Midokura Funding Tops $44M for SDN Tech

New Series B round will be used to help advance container and hybrid cloud Software Defined Networking efforts.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jun 9, 2016
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Midokura is raising new funds to help it expand beyond its current core focus of OpenStack cloud infrastructure networking. Midokura's Series B round of funding brings $20.4 million to the company, with total funding to date now standing at $44 million.

The new round of funding included the participation of Simplex Inc. as well as existing investors Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Allen Miner. The Series B round of funding follows Midokura's Series A round by three years. Midokura first launched in the U.S in October 2012, promising to advance network virtualization for OpenStack.

With the new funding, Midokura CEO Dan Mihai Dumitriu aims to grow his company's business channels and partners while also moving into market adjacencies, including containers and hybrid cloud.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is currently defining a Cloud Networking Interface (CNI) specification for container networking. Dumitriu doesn't see a huge gap between Midokura's existing technology and what is required for the container world.

"We need to make the experience smooth. We have so far taken a path to the support the CNI interface and Docker's libnetwork via the OpenStack Kuryr project," Dumitriu explained. "But it's not enough."

Dumitriu noted that in the containers-as-a-service world, most users just want networking to work, without needing extensive configuration or a deep understanding of what is going on. To fully support the market, Midokura will need to spend the time and resources to properly build policies and logic that work on multiple systems including Docker Swarm, Kubernetes and Mesos.

"One of the key values of our enterprise platform is called MEM Insights, which provides visualizations, flow data and other insights that are presented to a network operator," Dumitriu said. "That is very OpenStack-centric right now and making that relevant to containers will require some work."

Extending Midokura's MidoNet SDN technology won't require Dumitriu to build an entirely new product, however. MidoNet has an add-on module system, called "minions," that enables extensible functions.

"A minion is also a fault-tolerant service that the MidoNet cluster takes care of," Dumitriu said. "So our software is already modular, but how we package and sell a container solution, we don't know yet."

In terms of the hybrid cloud, where a private cloud can extend out to a public cloud, there is also some effort required to figure out the best model. Dumitriu explained that each of the public clouds today require their own specific type of networking API with different capabilities.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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