PLUMgrid is advancing out of the data center and into the cloud, announcing general availability of its OpenStack Networking Suite today. The company also says it’s closed a $16.2 million Series B round, bringing its total funding up to roughly $27 million.
The Networking Suite runs on top of the PLUMgrid Platform, the virtual network infrastructure that announced last year. That platform uses x86 servers to create an overlay of temporary virtual networks, or “domains.” The suite plugs into OpenStack Neutron via a plug-in.
PLUMgrid already has a sizable customer for the Networking suite: the IT services arm of Swisscom, which serves big financial clients such as Credit Suisse. Swisscom already runs data centers for those clients, and now it plans to use the Networking Suite to offer cloud services as well.
Swisscom (which is also a PLUMgrid investor) had hit upon this idea two years ago but didn’t want the cloud architecture to be built around particular network services. The carrier wanted “an architecture that was ready for the unknown” and that would operate “always in the context of enterprise applications, not in the context of network services,” says Awais Nemat, PLUMgrid’s CEO.
PLUMgrid plans to bring the Networking Suite to market via a piggyback strategy, integrating the suite with OpenStack distributions. It’s announcing certification for Red Hat OpenStack 4.0 as a start, and the company has also been working with Canonical and Mirantis, Nemat says.
PLUMgrid is particularly touting two aspects of its Networking Suite: security and scalability. In the former case, the company says it’s providing encryption throughout the data plane, which in turn can enable per-domain or per-user encryption. “All traffic belonging to assets in a virtual domain is encrypted the moment it leaves the hypervisor and hits the wire,” Nemat says.
PLUMgrid is also emphasizing its ability to keep its virtual domains isolated from one another.
On the scalability front, PLUMgrid previously announced it had teamed up with chipset vendor Mellanox to run the PLUMgrid Platform on 40-Gb/s servers. That can multiply out to terabits of throughput pretty quickly, Nemat says.
(That performance can get impacted by all the encryption PLUMgrid is so proud of. PLUMgrid is working on ways to mitigate that, Nemat says.)
In a different scalability direction, PLUMgrid says its Networking Suite can handle “thousands” of virtual domains and “tens of thousands” of workloads.
As for that $16.2 million round, it was led by Longworth Venture Partners, with participation from U.S. Venture Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Swisscom Ventures.