Ammasso Amasses $7.5M

Startup looks to push its RDMA-over-Ethernet message and increase its storage presence

March 1, 2005

3 Min Read
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Data center startup Ammasso Inc. has chalked up a $7.5 million add-on to its first-round funding as it attempts to spread its RDMA-over-Ethernet story.

The money comes from existing investors Prism Venture Partners, Inflection Point Ventures, Velocity Equity Partners, and CDP Capital Technology Ventures. The cash tops up Ammasso’s $10 million Series A round, which was completed in April 2003.

Ammasso’s focus is Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over Ethernet. The Boston-based firm’s flagship product is its 1100 server adapter, which enables data to move directly from the memory of one server to another, without using the machines’ operating systems. Because this reduces CPU usage, the startup is touting the technology as an efficient, high-speed option for high-performance computing, or HPC (see Ammasso Releases New Server Adapter).

The company’s main competition at the moment comes from makers of InfiniBand and other high-speed interconnect technologies, including Myrinet from Myricom Inc., according to Ammasso execs.

Ammasso will use the new money to start building out both its sales and marketing efforts and its channel strategy, says Alan Litchfield, the company’s CEO. Among the company’s 40-strong workforce, there are currently only five salespeople and a single marketing person. “I would expect to double that by the first part of next year,” he adds.The firm’s channel strategy is currently split among direct sales, resellers and integrators, and the OEM channel, according to Litchfield. Ammasso has already clinched a reseller deal with Engineered Intelligence and lists a number of other firms, including Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY), as partners (see Foundry, Ammasso Form Alliance).

Litchfield claims Ammasso has already racked up some 65 customers. Many of those adopters are in the HPC space, but Ammasso's now looking to boost its presence in the storage market. Ammasso exec Ken Dennen says, “On the OEM side we are working with people in the HPC arena and in IP storage.”

Ammasso is also looking at ways to implement iSCSI over RDMA, which, Dennen notes, is part of its effort to offer a total solution to companies.

Ammasso was set up back in 2002 by three execs at network security and storage appliance manufacturer Network Engines.: Tom Tucker, Larry Genovesi, and Bill Elliot. Tucker remains involved with Ammasso as the firm’s CTO, although Genovesi and Elliot are no longer with the company.

Recently, Ammasso boosted its management team with the addition of Cheng Wu to its board of directors. Wu, who also serves as chairman of the board for Acopia Networks Inc., will advise the company on bringing its technology to market (see Wu Joins Ammasso Board).So, is another funding round on the cards? Litchfield confirmed to NDCF that Ammasso will be looking to complete its Series B “in the back half of this year.” Ammasso is targeting $15 million for the round, he adds.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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