Infineta Unveils WAN Optimization Tech For High-Speed Data Center Interconnects


Infineta Systems on Monday stepped out of the shadows with its first product, a WAN acceleration appliance the company says makes possible the fast movement of data between data centers.

The company also reported its Series B round of funding of $15 million, bringing the total venture capital funding for the company to $30 million.

Infineta's Data Mobility Switch differs from WAN optimization appliances such as those from Riverbed and Cisco in that it uses custom hardware instead of x86-based platforms to get the kind of performance needed to move data between data centers, said Raj Kanaya, CEO and founder of the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

That capability is of growing importance as inter-data center WAN traffic continues to grow by over 50 percent per year, driven by the need to keep data available for disaster purposes or for scaling to storage or compute clouds, Kanaya said, citing the results of a recent survey commissioned by the company.

Kanaya said inter-data center data movement is also characterized by growing amounts of virtual machine data as well as big data, or data which scales to multiple petabytes of capacity and is created or collected, is stored, and is collaborative in real time.

Other WAN optimization appliance manufacturers such as Riverbed and Cisco have done well in developing technology for optimizing the movement of data between users and data centers, Kanaya said.

"But companies are now looking at allowing server-to-server data movement across data centers," he said. "This is a fundamentally different problem, and requires a fundamentally different solution."

Infineta's Data Mobility Switch uses customized hardware to provide 10-Gbps accelerated data traffic throughput. It also includes hardware deduplication of data to reduce storage and bandwidth requirements to increase performance, in addition to fine-grained quality of service controls and advanced network layer acceleration technologies, he said.

With those capabilities, the Infineta DMS can turn a 1-Gbps WAN into a virtual 5-Gbps link, a 622-Mbps OC12 circuit into a 3-Gbps link, and a 2.54-Gbps OC48 circuit into a 10-Gbps link, he said.

Unlike WAN optimization appliances used for accelerating branch office data, the Infineta DMS is designed for server-to-server data movement using replication, remote backup, and live migration, Kanaya said. Such data movements are typically done in high-speed bursts, and need 1 Gbps connectivity or better, he said.

The Infineta DMS provides customers with the ability to control which data traffic to process, and to set priorities and minimum performance levels based on corporate policies, Kanaya said.

Customers can also dynamically allocate WAN bandwidth resources across flows, and deduplicate the data by a factor of five at 10-Gbps rates, he said.

Infineta offers a total of six models. Three models include the full range of control, optimization, and deduplication features, while three models lack the deduplication feature. Prices range from $80,000 to $340,000, depending on total maximum throughput.

The company primarily sells it products directly, but also works with channel partners who have a strong enterprise business. "It's best if they also have storage practices with companies like EMC and NetApp, and expertise in data replication," he said.