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SDN Technology

Is SDN Vendor Netsocket Dead?

Small SDN vendor Netsocket may be shutting down after laying off half of its 20-person staff, according to reports.

The company "appears to be preparing to either sell off its assets or shut down," according to a report on CRN, which attributed the information to "sources familiar with the matter."

Light Reading's efforts to substantiate that report ran into one big problem: No one is answering the phone or replying to email at Netsocket.

We've written quite a bit about NetSocket , going back to 2008 when the company focused on developing IP service assurance tools. Netsocket re-launched in July 2013 with the first "completely virtualized SDN solution" (their words) that my colleague Ray Le Maistre described as "a full-on assault on the next-generation edge router market." (See NetSocket Tries Mission Impossible and Netsocket Targets Cisco With SDN Pitch.)

The company's SDN and NFV toolset uses code originally developed by core router startup Chiaro Networks (1997-2005), which was aiming to challenge Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and other incumbents in the telecom operator IP backbone market. (See No Tomorrow for Chiaro.)

Netsocket, headquartered in Plano, Texas, incorporated in 2006 and received $21.7 million funding in four rounds from five investors, most recently $4.7 million in venture funding in September 2013, according to CrunchBase. Investors are Aristos Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds, Trail Blazer Capital, Venture Investors and Silver Creek Ventures.

Netsocket was founded by former Chiaro executives, based on the SDN promise of building data networks for enterprises of all sizes and the carriers that serve them using standard servers, commodity Layer 2 switches and free software. Netsocket's virtual infrastructure consists of two elements that run on the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor, the vFlowSwitch and the vFlowController. The controller comprises routing, VPN and security, and is interoperable with legacy networks (although Heavy Reading analyst Caroline Chappell said last year that interoperability would be a challenge).


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The Netsocket suite also includes a centralized management tool, the vNetCommander and service assurance tool, the vNet Optimizer.

Netsocket in February launched its Virtual Edge solution, a cloud-managed virtual network for small and medium-sized businesses and enterprise remote office networks. "The Virtual Edge solution enables businesses to focus on their core competency and leave the networking to their service provider," Netsocket said. The company followed up with tools for automated application delivery and a set of virtual open source and commercial applications for the Virtual Edge platform. The last we reported on Netsocket was in July, when it created a Virtual Partner Program for third-party application developers. (See Netsocket Enables Virtualized Edge Networking, NetSocket Takes vApps to the Edge and NetSocket Opens Arms to Virtual App Partners. )

Lending credibility to the reports that the company is in extremely bad shape: We can't find anybody at Netsocket to comment. We called the person listed for PR on the company website and got a voicemail message that said that person is "on leave." The voicemail named an alternative person, and we left a voicemail there. We tried a few other phone and email channels, too. Nobody picked up or responded. Could be they're all off celebrating a massive new sale or round of funding. Or maybe there's nobody there.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

Mitch Wagner 11/11/2014 | 11:33:56 PM
More evidence A small piece but significant: @Netsocket last tweeted in March. 
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