LightSand Acquires SANcastle, Increases Remote Fibre Channel Options

LightSand, which develops appliances to connect Fibre Channel SANs remotely to each other over SONET, DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing), or dedicated dark fiber, this week signed a definitive agreement to acquire SANcastle Technologies, a developer of Fibre Channel-over-IP (FCIP) and SAN isolation technologies.

Milpitas, Calif.-based LightSand also has an agreement with U.K.-based Marconi to offer that company's Fibre Channel over ATM technology, said Gregg Pugmire, vice president of business development at LightSand.

"Now we can offer any of five options for connecting Fibre Channel over long distance," Pugmire said.

Since both companies are privately held, financial details of the acquisition were not released. The deal expected to close this month.

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LightSand this week received an additional $7 million in venture capital funding, which should be enough to carry the company until it is cash-flow-positive, Pugmire said.

In addition to rounding out LightSand's SAN connectivity technologies, SANcastle also brings the company AR/DAT (autonomous region/domain address translation), a proposed industry standard for isolating remotely-connected SANs so that a problem in one does not affect the stability of another, Pugmire said.

AR/DAT lets multiple heterogeneous SANs scale, Pugmire said. "It allows data to be shared for disaster recovery, business continuity or whatever," he said. "But now you have one SAN fabric. If one gets screwed up, it could take [them all] down. AR/DAT allows the sharing of data, but keeps the SANs separate. Think of it as, I'll share toothpaste with you, but not my toothbrush."

LightSand does no direct fulfillment, but instead depends on solution providers, Pugmire said. The company has 10 to 15 active partners in the United States, along with 10 to 15 showing interest, and it is interested in recruiting more, he said.

LightSand does not merely sign up a new solution provider, but instead works with a perspective partner to ensure they are compatible with each other, Pugmire said. "We don't sign a reseller agreement until we do a deal together," he said.