Networking startup Graphiant raises $62M in new funding

Networking startup Graphiant raises $62M in new funding

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Networking startup Graphiant Inc. today announced that it has closed a $62 million funding round led by Two Bear Capital.

The Series B round, which also included the participation of Sequoia Capital and other institutional backers, comes six months after Graphiant’s launch from stealth mode. The startup has raised a total of $96 million to date.

The San Jose, California-based company is led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Khalid Raza. Raza previously founded Viptela Inc., a networking startup that was bought by Cisco Systems Inc. in 2017 for $610 million. Viptela offered a software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN, platform for connecting technology systems to one another. 

“The reaction to Graphiant’s network edge has been swift and enthusiastic,” Raza said. “It has been much faster than what we saw with MPLS at Cisco or SD-WAN with Viptela.”

The company provides a networking platform that allows companies to link together their cloud environments, data centers and other technology assets. Historically, the network infrastructure necessary to connect such assets took weeks or months to deploy. Graphiant says its platform provides the ability to provision new connections in minutes.

The startup provides its platform on an as-a-service basis. It’s promising a 67% lower cost of ownership than rival offerings, which often require a large upfront investment in hardware. Moreover, the startup says, its technology increases the amount of bandwidth available to customers.

The platform uses a system called the Graphiant Stateless Core to move traffic between customer systems. Traffic is encrypted before it enters the Stateless Core and is decrypted only after arriving at its destination. That approach ensures that information can’t be unscrambled during transit, which reduces the risk of data breaches.

The platform manages the flow of traffic by attaching a metadata label to each packet at the start of its journey. This metadata label gives the network information on what route a packet should take to reach its destination. Once the destination is reached, the extra information attached by the platform is removed. 

Graphiant uses a technology called Vector Packet Processing, or VPP, to process packets. VPP is an open-source framework designed to speed up the movement of encrypted network traffic. 

Usually, the traffic generated by a server passes through that server’s operating system kernel. The kernel is the part of an operating system that contains its most essential components, including its networking engine. Using the open-source VPP framework, Graphiant bypasses the kernel and routes packets through a more efficient route.

VPP also improves performance in other ways. Packets are usually processed one at a time, an approach that doesn’t make optimal use of servers’ processing capacity. VPP manages the task differently: it packages multiple packets into a kind of software mailbag dubbed a vector and carries out processing in bulk. That method makes better use of server chips’ onboard cache, which improves performance.

Graphiant says its platform is gaining “strong traction” among both enterprises and service providers. In the run-up to the funding round it announced today, the company inked deployment and co-development deals with multiple customers. It will use the new funding to grow its market presence. 

Image: Graphiant

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