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Astute Networks Closes $12 Million Series B Financing

Strong Syndicate of Venture Capital and Corporate Investors Back Astute

Astute Networks, Inc., a provider of Networked Performance Flash solutions for accelerating virtualized server, desktop, and cloud computing environments, has announced that it has closed financing in an over-subscribed $12 Million Series B funding round led by Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), the investment arm of Samsung Group, the world’s leading provider of NAND Flash memory. Current investors Tallwood Venture Capital and Narra Venture Capital also contributed to the round, with participation from new investors Ayala Capital, ICCP Venture Partners, and TIFF (The Investment Fund for Foundations). Astute will utilize the funding to further expand global sales, marketing, channel development, and support efforts, as well as ongoing innovation of its patented DataPump Engine, Networked Performance FlashTM, and related technologies exclusively found in the company’s ViSX family of 100 percent flash optimized appliances.

According to IDC, 2011 was a record year for the worldwide Solid State Disc (SSD) market that grew 105 percent over 2010 to $5 billion. The firm forecasts strong growth through 2015 with the increasing use of SSDs, a trend the research company expects to continue as prices fall and performance increases. Led by storage networking veteran and CEO Steve Topper, Astute Networks is well positioned to capitalize on the burgeoning SSD market.  The company has all the ingredients for success including a white-hot market opportunity, a next-generation Flash architecture that leap-frogs traditional SSD offerings, and a strong customer and channel ecosystem unmatched in the industry.

Astute Networks Breaks the Performance Barrier with a New Era of Performance Acceleration Flash Solutions

Astute Networks’ patented DataPump Engine and Networked Performance Flash architecture was designed from day one to deliver tightly fused, high performance, low power solutions that significantly accelerate virtual machine and application performance on major virtualization platforms including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and Red Hat RHEV. By complementing existing SAN or NAS infrastructures, with a seamlessly additive highly optimized flash-based datastore tier, ViSX satisfies the performance requirements demanded by today’s mission and business critical applications such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), cloud computing, and Big Data. Network-based, ViSX efficiently provisions 100,000 IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) with 100 percent sustained random I/O performance, that is shareable by all virtual machines on all hosts over standard 10G or 1G Ethernet networks - all in a cost effective, small footprint, multi-terabyte, and easy-to-deploy rack mount device.  With ViSX, virtualized organizations can:

Eliminate I/O bottlenecks - the “funnel effect” - typically experienced with server virtualization

Eliminate the cost of over-provisioning traditional storage to achieve higher IOPS

Virtualize more Tier One applications with confidence in sustained performance

Lower CapEx and OpEx and achieve fast ROI with superior TCO

“The flash memory and virtualization expertise of the Astute Networks team, together with a deep understanding of storage and networking as evidenced by their patented DataPump Engine, puts them in an excellent position to deliver highly differentiated and competitive solutions for virtualized environments,” said Dr. Dong-Su Kim, senior director, Samsung Venture Investment Corp. “Samsung Ventures is excited to lead this latest round of funding for the company.”

“We recognize the strategic importance of virtualization and storage in the enterprise and cloud, as well as new growth opportunities in big data and the need for predictable performance with capacity and scalability. Astute Networks’ patented technology is highly effective and we believe the company will continue to disrupt the market,” said George Pavlov, general partner, Tallwood Venture Capital.

Since introducing ViSX, Astute Networks has won several awards and recognition, including the 2011 Flash Memory Summit Best of Show Award for Most Innovative Flash Memory Customer Implementation and a Forbes.com article titled VMware Stock Ready to Race to $111 highlighting the ability of ViSX to alleviate virtualization performance problems and further drive the adoption of VMware virtualization services (http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/08/23/vmware-stock-re...).

“Our first ViSX G3 deployment gave us a 1,500 percent boost in performance on critical business applications compared to our existing virtualized SAN,” commented Walt Thinfen, CIO of Visioneer. “Now, company productivity and efficiency are way up and our employees can more quickly access business-critical databases and applications such as SAP, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SharePoint like never before!”

“Samsung Ventures leading this round of funding is a most welcome endorsement of our patented DataPump Engine and Networked Performance Flash intellectual property,” said Steve Topper, CEO of Astute Networks. “It puts the fuel in the engine, enabling us to fully support our growing family of channel partners and end customers, extend our technical capabilities and aggressively expand our market reach and footprint worldwide.”

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Derek Kol is a technology specialist focused on SMB and enterprise IT innovations.

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