Grid Startup Seeded

Lilliputian startup eXludus will use the money to help launch its first software products later this summer

July 9, 2005

2 Min Read
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Software startup eXludus Technologies Inc. has clinched $1.22 million in seed financing as it prepares to emerge from stealth and launch its first grid products later in the summer.

Brightspark Ventures and Propulsion Ventures Inc. took part in the round, which will support the rollout of eXluduss flagship RepliCator software.

eXludus [ed. note: not to be confused with a rehab of the same name] was founded in January 2004 by Benoit Marchand, a former Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) and Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI) exec. He is now the eXludus CEO.

Marchand was unwilling to give NDCF full details on the startup’s technology although he confirmed that the first release, which is slated for August or September, will transfer data from one part of a grid to another. RepliCator will move data to the node, or processor, before it is actually needed, avoiding the bottlenecks caused when a number of devices require data at the same time.

A later release will use policies to manage the movement of grid data amongst nodes. The software also will link up with technologies for dispatching "jobs" or workloads across a grid, such as Sun's Grid Engine and Platform Computing’s LSF. Marchand maintains that RepliCator will also work with distributed file systems from the likes of Sun and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). (See EMC Launches High-End NAS and Sun Pushes Into NAS .) He says the startup is already talking to a number of vendors in this space.“These could be potential partners more than competitors,” he says. “Our software could be used to boost the data serving capabilities of a file system.”

Montreal-based eXludus has already got four or five beta customers, according to Marchand, and will be targeting areas such as finance, seismic research, life sciences, and, eventually, markets outside grid computing. “The application will be transformed to fit the needs of other markets, not just grid computing,” he says, adding that this includes the telecom sector, commercial software applications, and even home appliances.

Right now, though, eXludus’s focus is firmly on grid, a technology that is widely expected to soon break out of its traditional high-performance computing niche (see Keynote: Grids to Grow and GridApp Grabs $5M ).

Despite its ambitions, eXludus has a ways to go. The startup currently has just seven full-time employees, split between its Montreal HQ and its sales office in San Mateo, Calif. Marchand says this number is likely to grow in the near future, though he won't say by how much.

Will there be another round anytime soon? “We’re not looking to go for another round of funding before a year and a half,” says Marchand.— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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