VMware Acquires Stanford AI/ML Startup
- By John K. Waters
VMware just announced its pending acquisition of Uhana, a provider of deep learning and real-time AI technologies for carrier networks and applications originally developed at Stanford University.
Uhana's core offering is a highly-scalable, low-latency, real-time stream processing and AI platform, deployable in the operator's private cloud or public cloud infrastructure. VMware is adding Uhana's technology to its Telco and Edge Cloud portfolio, the company said, to address two major shifts in the communication services provider (CSP) market: The transition to a programmable and virtualized 4G/5G network; and the rise of low latency applications, such as cloud gaming, VR/AR and IoT. Both developments are "placing stressful demands on the network," the company said in a statement.
"To deliver a consistent and great user experience with competitive economics," the company explained, "network service providers need to automate network operations and directly optimize applications to solve this problem urgently. The answer is an AI-driven, scalable network and application experience management system."
Uhana's stream processing engine is designed to ingest subscriber-level network telemetry from a variety of data sources, including the radio access network, the core network, and even the over-the-top (OTT) application directly. It then processes that telemetry to provide real-time, per-subscriber visibility. It also includes an AI engine that discovers and predicts anomalies in the network (and/or application), prioritizes those discoveries by their estimated impact, infers their likely root causes, and automatically recommends optimization strategies for the best subscriber experience.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Uhana was founded in 2016 to commercialize Stanford research on optimizing networks and applications using machine learning and AI. The company was founded by Sachin Katti, a Stanford associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Manu Bansal, an engineer who conducted his doctoral research in Katti's group.
The acquisition of Uhana demonstrates VMware's "commitment to serving the telecom industry and deepening intelligence in the journey to 5G," the company said. Once acquired, Uhana's tech "will also be poised to empower intelligence and analytics for VMware Smart Assurance and VMware Smart Experience products," the company added.
John has been covering the high-tech beat from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. He serves as Editor-at-Large for Application Development Trends (www.ADTMag.com) and contributes regularly to Redmond Magazine, The Technology Horizons in Education Journal, and Campus Technology. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Everything Guide to Social Media; The Everything Computer Book; Blobitecture: Waveform Architecture and Digital Design; John Chambers and the Cisco Way; and Diablo: The Official Strategy Guide.