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Cloud-based Visibility Service for Software Defined Networks

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SDN-Polygraph (Cloud-based Visibility Service for Software Defined Networks)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2015-10-31

Talaia Networks S.L. is a university spin-off of UPC BarcelonaTECH that develops and commercializes a network visibility product for traditional networks, called Polygraph (https://polygraph.io). This action studied the viability of SDN-Polygraph, a new visibility product for the new paradigm of Software Defined Networks (SDN).

Nowadays companies strongly depend on their networks for its correct operation. A Gartner study [1] stated that a failure in the network costs in average 30.000€ per hour and it can even reach the 4.000€ per minute in Data Centers (Ponemon Institute [2]); companies average 175 hours of downtime per year, which yields average yearly losses of more than 5 million € per company. The current market of Network Performance Management products was estimated to be worth $2.4B with a >11% yearly growth. However, as we found during this action, previous studies underestimated this figure, because they did not consider the impact SDN will have on the NPM market. A new study of SDXCentral (2015)[3] has estimated the revenue value of SDN products in $15B at the end of 2015, growing to nearly $105B by 2020.

Talaia Networks is in a perfect position to take advantage of the new market enabled by the SDN technology. We have experience with software-based monitoring solutions and, given our links to UPC BarcelonaT, we have access to qualified employees and the latest SDN research. The viability of this idea has been validated in this project with positive results, confirming that the new product is viable both technologically and legally.

Following this idea, Talaia Networks pursues to become a reference vendor in the NPM market with both Polygraph and SDN-Polygraph.


[1] Gartner: “Q&A: How Much Does an Hour of Downtime Cost?” summary available at http://blogs.gartner.com/andrew-lerner/2014/07/16/the-cost-of-downtime/
[2] Ponemon Institute: “Understanding the cost of data center downtime: an analysis of the financial impact of infrastructure vulnerability”. http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/documentation/en-us/brands/liebert/documents/white%20papers/datacenter-uptime_24661-r05-11.pdf
[3] SDxCentral - 2015 SDN and NFV Market Size and Forecast Report https://www.sdxcentral.com/reports/sdn-nfv-market-size-forecast-report-2015/
The feasibility study carried out in this action focused in four main tasks. The work done in these tasks and the results obtained are discussed next.

1.1. Task 1 – Market Prospection

In this task, we deeply studied the current state of the network visibility and SDN markets, and their perspectives for the future. Our study (included in the Business Plan attached to this report) confirms that companies directly depend on the performance of their networks and that the potential growth of the current NPM market size enabled by the advantages brought by the new SDN technology.

This first task also evaluated our future competitors in this new market. We discovered that we are not the only company realizing this huge opportunity, and first competitors are starting to appear. So far, few NPM vendors plan to support SDN in their products, and only a couple of them have limited SDN support. As confirmed by Gartner in 2015 [1] , SDN support is minimal in current NPM solutions. Our evaluation shows that SDN-Polygraph responds to a necessity in the market and Talaia is in a very good position to take a share of this new market.

We have also started to prospect the market in order to find an early adopter that becomes a first reference in the market, and thus severely decreasing the risk of the plan and opening it to further investment. Given the outstanding features of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) developed in Task 2, the European Fed4FIRE project [2], through a competitive call, awarded Talaia with a small project to test the MVP in the Fed4FIRE SDN testbed.

1.2. Task 2 – Development of a Minimum Viable Product

The second task of this Feasibility Study focused on the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in order to demonstrate the technological viability of the project. Using the knowledge obtained with our flagship product Polygraph, we have implemented a MVP of SDN-Polygraph for network visualization in Software Defined Networks.

The development of the MVP had two phases. The first phase consisted in the adaptation of a prototype based in Polygraph to support the SDN architecture. Briefly, we implemented a representative subset of the features already provided by Polygraph, but for SDN instead of legacy networks. The second phase centered in the implementation of a particular SDN feature, which cannot be provided in legacy networks, in order to show the outstanding possibilities that NPM solutions can bring to SDN scenarios.

Finally, as mentioned before, our MVP has been tested in real SDN testbeds in Ireland, Belgium and Spain, thanks to the infrastructure provided by the Fed4Fire European project. Although the MVP still lacks many features, the results are promising and have awakened the interest of several companies that are following the evolution of our product. Furthermore, the new proposal has been presented in several conferences (i.e. TERENA Networking Conference [3], SIGCOMM [4]) and seminars (i.e. ESNOC).

1.3. Task 3 – Legal Feasibility

The third task of this project studied the legal viability of the proposed product. Talaia Networks has subcontracted this task to Legycom, a law firm specialized in legal services for digital business. Apart from the legal framework of a SaaS product, such as SDN-Polygraph, the study has evaluated the legal aspects involved in the end-user licenses of such a service, the study of the IP regime, as well as the analysis of any regulatory issues relevant to the project (e.g. legal data retention policies). The outcome of the study confirms the legal viability of the new proposed product.

1.4. Task 4 – Operational and Financial Plan

The last task addressed the validation of the operational and financial plan. This outcome of this task, using the feedback from previous tasks, is a Business Plan of the proposed product. Talaia Networks has revised its estimations on the resources required to develop a final product, commercialize it, and operate the requir
The outcome of this action ratified the business idea initially described in this project. Although Talaia Networks will continue to commercialize its current flagship product, as a result of this feasibility study, the company plans to progressively leave the traditional networking market and move completely to the SDN field, with the new SDN-Polygraph product evaluated in this action.

Following the Business Plan created during this project, Talaia Networks expects to develop and commercialize a product that reach the break-even point in the second year of commercialization and starts getting considerable profits in the third year. In order to achieve this objective, Talaia plans to continuously recruit new employees into the workforce, from 8 during the first year to 30 in the fifth year.

Talaia Networks aims to become a business leader in the field of SDN-based networks monitoring and management, being internationally recognized for its high capacity for innovation and the development of cutting-edge market solutions. By this, Talaia pursues to become a reference vendor in the NPM market thanks to both Polygraph and SDN-Polygraph.
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