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SDN Startup Plexxi Raises $35M for 'Invisible' NetworksSDN Startup Plexxi Raises $35M for 'Invisible' Networks

It's a D round of funding for the switch hardware and software supplier.

Mitch Wagner

September 14, 2015

2 Min Read
SDN Startup Plexxi Raises $35M for 'Invisible' Networks

SDN startup Plexxi scored $35 million in a D round of funding to further its goal of making networks "invisible," the company announced Monday.

The investment brings the total to $83 million. (See Plexxi Raises $35M Series D Funding.)

Plexxi has achieved 10x growth since last year. "We probably could be profitable with this round but it's likely there's one other round subsequent to this," CEO Rich Napolitano tells Light Reading. Plexxi is modeling its growth path on Arista, which raised $150 million in private markets.

"This fuels our market expansion phase," Napolitano says. "It took us three and a half years to have a hardened, enterprise-class product."

Plexxi sells software and programmable, software-defined hardware switches used within data centers that are based on OpenStack and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) technology and which need a more agile infrastructure than one afforded by traditional leaf-spine architecture because of the growing applications load. Plexxi's products are also used for campus-wide connectivity, federating multiple data centers in a single image, and in widely distributed clouds -- one carrier customer has deployed Plexxi around the Pacific Rim, an undersea network. (See New Plexxi Chief Makes His Mark.)

"The network should be invisible," Napolitano says."You shouldn't have to have dedicated resources to manage the network. It should just be part of the fabric of the infrastructure and under software control." Plexxi's philosophy is that the network and IT infrastructure should be managed using the same tools and staff -- a classic DevOps model and aligned with New IP networks.

Want to know more about SDN? Visit Light Reading's SDN Technology content channel. Plexxi's funding round was led by a new investor with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. It's been a good month for SDN startups; NoviFlow scored a $9 million round of Series A funding, announced just last week. (See SDN Startup NoviFlow Scores $9M Series A Funding.) Plexxi said in July it was "on the cusp" of disclosing a deal with a big service provider to deploy a vast SDN network in 14 countries with 96 points of presence. Plexxi said then that it would disclose the details in eight weeks. That was nearly nine weeks ago. The company said Friday that the deal is still under wraps; the customer isn't ready to announce. (See Plexxi Poised for Big SP SDN Deployment.) — 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].

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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