SDN Technology

Startup Stateless Goes Loco for Colo, Scores $11.3M

Stateless has banked $11 million in Series A funding to help transform colocation centers from facilities that simply provide space and power into networking hubs, the company said Wednesday.

Stateless Inc. provides technology it calls Software Defined Interconnect (SDIX), giving colocation providers software management for cross-connects between tenants.

Colocation centers are logical places to provide interconnection, as cloud providers, carriers and enterprises all have servers and networking equipment physically located in the same building. But, with some exceptions, colos have not traditionally provided that service. "They've always been focused on space and power. Now they need to manage connectivity for customers," Murad Kablan, Stateless co-founder and CEO, tells Light Reading.

Stateless's Kablan
Stateless's Kablan

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SDIX gives colos the ability to cross-connect firewalls, routers and switches for every tenant, provisioning secure on-demand connectivity no matter where the tenant wants to connect, Kablan says.

The technology is now being tested by a selected group of early adopters, with a full beta and product announcement coming later this year, says Rebecca Warren, Stateless's director of marketing and business development.

SDIX is currently focused on colos, but applicable to cable and telco as well, and Stateless will have more to say about that in the future, Warren says.

The $11.33 million funding round, led by Drive Capital with participation from existing investor SpeedInvest, follows a $1.47 million seed round at the end of 2017. The company, founded in 2016, is based on Boulder, Colo. [Editor's Note: OMG "colo" is the abbreviation for Colorado and it's also short for "colocation center" -- mind blown!] with fewer than 50 employees. Kablan is a recent computer science graduate, and his co-founder and CTO, Eric Keller, was his Ph.D. advisor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Kablan has worked internships with AT&T and IBM.

Stateless also has talent from Uber, NetApp, Solidfire and other industries, Warren says.

Software automation to improve network agility has been a constant drumbeat for the past five years, and just this week we've seen new developments from several vendors. In addition to Stateless, Cato Networks raised $55 million for its vision of providing "cloud-native carrier" services to enterprises, including SD-WAN, firewall, intrusion prevention and service level guarantees. (See Cato Networks Raises $55M, Dances on NFV's Grave.)

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) extended its data center-class networking and compute to the cloud, edge and Internet of Things. (See Cisco Promotes 'Data Center Anywhere' Concept.)

And last year, VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) and Arista Networks Inc. launched their own visions for extending networking beyond the data center. (See VMware Takes On Cisco & Juniper With Network Vision and Arista Challenges Cisco on Campus Networks.)

— Mitch Wagner Visit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on TwitterJoin my Facebook GroupRead my blog: Things Mitch Wagner Saw Executive Editor, Light Reading

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