A new Seattle startup called Hedgehog wants to make it easy for enterprises to use the SONiC operating system for their networking needs.
SONiC, which stands for Software for Open Networking in the Cloud, was open sourced by Microsoft in 2016. The tech giant originally developed its technology for the Azure data center.
SONiC is described as “a Linux-based open source network operating system (NOS) that runs on over 100 different switches from multiple vendors and ASICs.” The idea is to make cloud networking more versatile.
Hedgehog targets cloud-native enterprises that want to move their workloads out of the public cloud. As detailed in last year’s blog post by an investor at Andreessen Horowitz, this is a potential trend for growing companies that need to manage the rising cost of cloud computing.
Through its website, the company’s mission is to:
“Hedgehog specializes in enabling cloud-native application owners to deploy their workloads on edge computing and distributed cloud infrastructure with the same procurement power and automated operations that power the public cloud. An open source software company, Hedgehog helps customers bypass vendor lock, automate large-scale infrastructure operations, and reduce service costs.“
Hedgehog wants to help enterprises keep their networks running smoothly as they migrate workloads. It aims to become “Red Hat for SONiC”, making it easier for companies to use open source software.
The company is led by CEO and co-founder Marc Austin. Mark Austin is a seasoned entrepreneur, most recently at Cisco where he spent four years. Austin also ran a small company in Seattle called IoT Capital and from 2010 until 2012 he was a director at Amazon and worked on the Kindle Enterprise team.
“Foxes know a lot, but hedgehogs know one big thing,” Austin wrote on LinkedIn. “Millions of cloud native workloads will be deployed on a distributed cloud infrastructure with an open network fabric.”
Other co-founders include Mike Dvorkin, a networking expert who helped launch Insieme Networks, which Cisco acquired in 2020.
The Hedgehog raised a pre-seed investment round, but did not disclose the investors or the amount raised. We have no paying customers and currently work with a ‘design partner’.