Feeds

Virty network whisperer Midokura takes VC cash

Skeptical SDN punters unlikely to start paying en masse till 2014

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Software-defined networking startup Midokura has raised $17.3m to help it hunt a rarely seen creature: a punter who actually pays for SDN.

Midokura's cash infusion was delivered by Japanese government–backed sovereign fund the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, the company announced on Tuesday, along with investments from OpenStack-loving telco NTT Group's venture fund DOCOMO Innovations and NEC's venture fund.

The company makes network virtualization software and was founded by ex-Amazon technologists. Its technology is functionally similar to VMware-backed Nicira's, but the approach is different: Midokura has a Level 3 network gateway, whereas Nicira is Level 2. Both companies offer distributed switching at Level 2.

Nicira and Midokura have designed their SDN technologies to tightly integrate with open source cloud control freak OpenStack, though since Nirica was bought by VMware in 2012 there is doubt in the industry about how long that company's involvement may last.

The company will use the money to hire engineers and product managers, and feed its cash-consuming business* as it rides out a year that – it anticipates – will be hard to earn money in due to the young state of SDN technology.

"This year is still in the investigative stages, and it might start turning at the end of the year, and I think next year might be a better year for mass market [SDN adoption]," Midokura's chief strategy officer Ben Cherian told The Register.

Midokura uses a continuous-licensing basis for its network virtualization software. The technology is a 5-to-10MB download that runs on top of a JVM on standard server hardware. The company has designed specific distributions for major stacks such as Ubuntu and Redhat. Like many of the new breed of SDN companies – Nicira, Big Switch Networks – it doesn't care about underlying network gear, and its only network requirement is IP connectivity.

Though it supports OpenStack at the moment, the company has an ambition to be "cloud agnostic," Cherian said. When asked about Eucalyptus and/or CloudStack support, he said "in the short-term you'll see announcements from us that involve other stacks".

Midokura is not, we suspect, the only software-defined networking company finding it difficult to make money out of the burgeoning technology. Though networking companies are racing to implement SDN support across as much of their gear as possible, none of them have provided El Reg with numbers relating to sales. ®

*Bootnote

"We haven't hit the point of cash flow positive at the moment but we hope to in a reasonable amount of time," Cherian told us.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.