Optical/IP Networks

Force10's Feldman Sails to SeaMicro

Former Force10 Networks Inc. and Riverstone executive Andrew Feldman has resurfaced as a CEO, having founded a startup that's building data-center equipment targeting lower power consumption.

SeaMicro Inc. isn't saying much else about its plans. The company was started in July 2007 and got funded in December 2007, Feldman tells Light Reading. The company lists Crosslink Capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson as its investors.

SeaMicro is based in Santa Clara, Calif., in Riverstone's old stomping grounds off Great America Parkway. (Naturally, a recession is a great time to be picking office space -- "the number of subleases that are available is tremendous," Feldman says.)

The data center is, of course, where all the cool kids in networking hang out these days. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) are pushing grand new architectures designed to simplify what's become a complicated network. Feldman's old employer, Force10, recently announced its own new box for the data center, too. (See Cisco Dreams of Data Center Unity, Juniper Strikes at the Data Center, and Force10 Thinks 'Exa'.)

Pretty much every company selling equipment into the data center is trying to lower the power consumption of equipment. Aside from "green" being in vogue, the size of some data centers is starting to make the electrical bill a significant expense.

Semiconductor technologies could probably lead to ways of curbing power usage, and SeaMicro just might be taking that approach. Feldman founded the company along with chief technology officer Gary Lauterbach, a former Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) fellow who was one of five lead architects developing that company's microprocessors. Lauterbach was also a chip architect with Sun Microsystems Inc. , working on the Sparc III and Sparc IV chips.

The company roster also includes vice president of marketing Anil Rao, who most recently came from Juniper's application acceleration division and also worked for Procket and -- taking us way back -- ONI, before and after the Ciena acquisition. (See Ciena and ONI: Wedding of the Year?)

Feldman was with Force10 from 2003 to 2007, a time when Force10 was considered a big-time IPO candidate. He left in 2007 for what he described as personal reasons. (See Force10 IPO Still Hanging, Force10 Networks Inc., and Feldman Out at Force10.)

The SEC was hot on Riverstone's trail at the time and sued former executives, including Feldman, in 2006. Feldman says his case is closed, and he won't discuss the details.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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