Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M

Dr. Lawrence Roberts is taking the wraps off his latest venture: Anagran Inc., which aims to bring quality of service (QOS) and load balancing to customer premises equipment (CPE).

Anagran announced an $8 million first round of funding today, from investors including Argon Capital , ArrowPath Venture Capital, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (see Anagran Raises $8M).

In terms of technology, Anagran resembles a shrunken version of Caspian Networks Inc., Roberts's previous creation. Anagran's pizza box is intended to hook to multiple 10-Gbit/s Ethernet uplinks in campus and enterprise environments. The box will track traffic in terms of flows, not individual packets, aiming to provide more substantial QOS and load balancing.

That helps network operators prioritize time-sensitive traffic, such as video streams of Boston Red Sox playoff games, over less important flows, such as New York Yankees Web pages. The concept can also help identify bandwidth-hungry peer-to-peer flows to either limit the bandwidth they get or charge users appropriately (see Controlling P2P Traffic).

Roberts is being nebulous about the box's cost ("low," he says) but notes that the devices should begin shipping late next year.

Roberts had pursued the idea of Flow-Based Networking with Caspian, but he left that company early this year. Anagran was created in February and is being kept separate from Caspian (see Larry Has Left the Building and Supercomm Snippets: The Sequel). The companies have no overlapping investors other than Roberts himself. "I'm still on the board of Caspian, and we're trying to figure out if that should continue," he says.

Likewise, Anagran expects to get its CPE done without stepping on Caspian's patent portfolio, Roberts says.

So, why start a new company instead of getting Caspian to do a smaller box? Caspian started life as a core-router company, but so did Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7), which has produced progressively smaller versions of its router (see Avici Intros Tiny TSR and Avici's Incredible Shrinking Router).

Roberts says the CPE market is too different from Caspian's realm. Anagran and Caspian "have the same goal in terms of technology concepts, but the products are in different spaces. [Anagran is] a different strategy altogether," he says. For example, Roberts is serious about making the box low-cost, as he sees the cost of routing equipment as a major detriment to deploying 10-Gbit/s Ethernet.

Anagran has about 20 employees and intends to add some more, according to Roberts.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

For further education, visit the archives of related Light Reading Webinars:

dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 1:10:56 AM
re: Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M Muliple 10Gb/s links in an Enterprise Network?
mr network 12/5/2012 | 1:10:56 AM
re: Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M Incredible that Larry get money to flush down the toilet again after the last failure. How can he compete with 6Wind that has have their different products for sevreal years?

I'm tired of these VCs that can assess the business cases for different ventures.

Its better go give the money to a monkey and let him pick stocks on Nasdaq. I promise you he will get a better ROI!
ARBoy 12/5/2012 | 1:10:55 AM
re: Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M It just goes to prove a point that VCs are clueless. Giving Larry Roberts more money to play with is like giving George Bush another four years after he's emptied the treasury and taken us to a pre-emptive war. Roberts will squander this money just like he did/is doing at Caspian.

Come on - wake up America!
Bush sucks 12/5/2012 | 1:10:53 AM
re: Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M I could not agree more with the previous post.

Caspian is anyway positioned to be a low end box competing with the likes of ellacoya and p-cube. The only thing I can think of is that Anagram could be less expensive and smaller form factor than Caspian. It is funny to see a core router positioned as a P2P appliance :-) The only P2P appliance that probably needs 48VDC

VCs are brain dead!
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:10:50 AM
re: Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M Pre-emptive war?

You are WAY too generous.

It is a complete boondongle. Captain Bush ran the ship of state onto a sandbar and punched a hole in the hull, because his hand picked crew told him there were WMDs and 911 terrorists there.

In the Navy, they immediately courts martial the bastard. He does not get the privledge of taking the ship off the sandbar. Most have the grace or are manly enough to retire quietly and fade into obscurity. Bush really has gall to wimper "it wasn't my fault, my crew told me to do it". What a dude. Some character.

Let's not even go into how he diverts attention form his deficit spending and un-employment by bringing up no-child left behind education program. Yea, that's going to solve the problem. News flash: a large fraction of the jobs going overseas are PhD-level. Like getting a second PhD will help.

Education ain't the issue: it's pure and simple foreign exchange arbitrage. That means rich bankers cheating, folks.

Or like how kids are going to school and not being left behind, but they are hungry, cause dad and mom are un-employed, and Bush cut the lunch program, and un-employment benefits too?

Compassionate conservative: Screws people ala Electric Coolaid, feels mighty guilty, takes cowboy hat off and prays in church for forgivance, repeats screwing people with renewed belief Jesus will forgive him.

ARBoy 12/5/2012 | 1:10:36 AM
re: Roberts' Anagran Plan Draws $8M Phew! I didn't mean to start a political furor with my Bush analogy. Hopefully, this response points to a lot more people in the country who see this cowboy for what he is - dumb. Let's hope he sees the same pink slip that he's generated for millions this past four years, on Nov 2.
Sign In