Networking software startup Arrcus officially emerged from stealth mode on July 16, along with the company’s flagship product, ArcOS.
Arrcus also announced that the company had raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding led by General Catalyst and Clear Ventures to help grow the company’s vision for a new type of network operating system.
“The observation that we basically saw was that businesses have to redefine their networking infrastructure to support smarter networks, higher performance, better resiliency, more robustness and they need to do that while they’re lowering their overall total cost of ownership,” Devesh Garg, co-founder and CEO of Arrcus, told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet. “Unfortunately, the marketplace has been somewhat monopolized by the three vertically integrated tier-one vendors, specifically Cisco, Juniper and Arista.”
Garg is no stranger to the world of networking, having founded silicon vendor Tilera in 2004. In 2014, Tilera was acquired by eZchip, which in turn was acquired by Mellanox in 2016. Garg said that there has been a lot of innovation in recent years in the networking semiconductor space, but in his view, customers weren’t able to take advantage of all the choice and innovation because there wasn’t a real viable operating system that really unleashed the power of the white box market.
Garg said that ArcOS at its core is all about core networking standards support, notably BGP. Keyur Patel, co-founder and CTO of Arrcus, spent 13 years working at Cisco and is one of the lead authors of the BGP standard.
“We are taking advantage of legacy, while simultaneously eliminating the superfluous functionality and/or capabilities that are no longer relevant in a modern networking construct,” Garg said.
On the northbound interfaces, ArcOS has an open standards-based programmable API that enables organizations to harmonize different operating conditions. On the south side with the interfaces that connect with the underlying hardware, Garg said that Arrcus takes advantage of the Linux kernel. Arrcus adds its own Data Plane Adaptation Layer (DPAL), which is an intelligent hardware abstraction layer, which allows ArcOS to interface into the underlying merchant silicon.
“We are a control plane solution, and what that means is our product runs on the microprocessor that is contained in the switch or router hardware,” Garg said. “The majority of those processors are Intel based, but our architecture also supports ARM. We’re hardware agnostic at the system level; we’re also hardware agnostic at the component level.”
While Arrcus is just now officially emerging from stealth, Garg said that his company already has significant trials happening at some of the world’s largest companies.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.