Cisco Systems is investing $6 million in software-defined networking (SDN) startup Embrane, part of a $12 million funding round for the vendor, according to industry reports.
The investment strengthens Cisco's support for the higher levels of the network stack, according to a report on GigaOm. Cisco is looking to ensure Embrane technology works well with its own platforms.
Embrane raised $18 million in Series B funding in 2011, taking its total investment to $27 million. In late 2013, Embrane cut jobs but said a Series C round was under way. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and North Bridge Venture Partners.
Embrane declined to comment on the investment, while Cisco is yet to respond to questions.
Embrane supports the Layer 3-7 portion of the networking stack, company CEO Dante Malagrinò said in a video interview with Light Reading. "We focus on the services that let applications get more agility out of the network infrastructure," Malagrinò said. (See Embrane CEO Dante Malagrinò.)
The company started by filling unmet needs for early infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud providers. "It was clear to us that being able to spin up a load balancer on demand in a matter of seconds in an automated fashion or a firewall or any other type of network service as a very significant priority for them," said Malagrinò.
Previously, Cisco launched and then almost immediately acquired its own SDN startup, Insieme, in a maneuver popularly known as a "spin-in." That acquisition was announced as Cisco unveiled its Application-Centric Infrastructure. (See Cisco Unveils Application-Centric Infrastructure and Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN.)
We'll have more on this story later.