Stardust Systems Doesn’t Care if You Pay for its Product

Two networking industry veterans have launched a network observability startup based on an open source model, with users paying for a fully supported enterprise version if needed.

Dinesh Dutt, former chief scientist at Cumulus Networks and a Cisco fellow who helped design many of the networking giant’s ASICs, and Neela Jacques, whose background includes VMware, Barracuda, the OpenDaylight Project, and Isovalent, have co-founded Stardust Systems based on Dutt’s work on the open source Suzieq network management tool.

Neela Jacques, Co-Founder, Stardust Systems

Jacques, whose experience includes the OpenDaylight, eBPF, and Cilium open source projects, sees an open source business model as the best way to get their technology out to the market. His goal is to get Suzieq into the hands of as many users as possible, even if they never become paying customers.

“Some users will never pay for additional functionality, services, or support,” Jacques told Enterprise Networking Planet. “We think that’s the price of entry these days. We’re committed to giving users something solid of value, something they can use in production. We’re betting many of them will want more and happily pay for the enterprise version.”

Networks have never been more complicated or harder to understand — witness Facebook’s recent outage — and many network operators are afraid to make changes as a result.

“When a network fails, the outcome is spectacular,” Jacques said. “Most network operators don’t want to admit how fragile their networks are.”

Also read: The Future of Network Management with AIOps