Next Up: I/O Virtualization?

Austin, Texas-based startup NextIO has scored $18.8 million in a third round of funding, bringing the I/O virtualization systems maker to almost $40 million in total venture capital raised since 2003. It’s attacking one of those nitty-gritty technical problems in data centers and tossing around today’s favorite buzzword to do it.

NextIO makes chips and software to tackle I/O virtualization for the PCI Express protocol. Virtualized I/O allows a group of servers and/or storage systems to run Ethernet, FibreChannel, InfiniBand or whatever other flavor of interconnect technology through one box. This makes it easier to manage a network without having to map each server to a set endpoint. NextIO expects to ship products this year to OEMs that make servers and storage systems.

It’s not alone in attacking aspects of I/O virtualization. Others include Neterion, NetXen, 3Leaf, Xsigo and even some 10Gig-E players who have added I/O virtualization capabilities such as Solarflare Communications are trying to bring virtualization across the data center.