Vyatta scores $12M as networking gets hot

Vyatta, a company providing open-source networking software, has raised $12 million in expansion round financing as the entire networking field finds itself on the cusp of fundamental changes. The round, its fifth, was led by HighBAR Partners and brings Vyatta’s total funding to $45 million. Also participating in this round are existing investors JPMorgan, Arrowpath Venture Partners and Citrix Systems (S ctxs).

Vyatta launched its first product in 2006, but has shifted from a focus on its open-source routing software to delivering software that handles a wide range of networking functions. The company now has more than 1,000 customers and hopes this round of funding will help it expand as networking enters a new phase.

The networking world has changed drastically, thanks to a sharp increase in┬ávirtualized servers. Suddenly, the static networking infrastructure no longer works as well when it’s easy for developers to spin up a virtual machine on the fly. All those dynamic VMs, however, still have to connect to the network, as well as a lot of gear, such as firewalls. Plus, policies, such as those associated with HIPAA compliance or security issues all require knowledge of the network.

Kelly Herrell, Vyatta’s CEO, said that in the last six months or so, Vyatta has gone from seeing about 20 percent of its customers interested in its virtualization product to about 50 to 60 percent today. Herrell called it “a head-snapping change.”

Vyatta’s software is an OS that allows a customer to program out its network topology on demand to adapt to the constantly changing underlying infrastructure. Other companies, such as Embrane, are trying to offer these tools, and still more are offering some type of holistic and abstracted network view. Vyatta believes its advantage is that its long history in building networking software helps it rise above the newcomers to the field as well as its many customers that are using its software in their data centers in production environments.