Startup Saisei today introduced software with bold claims: that it can double network capacity without dropping or stalling user application sessions. The software combines bandwidth allocation, application delivery, and quality of service in a new category of networking technology which Saisei calls a Network Performance Enforcement Solution.
The FlowCommand software suite sits on top of a 10Gbit/s link, both receiving and sending standard TCP/IP. In between, "we completely change the behavior of the flows and get network congestion under control," says Saisei marketing VP Jeff Paine. Using Saisei's patented flow control technology, FlowCommand manages traffic without queueing, buffering, scheduling, or random packet drops. (See Saisei Introduces FlowCommand to Enhance Network Performance.)
"We take the chaotic nature of TCP/IP and change it, make it predictable," Paine says. "Nothing happens unless we want it to. Skype sessions don't freeze up and VoIP won't get choppy because of the way we manage the data."
FlowCommand allows service providers to increase link utilization from 50% to more than 95% while eliminating service complaints (I told you -- bold claims!), protecting key applications and controlling non-critical applications. Critical apps can include VoIP, video or other high-priority business apps. Non-critical apps can be limited, diverted or blocked altogether, Saisei says.
The Saisei suite comprises FlowCommand, FlowEnforcer and FlowVision software that can run either as a virtual image on a hypervisor, or packaged as an x86 hardware appliance. It can be deployed at the data center, branch office or any WAN edge. The software only needs to be deployed on one end of the link.
Saisei says it built FlowCommand for the big data demands of today's mobile, cloud, SDN and Internet of Things deployments. FlowCommand can concurrently monitor up to 5 million flows on a 10Gbit/s network link 20 times per second, and can control every flow using user-defined policies based on 40 metrics in under a second. It looks at millions of flows in real time, does DPI on the first 40-50 frames of each packet, and adjusts flows 20 times per second, Saisei says.
FlowCommand can also integrate the real-time information with historical data for visualizing and comparing usage over time, Saisei says.
FlowCommand's default behavior is to block everything, and allow traffic selectively on a policy basis. The software can apply policies based on uptime, geolocation, users, hosts, or applications, which can be cross-referenced and applied in groups. FlowCommand makes the network impervious to denial-of-service attacks, Paine says.
"What that means from a business perspective is we guarantee session integrity for every flow going through the links. No user timeouts or restarts ever," Paine says. "No matter how much traffic goes through we can make sure everything goes through -- even if the network is under attack."
FlowCommand can detect and prevent security risks in real time by discovering anomalous traffic flows that might indicate an attack
FlowCommand can also give priority users better network application performance.
The software has been shipping since August, priced on a bandwidth basis, which gives the customer the freedom to deploy multiple instantiations without being charged per installation.
Founded last year, Saisei was funded with $7.6 million from Oxygen Ventures this year. It's headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., with offices in Asia Pacific. Strategic partners include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ). The management team includes veterans of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP), Veritas, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), and others.