VIEO Snags $4M More

Vieo gets a $4 million boost from strategic investors BMC Software and Dell

August 7, 2001

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

VIEO Inc., a developer of software for Infiniband servers, has topped off its first round of funding with another $4 million from strategic investors BMC Software Inc.and Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL).

The input brings VIEO's total funding to $24 million. An initial round of $20 million, secured in January, came from Audax Venture Capital, OneLiberty Ventures, and TL Ventures, which led the round.

The new input from BMC and Dell appears to be a vote of confidence in both VIEO and Infiniband.

Infiniband is a new bus architecture designed to create faster links among servers, storage devices, and the Internet by replacing a server or switch's PCI bus with a standalone network device. This tack has the potential to free server system processors to handle data instead of I/O tasks (see InfiniBand in the Spotlight).

"The existing I/O bus is reaching its ceiling, according to Steve Harriman, VP of marketing at VIEO. “There’s a limit to how many more cards you can plug in to add more storage devices.” Infiniband, he says, will enable companies to deploy a "switched fabric I/O," in which storage capacity and bandwidth can be "dropped into" a network as needed, without having to worry about server upgrades.From a performance point of view, InfiniBand has a transfer rate of 2.5 Gbit/s, which will allow server speeds to easily match Fibre Channel or gigabit Ethernet line rates. Infiniband also will work with next-generation Fibre Channel speeds of 2 Gbit/s, making it a suitable companion for products expected to launch later this year from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) and other switch vendors.

Infiniband's future seems promising. Research firm IDC expects 100,000 servers built around the InfiniBand architecture to ship late this year, skyrocketing to 3.5 million in 2004. IDC predicts that revenue from InfiniBand switches will exceed $1 billion by 2004.

Infiniband is supported by a range of industry heavyweights, including Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ), Dell, Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). These and other companies in the InfiniBand Trade Association have clear intentions of making the bus a hit.

Even so, much remains to be done. While many vendors claim to be in various stages of creating Infiniband products, little software has been developed to achieve the transfer of data among servers, routers, and switches. Enter VEIO. VIEO and its archrival Lane15 Software are among the few ISVs (independent software vendors) creating software for Infiniband gear.

Although VIEO hasn't yet shipped its products, the financial input of BMC and Dell should help move things along. So will their partnership. BMC has already committed to OEMing VIEO's software in its products, and it's probably a safe bet that if things work out, Dell might do so as well. Another OEM customer is InfiniSwitch Corp., and VIEO says it expects to sign up four more major software companies soon.Still, nothing's promised or finalized. The ultimate success of both Infiniband in general and VIEO in particular can only be determined when live products are released into customer sites.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Want to know more? The big cheeses of the storage networking industry will be discussing this topic in a session at StorageNet, Byte and Switch’s annual conference, being held in New York City, October 2-5,2001. Check it out at StorageNet2001

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights