News & Insights for the AI Journey|Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Hybrid WAN Startup CloudGenix Raises $25M 

Along with most everything else in the datacenter, networks, including hybrid wide-area networks, are increasingly being managed by software. That software-defined approach has attracted the attention of investors who this week poured another $25 million into CloudGenix, one of a growing list of software-defined WAN vendors.

CloudGenix, Santa Clara, Calif., said Tuesday (May 5) that Bain Capital Ventures led the Series B funding round that also included Charles River Ventures and the Mayfield Fund. Enrique Salem, the former president of Symantec and Bain Capital's CEO will join the CloudGenix board, the startup said.

The software-defined WAN vendor said it has so far raised $34 million as it targets upgrading the legacy WAN market as more workloads shift to hybrid cloud infrastructure. CloudGenix competes against a growing list of software-defined WAN vendors that includes startup VeloCloud and Silver Peak.

Wide-area networking is seen by some as "the last bastion of hardware" in the datacenter, requiring greater flexibility as cloud adoption picks up and virtualization permeates IT infrastructure. Salem cited CloudGenix's "application-defined model for networking" as a key reason for the investment.

The company touts its approach as "networks without networking," providing secure access to hybrid cloud and virtualized applications via what the company calls its "application-defined fabric."

CloudGenix CEO Kumar Ramachandran said the additional funding would be used to accelerate product development along with global sales expansion.

Along with boosting network performance at half the cost, CloudGenix claims its approach extends "datacenter-class security to the network edge." That approach underscores growing concerns about network security.

The software-defined WAN vendor hopes to capitalize on the enterprise shift to hybrid cloud infrastructure increasingly used for applications like collaboration tools. It cites market research in which customers expressed frustration building and managing hybrid WANs using traditional networking hardware.

Among the company's technical advisors are software-defined networking pioneer and VMware Fellow Martin Casado, who also serves as general manager of VMware's Networking and Security Business Unit.

Founded in 2013, the startup's approach to hybrid WANs includes virtualization of underlying network transport layers. The company's roster of customers includes financial services, retail and technology organizations.

CloudGenix raised $9 million in its first funding round in April 2014.

Ramachandran compared the CloudGenix approach to the transformation of datacenters. "Much like hypervisors have transformed datacenters into clouds, CloudGenix aims to transform the way networks are built." Along with delivering cloud- and SaaS-based applications, the company stresses it ability to secure infrastructure at the network edge.

The startup's main product, ION, for "instant-on networks," is said to be deployable in minutes as opposed to days. The ION approach is also said to eliminate the need for proprietary networking hardware in remote offices where most cloud-based applications are used.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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