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SDN Start-Up Lines Up Handsome Clutch of Backers

Midokura offers an overlay-based network virtualization technology that lets cloud users provision virtual network devices

Midokura, the Japanese start-up focused on network virtualization and Software-Defined Networking (SDN), has gotten a $17.5 million A round from a stellar collection of backers headed by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), the Japanese government-backed sovereign fund.

Others chucking in money include NTT Group's Venture Fund Docomo Innovations Inc. and NEC Group's Venture Fund Innovative Ventures Fund Investment LP.

If one counts Midokura's $1.3 million convertible bridge seed round that makes a total of $18.6 million.

Midokura means to use the leftover $12 million, which could last it 18 to 24 months, on engineering and feature-rich product development.

Midokura expects to exit beta in the April quarter.

The company has also rearranged its management, making co-founder and CTO Dan Mihai Dumitriu CEO. Fellow co-founder Tatsuya Kato, who was serving as CEO and who raised the funding, is now chairman of the board.

Midokura says its MidoNet widgetry is a very technical sell and having the CTO in the CEO slot makes more sense when working with early adopters.

Ten proofs of concept have been done during the beta and one account has already turned into a customer. The new CEO now has to work on the others and expand.

Midokura offers an overlay-based network virtualization technology that lets cloud users provision virtual network devices, including virtual switches, routers, firewalls and load balancers. Virtual network devices can then be connected to virtual machines, as well as other virtual network devices to create complex network topologies.

MidoNet was designed to be fully distributed and can scale out incrementally as demand increases.

It also integrates with cloud management solutions so that virtual network device provisioning is automated.

With MidoNet, users can virtualize the network stack for popular cloud platforms and reduce the associated costs of managing the network. This impacts the overall economics of cloud computing by simplifying network requirements. The widgetry is currently dependent on OpenStack and the company figures as OpenStack use spreads so will its target market. It's working on other clouds.

Dumitriu thinks that "As enterprises and carriers embrace and build out IaaS clouds, an overlay-based network virtualization platform will soon be a must-have technology."

The company is focused on large technology companies and service providers.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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