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Summary:

Compiled Networks, a stealthy Austin startup is building an appliance that can securely link two clouds at the network level, and uses the same technology to improve Wi-Fi offload for ISPs. It has managed to straddle two large markets but can it sell into them?

Compiled's Bob Locklear (left) and Jasson Casey

Compiled Networks, a stealthy Austin, Texas-based startup, is building an appliance that can securely link two clouds at the network level. But before it started on its cloud product the founders also managed to develop one that ISPs can use to deliver Wi-Fi that behaves less like a fixed wireless network and more like a cellular one, with seamless handoffs and one-time authentication. One unnamed ISP is already using it for its Wi-Fi network.

But Compiled, which is searching for a Series A round of $2.5 million, has its eye on the cloud. The software it uses to make a series of Wi-Fi access points into a seamless network can also run inside an appliance located inside a cloud, and virtually extend a data center’s Layer 2 Ethernet network to a cloud. In doing so it offers an IT operations person a level of security and control that they might not get from other private virtualized networks such as Amazon’s or even Savvis’s data-center-in-a-box offering, which tend to operate by managing IP addresses at Layer 3.

Jasson Casey, founder and CEO of Compiled, says the company’s appliances allow an IT manager to build a virtualized version of a network inside a cloud, without adding latency or requiring the addition of more CPU power. Other companies are attempting to virtualize the network and bridge clouds using managed software but Casey believes those methods are unwieldy and won’t scale as well.

Casey didn’t offer any more details about the software, citing the company’s relative stealth, but said for now it is working on a deal with a large cloud provider that could buy the Compiled appliance and pop it into the its cloud as a way to offer customers a more secure form of virtualized networking. In order to work, the Compiled appliance has to be inside the cloud, which could be a barrier for the company if it can’t get large infrastructure-as-a-service providers interested. Even large companies trying to move applications and workloads to public clouds may not have the cachet to demand a Savvis or Terremark put an appliance inside the ones they offer.

In the meantime, Compiled has a cloud product and a potential partner willing to try it in its cloud, and a deal with an unnamed ISP for its Wi-Fi product. I will say that the company has certainly managed to straddle two large markets with its technology. Now we just need to see if it can sell into them.

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