NextGig Gets Going

Startup gets $15M to develop storage accleration appliances

November 24, 2001

3 Min Read
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NextGig Inc. has raised $15 million in a first round of funding from ComVentures and Doll Capital Management (DCM), to develop storage acceleration technology.

Based in San Diego, NextGig is still in stealth mode and unavailable for comment on its plans at this time. But heres what we've found out:

According to its Website, it was founded in early 2001, "to develop database infrastructure products that enhance overall data center performance and enable next-generation applications." (eh?)

Exactly, not much to go on there. It says this initial offering will be the first in a series of products that will address a variety of database issues, including performance, availability, customer ROI, and ease of installation. It plans to unveil the first product mid-2002.

A bigger clue to NextGig’s gig is its carefully selected team of executives and engineers.Founder and CEO, Cary Jardin previously setup IPivot, which made an appliance that could connect to any server to offload Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption and decryption functions, improving server speed and boosting Website performance, according to Jardin.

IPivot appliances could also "intelligently" determine where data should be processed and then send the request to servers that could deliver the best response time — reducing the frustration of waiting for Web pages to load on a computer screen.

Jardin sold IPivot to Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) in October 1999, for $500 million.

By 2001, Jardin and several long-time associates had had enough of the big company game and quit Intel to devise plans to meet what they saw as the next great need for large, data-intensive enterprises. It was clear to Jardin and his crew that the front-end network performance issues had, by and large, been addressed -- and that the real problem moving forward lay at the backend, where database transactions are completed, stored, read, and written.

Hence, NextGig’s vision for a series of database acceleration products took shape.The plan sounds similar to that of several next-generation storage processor startups, Trebia Networks Inc.

and Silverback Systems Inc.among them. These companies are building systems-on-a-chip designed to off-load certain processing functions from the server. (see, Trebia Breaks Silence).

It also has echoes of Sun Microsystems Inc.’s (Nasdaq: SUNW) MegaCache storage accelerators designed to speed up the performance of existing storage subsystems. MegaCache accelerators sit between the server and the existing storage subsystem and are transparent to both "front end" servers and "back end" storage. They are specifically designed to speed database applications.

Coincidentally, NextGig’s VP of engineering, John VanZandz, worked at Sun developing enterprise software tools to manage large, distributed Java applications. Perhaps another clue.

All will be revealed in time. At least for now, NextGig has some funding under its belt and can move ahead developing its product. If it’s wise, it will conserve as much of this cash as it can, as many of the other startups in this market are running out of it (see Entrada's Last Gasp?).

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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