Will Repatriation of Workloads Drive a Golden Era in Private Infrastructure Solutions?

Fall 2021

There is a school of thought that the cost of public cloud gets out-of-control expensive as a company scales consumption to the point where cloud cost is 80% +/- the cost of sales. Also many believe that corporations would reduce their cost by 50% if workloads were repatriated back into private data centers. First, is this true? And if so, then is the industry on the verge of a golden age of private infrastructure investment?


Paul Silverstein is a managing director and senior research analyst and covers telecom & networking equipment. Prior to joining Cowen in 2013, Mr. Silverstein was a director in Credit Suisse’s equity research department, covering the communications infrastructure industry. Before that, he was a senior analyst in equity research at Robertson Stephens and at Needham & Co. Prior to becoming a securities analyst, Mr. Silverstein practiced corporate and securities law as an associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges and at Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a JD from Cornell Law School.

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers – the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…”.

Guru loves these lines from that classic Apple Ad because he believes few things better describe those with the singular goal to create market-leading platforms with outsized impact.

After his last startup was acquired (Nuova Systems acquired by Cisco), Guru joined Lightspeed as an investor in 2012 working with the partnership on investments in Zscaler (IPO), Avere Systems (acquired by Microsoft) and finally Avi Networks (acquired VMware).

Guru believed the core idea behind Avi Networks was so powerful that he joined the founding team as the 4th co-founder. In just a few years, they built out the business from an idea to a platform that served over 20% of Fortune 50 businesses, among hundreds of other customers. Avi Networks was acquired by VMware in 2019. 

After his entrepreneurial journey, Guru decided to focus his time and energy back on venture and returned to his Lightspeed roots, using the lessons from his founding experience to help early-stage founders.

“I’ve been in startups through most of my career. My operational experience spans sitting in a room with my co-founders and not much else, to building billion dollar run rate products,” said Guru. “During this journey, I’ve run product management, marketing, strategy, and have even been the early stage sales rep cold-calling customers. I bring this experience to every interaction I have with founding teams – a deep understanding of technology and how to monetize it.”

Guru primarily invests in Enterprise sectors such as security, DevOps, observability/ops tools, cloud infrastructure and application development. “These areas are seeing extremely rapid innovation and offer significant value creation opportunities for both entrepreneurs and investors,” said Guru.

Rod is the senior equity analyst for the Hardware and Communications Technology sector in Global Investment Research. He joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director in 2017. Prior to joining the firm, Rod was the senior analyst for IT Hardware and Networking Technology at JP Morgan in
North America. Previously, he covered Communications Technology stocks for JP Morgan based in London. Earlier in his career, Rod covered Telecom and Cable stocks in Europe at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and prior to that, he was employed in both technical and managerial positions at AT&T in both the US and France. Rod earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University and an MBA with a focus in finance at INSEAD. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

John Willis is an experienced IT management professional with over 40 years of experience. He is currently conducting research on DevOps, DevSecOps, IT risk, modern governance, and audit compliance, as well as Generative AI. In the past, he has held various positions such as Senior Director at RedHat, VP at Docker Inc., Founder of Socketplane (which was later sold to Docker) and Enstratius (which was later sold to Dell), and VP at Opscode. He also founded Gulf Breeze Software, an award-winning IBM business partner specializing in Tivoli technology deployment.

John Willis is also an accomplished author, having written six IBM Redbooks on enterprise systems management and four books for IT Revolution, including the DevOps Handbook and Deming’s Journey to Profound Knowledge. He is working on his latest book, The Operational History of Generative AI.

Steve has spent over 20 years working in and around hardware, software, and cloud computing.  He is the co-founder and CEO of Oxide Computer Company; which is building a rack-scale computer for the cloud era.  Prior to Oxide, Steve was President & COO of Joyent, a cloud computing company, acquired by Samsung in 2016.  Before Joyent Steve spent 10 years at Dell.

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