S2io Becomes Neterion

And plans are in the works for new OEMs, new storage products, and a maybe even an IPO

January 26, 2005

3 Min Read
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Its all about change over at data center startup S2io Technologies Corp. The Cupertino, Calif., firm has changed its name to Neterion Inc. and overhauled its 10-Gigabit technology (see S2io Changes Name ).

Apparently, S2io failed the “Missouri Mother Test,” according to Dave Zabrowski, the company’s CEO. “I have worked for S2io for two years and my mother never got the name right,” he says.

And Neterion? Apparently the word combines the company’s network heritage and the “promise of discovery and inifinite possibilities,” Zabrowski says.

The source of all this fuss is a PCI-X server adapter called Xframe, which has been developed to connect supercomputers and servers to the likes of 10-Gbit/s switch ports and local area networks (LANs).

At least the message, if not the company's first stab at a name, appears to be getting through. Neterion has chalked up OEM deals with supercomputing giants Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI) and Cray Inc. (Nasdaq: CRAY), as well as hardware vendor Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). (See 10-Gig Gains Momentum and HP Selects S2io's Xframe.)Xframe II, which was launched today, doubles the adapter’s processor speed from 133 MHz to 266 MHz, according to Zabrowski.

So, what’s next for Neterion? Apparently, the company has some more deals in the pipeline. Although he is unwilling to name names, Zabrowski tells NDCF that a major OEM deal with another server vendor is in the offing.

Neterion, which has been mainly focused on the server and high-performance computing market since it was founded in 2001, is also looking to make inroads into the storage space. Although again unwilling to divulge any names, Zabrowski admits that he is talking “to all the big guns” with regard to storage OEM deals.

After amassing $42 million in three funding rounds, the exec also has an eye on a longer-term prize. “We will be IPO-ready in 2006,” he predicts.

But Bob Wheeler, senior analyst at The Linley Group, warns that this could be something of a tall order. “It really depends on how quickly the 10-Gigabit market develops,” he says. “This year the 10-Gigabit adapter market is still very small -- the number of units shipped can still be measured in tens of thousands.”Neterion is not the only company playing in this space, either. Zabrowski cites Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) as competitors, and rival Chelsio Communications Inc. recently completed its third funding round (see Chelsio Chalks Up $25M).

Nonetheless, Wheeler feels that Neterion is well positioned. “It’s not impossible that they could do an IPO in 2006,” he says. “But the question is how quickly will the market ramp.”

At least the company’s top brass know their way around the high-tech market. The original S2io was founded by a group of former executives from Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) and Alteon. These include Neterion’s CTO, Lee Shepherd, the VP of software, Leonid Grossman, and the VP of engineering, Dennis Shwed.

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

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