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Tervela bags $18m for go faster messaging appliances

HPC on Wall Street My latency is lower than yours

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Appliances that accelerate Java applications, encryption and decryption, network message transfer, Web serving, and database processing have found their niches. Now a company called Tervela aims to sell the idea of a messaging appliance to the financial services industry.

New York-based Tervela yesterday completed a fourth round of funding, which brought in $18m and which included Sigma Partners, Acartha Group, and North Hill Ventures. Tervela will use the money to pump up sales and marketing efforts.

The news follows last week's appointment of Eric Schnadig as chief executive officer. He replaces Barry Thompson, Tervela's founder, who returns to his preferred position as chief technology officer.

Schnadig told El Reg yesterday at the HPC on Wall Street event in New York, that with networks, processors and servers all getting faster, middleware and messaging will be the next big battlegrounds in the endless pursuit of transaction capacity and lower latency that financial services companies must pursue to make their profits.

The message is the medium

In June this year Tervela launched the third generation of its messaging appliance, theTMX-500 Message Switch. This uses custom ASIC and FPGA chips to speed up the processing of Java Message Service (JMS) messages as they bounce around n-tier Java applications, loosely gluing them together so they can do transactions like the ones at the heart of financial systems on display at HPC on Wall Street.

The TX-500 comes in a 2U form factor (and is basically three motherboards and some fans) that can have sixteen Gigabit Ethernet links or four 10 Gigabit Ethernet links that allows anywhere from 4 to 64 million JMS messages per second to be processed, all with keeping the message latency under 10 microseconds. As of launch day at the end of June, 20 customers had already placed orders.

Tervela, which was founded in 2004, announced its first product, the TVA-1000 messaging appliance, in September 2007 and it was capable of processing up to 20 million messages per second.

Shortly thereafter, the company tapped Robert Cramer, formerly the CEO at LiveVault (and online archiving form that was acquired by Iron Mountain in 2005) to be its new CEO, allowing Thompson to go back to being CTO after launching the first product. At that point, Tervela had raised $20m in its third round of funding, with the same backers who kicked in dough this week. The prior two rounds had raised $12m, but were never detailed by Tervela. And at some point during the economic meltdown, Cramer was dismissed, and Thompson took over the CEO role once more and started hunting around for someone to do the CEO job again.

Schnadig was previously senior vice president of worldwide sales and business development at Unica, and before that ran sales and marketing at Kenan Systems, which built billing systems for telcos (and which was acquired by Lucent for $1.5bn in the heady days of the dotcom boom in 1999). Schnadig helped push Kenan from $10m to $300m in sales during his tenure - obviously something that privately- held Tervela is interested in. ®

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