On June 3, we met with Lee Chen, born entrepreneur and chairman of A10 networks, a seasoned veteran of the network industry (co-founder of Foundry networks). Chen presented to us A10 networks, his latest start-up, a promising venture dealing with IPV4 - IPV6 migration, application delivery and cloud computing and virtualisation.
"Our goal is to make the web faster and more secure"
The 170 employee company was founded in 2004 by Lee Chen, co-founder of Foundry networks and Centillion. The company is growing fast -- although I have no particulars on this -- and the customers list is already showing a few well-known names such as NTT Docomo, Microsoft, the Huffington Post, as well as mobile and cable carriers which can't be named here but some guessing can be done with regard to European operators namely. Major Oriental clients such as Yahoo! China and Alibaba.com as well as a Subaru and China Mobile are also to be found on this list.
The company was founded 6 years ago, 4 years were devoted to product development - self funded - and A10's business development is now shifting into Europe, where it started staffing recently (a little more than one year ago), and it has already a good base of resellers over there, 20 of which are in France only.
Three products or aiming at a 'perfect 10'
When asked about the name of the company, Lee Chen facetiously explains that a 10 is spelt 10 10 10 in computer language. But he also points out that S10 is a winner at blackjack in Las Vegas, which is more than I can tell. Suffice it to say though that A10 is aiming at delivering high quality and high performance products and therefore targeting a "perfect 10".
A visionary and passionate entrepreneur
But what's most striking in my view is that Chen is delivering the vision for the future of the Internet. Way back in 1996, when one thought we would run out of IP addresses, the demise of IPV4 was announced, and everyone hailed the advent of IPV6. It did not happen. Now that IPV6 -- 15 years later -- is back on the agenda, thanks to a device compatibility, an increasing end to end development and the need for an increasing number of computers to be connected, pundits are predicting the end of IPV4 ... except that it's not happening either. And Lee Chen has the answer: the reason why it's still there is that IPV4 simply won't go, but that it will coexist with IPV6, therefore ensuring dual capability and enabling admins to migrate, slowly but surely, one step at a time. A10 networks has developed the products to support the vision and now we can surely bet that IPV6 will happen; but don't believe in miracles, Chen adds, "IPV4 networks will still be there in 2020!".
The following video interview will give you more details about Lee Chen's vision, straight from the horse's mouth.
I specialize in information systems, HighTech marketing and Web marketing. I am author and contributor to numerous books and the CEO of Visionary Marketing. As such, I contribute regularly on this blog for Orange Business account on cloud computing and cloud storage topics.