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Cloud enablement

GigaSpaces Grabs More

Startup GigaSpaces Technologies Ltd. has clinched an additional $3 million in Round B funding to support the launch of its new grid virtualization software.

The cash influx is an add-on to the $3 million GigaSpaces received earlier this year and brings the startup's total funding to $8.5 million. Investors include BRM Capital, Intel Capital, and Formula Vision (see GigaSpaces Grabs $3M).

The round corresponds with growing momentum in grid computing, which enables compute, network, and storage resources to be shared across an IT infrastructure. Recent news shows both vendors and governments putting their weight behind the technology (see Sun Grid Gets Thumbs Up and EC Goes for the Grid).

GigaSpaces' contribution to grid computing is Enterprise Application Grid (EAG) software that uses virtualization to create a kind of middleware for processing database and other transaction-oriented applications. By using virtualization, EAG saves enough processing power to allow programs to run on commodity hardware across distributed grid architectures.

GigaSpace's message appears to be getting through to users -- the company claims 35 customers, up from 25 earlier this year. Some 60 percent of these are in financial services, execs say, and around 30 percent are in telecom, with the remainder in the U.S. "Defense" sector.

New customer wins include Sempra Energy, Webster Bank, and the FXall financial trading platform. These join standing customers such as Hutchison 3G Ltd. and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

GigaSpaces also has been adding to its headcount during recent months, growing from 25 employees earlier this year to its current figure of 37. The new additions have been mainly in sales and marketing.

GigaSpaces was founded back in 2000 by Nati Shalom, the head of the Israeli Grid consortium. The company has its headquarters in New York as well as offices in London, and Herzliya, Israel.

Ziv Leshem, GigaSpaces’ director of marketing, tells NDCF that the next version of EAG will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. This, he says, will include improvements to the software’s distributed caching capabilities, which will help enterprises deploy distributed applications across their grid infrastructures.

The new version of EAG is aimed at OEM partners in particular, Leshem says. GigaSpaces has several OEMs, including: Nortel, which is using GigaSpaces’ technology for its next-generation call center software; Patsystems; and Israeli firm Tadiran Telecom.

However, GigaSpaces is not the only company addressing the grid space, and Leshem admits that the startup faces competition from caching specialists GemStone Systems and Tangosol Inc., which recently teamed up with data center offload specialist Azul Systems Inc. (see Azul Spins With Tangosol).

GigaSpaces is also up against two other grid startups, Platform Computing and DataSynapse, which has been making its own waves in the grid space (see D-Day for DataSynapse and DataSynapse Reports Record H1). GigaSpaces currently partners with these rivals, but those pairings may dissolve in the heat of competition.

There are also challenges of adoption. At the moment, grid computing is seen as a better fit for certain industries. Much of the telecom sector, for example, is a potential grid goldmine, and GigaSpaces has scored customers there. But the segment is still wrestling with the technology (see Telecom Firms Grappling With the Grid).

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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