by Identity & Access Management together with Layer 7 analytics, resulting in increased security. Added features will include real-time bot detection and separation and mitigation of bad traffic to maintain a higher Quality of Service for legitimate traffic, an expanded PCI architecture, and Web Application Firewall enhancements. On the Cloud operations side, we are contemplating a different way to integrate Data Center Automation with those capabilities, which is another area in which I have previous experience.
Q: Initially, when Yottaa built its CDN infrastructure, it was built on top of Amazon and other cloud providers. Today, it seems that Yottaa has a hybrid infrastructure that leverages both dedicated infrastructure and the cloud. What is your plan in regards to your infrastructure and how are you going to evolve it over time?
A: In truth, some of Yottaa’s first patents were for a unique, hybrid architecture and Cloud Service for optimizing Web Applications. In 2014 we expanded our dedicated infrastructure to improve performance and delivery for key geographies. Since I came to Yottaa a few months ago, we have accelerated the process of expanding our infrastructure in three main areas.
First, it’s not enough for us simply to provide a carrier-grade infrastructure and to have the capacity to support large files and downloads; it is critical that we apply optimizations that will reflect positively back on your system and your business. This plays into the choice to build out dedicated data centers because client demands for real-time data analysis and insight require additional control. Our strategy is to inspect traffic ingress and egress to optimize convergence points, which can now be achieved in all of our data centers. The second area is to maximize our customers’ investments by closely monitoring data transfer activity to optimize routing and eliminate systematic overages. The third factor is to ensure we’re best leveraging our Cloud provider partners for overflow/burst traffic or to offload traffic to distributed PoPs. Our data centers can spin additional PoPs up and down using OSS automation technology and DevOps scripting, an achievement we are proud to have deployed and actively working for customers.
One of the criteria for achieving our PCI and DDS certification was the ability to demonstrate control over those levels of automation, both from an infrastructure perspective and from a consumer perspective. You cannot achieve that level of certification without effectively demonstrating competency in access management, end-to-end security and automation. As we expand, you can expect enhanced monitoring of convergence points to optimize personalized end user performance, and far more control and reliability over these points and traffic.
It’s important that I mention that the majority of our clients recognize that we are not trying to minimize the value of a CDN. Given our Cloud architecture, it is clear that we understand and embrace the basic global presence and acceleration capabilities CDNs provide. Yottaa is working hard to lead the industry toward an understanding that there are three aspects to optimizing a Web or eCommerce application: performance, engagement, and impact. CDNs were designed to boost performance for a certain type of software asset, and through that boost in performance enterprises were trained to expect a resulting business impact. But that doesn’t happen with new age applications, infrastrucures and content because the architecture lacks a feedback loop to tie acceleration to either top or bottom line growth. We built something from scratch that has a feedback loop built-in so we can monitor end user activity at all times. We then can show enterprises a clear, black and white picture of which performance improvements we are making for impact, and how they are achieving that impact by maximizing user engagement. We don’t say that CDNs are bad like some other companies may, but rather that we have a powerful technology that supplements the stated purpose of a CDN.
Our typical customer will replace their existing CDN solution for a given Web or eCommerce application because it’s operationally simpler for them to manage a single platform for the combined delivery, security, and optimization benefits we provide. Because we are implemented as a reverse proxy solution, and since our technology works on any application that can be rendered in a browser, customers can implement Yottaa without disrupting the incumbent technology, platform or provider. From a product management perspective, we believe that the best way to gain traction and win over customers is provide a turnkey solution – one that does not require any disruption to existing code or infrastructure.
Yottaa definitely takes a different architectural approach from industry conventions. In Part 2, we’ll discuss Yottaa’s plans for the future of the company, and get an inside look at their sales perspective moving forward.