Start-up Infineta attacks data center connection logjams

Start-up Infineta Systems is coming out of stealth mode just in time to reveal that it is working on one of the knotty problems raised this week at the EMC World conference

Start-up Infineta Systems is coming out of stealth mode just in time to reveal that it is working on one of the knotty problems raised this week at the EMC World conference – how to connect data centers efficiently for backup, replication and cloud services that rely on live migration of virtual machines.

Infineta is coming out with hardware that supports its Velocity Dedupe Engine, which will initially support 10Gbps connections between data centers, says Raj Kanaya, the company's CEO. Its deduplication and TCP optimization efforts reduce traffic that actually travels on the WAN links between data centers to 20% of what it would be without running through the box, he says.

A demonstration at EMC World showed 500 virtual storage machines being replicated via vMotion between two data centers, he says. "That's a use case we'd be able to help out with. We can optimize all of that traffic," Kanaya says.

Data center growth is driving larger and larger bandwidth demands for data centers, with Kanaya quoting a Forrester Research study that projects they will double or triple over the next two to four years. For some businesses, that means going from 5Gbps connections to 15Gbps connections, "If they can get them," Kanaya says.

In talking to potential customers, Kanaya says he's heard businesses say they project their data center-to-data center bandwidth growth to be as much as 150% per year.

Infineta's device will put off – at least for awhile - the need to buy more bandwidth even as traffic among data centers grow, he says, and that will result in a nine-month payback for customers, he says.

By optimizing TCP, which severely ratchets back bandwidth over long pipes with high delay, the Infineta device can fill a 10Gbps pipe, he says. Initially, that is the only optimization the engine will perform since most data center protocols that will be transported over TCP/IP are already optimized for the WAN, he says.

The company has $15 million in A round venture funding from Alloy Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Kanaya, one of the company's founders, has been a product strategist for Citrix and a general manager for a business unit of Lucent. Co-founder K.V.S. Ramarao is the company's CTO who was a platform architect for Cisco's application oriented networking unit. Before that he was founder and CTO of both Conformative Systems, acquired by Intel, and Sariga Networks

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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