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Opthos: SAN in Its Eyes

Wavelength switching startup has SANs in mind

Opthos Inc. has raised $21.6 million in a series B investment round, bringing its total funding to $36.5 million. The startup says it will use the money to put its metro wavelength switching platform into trials, including ones aimed at storage networking.

"SANs benefit from the assignment of one wavelength to every node on the network," says CEO Robert Lundy. Opthos's IW1000 True Optical System can dynamically switch wavelengths one by one between DWDM gear in the metro network's core to switches, routers, and SAN gear at the network edge, Lundy says. He claims Opthos is talking to several makers of SAN equipment about possible partnerships.

Opthos's new round solidifies its position as the first vendor to bring to trial a dynamic wavelength switch for metro use. Other companies, notably Movaz Networks Inc., have announced products but so far aren't to the point of issuing prototypes for trials.

"We have a simple, powerful story," says CEO Robert Lundy. "When other vendors took over $100 million and have nothing to show, we showed up at Supercomm with an interoperable preproduction system after a first round of $14.9 million."

Lundy says the latest funding was provided at a higher valuation for the company than previous rounds. It was jointly led by Advanced Technology Ventures and the Sprout Group. Other investors include Venture Law Group and Ken Oshman, a founder of Rolm who is now CEO of Echelon (Nasdaq: ELON), which makes control networks for home and industrial use. All four were part of the original investment group. A new investor, Crosslink Capital, also joined this round.

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