Executive Forum Featured Speakers
New this year, these featured speakers will provide comments and answer audience questions in a townhall-style format.
Industry Reflection Keynote
Christopher J. Rust, Early Stage Venture Investor, Multiple Stealth Mode Startups
Where is the Communications Industry Headed and What Does that Mean for the Players?
The communications industry— and specifically the telecommunications and optical communications sectors within it— is struggling to remake its place as the digital economy evolves. Connectivity is more important than ever, and yet the historically strong commercial bond between end users and communications service providers (CSPs) is straining, which in turn stresses traditional telco-focused infrastructure and components vendors. Device/platform and IT software/hardware vendors and content/Internet service providers appear healthier, but they too must grapple with the evolution of the digital economy in order to take full advantage of change.
Chris Rust has been an active participant in the communications and networking industry since 1987. From 1987 to 1995 he worked as an EE on large-scale communications infrastructure build-outs at MITRE, USWEST Advanced Technologies, and broadband services pioneer Time Warner Roadrunner where he was a Co-Founder and lead architect. From 1996 to 1998 Rust ran product management at three startups; Sourcecom (acquired by ACT Networks), ComCore (acquired by National Semi), and Carrier Access (IPO CACS). From 1998 to 2002 he was an early stage VC at Sequoia Capital. From 2002 to 2004 Rust was CEO of the Sequoia portfolio company Mahi Networks. Mahi acquired ROADM pioneer Photuris, merged with Meriton, then was then acquired by Xtera. From 2005 to 2013 he was an early stage VC at USVP. Rust is currently working closely with two stealth mode startups.
Over the past 15 years Rust has made 29 early stage investments. These created $16B+ in market cap from 19 realized exits. Notable investments include Abrizio (PMCS), Avanex (AVNX), Dune (BRCM), Mellanox (MLNX), SwitchOn (PMCS), Telera (Alcatel), and VxTel (INTC). Rust currently has 11 active investments, including Diablo, Exablox, GoPro, Kaiam, PlumGrid, and Zerto. He was an investment team member on 11 more early stage companies. These created $5.2B+ in market cap from 1 IPO, 8 acquisitions (7 by public companies), 1 oob, with 1 still active.
Rust’s current interests are information technology, comm/networking infrastructure, and innovation at the intersection of EE/CS & other disciplines.
Executive Townhall Sessions
Najam Ahmad, Director, Network Engineering, Facebook
A director of engineering at Facebook, Najam Ahmad oversees all aspects of the development and operation of a global network infrastructure that serves more than a billion people around the world.
Prior to joining Facebook, Najam was the general manager of global networking services at Microsoft. In that role, he was responsible for the overall architecture, implementation, and operations of Microsoft's global online network. Najam's other experience includes management and engineering roles at MCI/UUNET and Netrix Corporation.
Najam holds an MS in telecommunication protocols and computer science from The George Washington University and a BE in Electrical Engineering from the NED University of Engineering and Technology.
, Chief Technology Officer, Terremark
Some of the topics that will be covered during his presentation and audience Q&A include:
- Growth trends, drivers, applications, etc,
- Technical advancements driving change in the data center
- Biggest issues / bottlenecks that need to be addressed inside the data center
As Terremark’s chief technology officer, John Considine is responsible for the alignment of technology vision with the organizational strategies and the integration of the processes with their appropriate technologies. Considine is also responsible for leading the research and development efforts that ensure the execution of the company’s long-term vision. Formerly the cofounder of CloudSwitch, a leading enablement software company acquired by Verizon in August 2011, Considine has spent the last three years developing and delivering technologies that enable enterprises to seamlessly and securely integrate public cloud resources into their existing IT infrastructure without re-architecting the applications or changing their management tools and policies.
Considine has more than two decades of technology vision and proven experience in complex enterprise system development, integration and product delivery. Before founding CloudSwitch, he was Director of the Platform Products Group at Sun Microsystems, where he was responsible for the 69xx virtualized block storage system, 53xx NAS products, the 5800 Object Archive system, as well as the next generation NAS portfolio. Considine came to Sun through the acquisition of Pirus Networks, where he was part of the early engineering team responsible for the development and release of the Pirus NAS product, including advanced development of parallel NAS functions and the Segmented File System. He has started and boot-strapped a number of start-ups with breakthrough technology in high-performance distributed systems and image processing. Considine has been granted patents for RAID and distributed file system technology.
Considine began his career as an engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems, and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.