Embrane's software, which it markets as Heleos, virtualizes load balancers, firewalls, VPNs and other services, allowing the applications to be provisioned in minutes and dynamically scaled as needed. It gives the functionality of a hardware appliance in the convenience of a software package, Vincenzo says. "In the evolution of IT infrastructure, virtualization has hit the compute and storage layers, but the network has still not caught up," he says.
Embrane doesn't compete directly with SDN players such as Nicira and Big Switch, but company officials hope to position its offering as a complimentary service that can be used inside or outside an SDN environment to virtualize network applications. It could be used either as an on-premise or via the cloud.
As SDN continues to gain market clout, particularly with VMware's recent $1.2 billion Nicira acquisition, Vincenzo says Embrane is expecting a big push by enterprises to virtualize various parts of the network. If they're not ready to take the full plunge into SDN though, he says virtualizing the upper layers of the network and the applications serving it can be less daunting, but equally fruitful in achieving increased network agility. "Any enterprise that needs to rapidly deploy new applications, or manage multiple private cloud deployments could benefit from easier deployment of network applications," he says.
Focus: Redis and Memcached NoSQL database optimization and management Founded: 2010 Location: Santa Clara, Calif., and Tel Aviv, Israel Management: Former F5 Networks execs Funding: $3 million in angel funding Availability: Generally available for free as a public beta
Why we're watching: The world used to be a place of structured data, neatly organized in Excel spreadsheets showing the metrics of a business. But data today is big and unstructured, and there are increasingly popular databases used to handle such information.
Two of the most popular are Redis and Memcached, both of which are NoSQL in-memory databases, allowing them to be faster than traditional databases that store information in disk storage or flash memory. Some of today's leading Web companies use these technologies: Flickr and GitHub are among Redis users for unstructured data, while Memcached is employed by Twitter, Zynga, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Netflix.