Vieo: A start-up to watch

These young vendors offer fresh approaches for addressing today's enterprise network challenges, from setting up secure wireless LANs to virtualizing data center resources.

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Vieo

Company name: Inspired by the Latin verb meaning to weave, as Vieo (pronounced Vee-oh) intends to tie modular, disparate pieces and parts of the network infrastructure together for holistic management.

Origin: Founded in January 2000 by the company's chief scientist, Jim Mott, who in his 20 years of high-tech experience worked as a lead architect for AIX operating systems.

Funding: A $15 million second round closed in January 2003, bringing total funding to $39 million.

Investors: Audax Group, BMC Software, Dell Computer, Eyes of Texas Partners, Flagship Ventures, Rho Ventures and TL Ventures.

CEO: Bob Fabbio, who founded a number of companies, including Dazel and Tivoli Systems.

Product: Adaptive Application Infrastructure Management (AAIM) appliance.

Vieo, of Austin, Texas, intends on giving enterprise network executives a new way of attacking application performance with its AAIM appliance, a Layer 2 switch loaded with application management software and running InfiniBand as a high-speed backbone. Vieo says that by 2005 AAIM will give network hardware vendors such as Cisco and application management providers such as IBM Tivoli a run for their money. Pretty big talk from a relative newcomer, but investors are listening.

Company executives say the AAIM appliance will approach application management from the inside rather than vendor software or hardware monitoring enterprise application traffic from the outside of an application server. Being a Layer 2 switch, the AAIM appliance will be able to see all the traffic as it traverses the network. From there, the appliance can take automated actions to improve application response times, avoid bottlenecks and prioritize traffic to support business-critical service requests.

Combining these capabilities will deliver on what Vieo calls "application quality of service" (QoS). The company argues that standard QoS reports on how well the disparate network elements perform, but Vieo's application QoS will ensure that business-critical applications get top priority and the necessary network resources to deliver on preset service levels. Companies including Icahn, Silicon Valley Bank and ZettaWorks, all beta testing the product, are willing to give it a shot.

The company will target its first product release, due out by midyear, at specific vendor application tools: Apache Web servers, BEA Systems' WebLogic application servers and Oracle database servers. Management of IBM WebSphere products, Microsoft .Net tools and other packaged applications such as those from PeopleSoft, SAP and Siebel Systems will follow.

In tackling small chunks now and expanding to a broader footprint over time, says CEO Bob Fabbio, "Vieo will keep adding support for different slices of the application infrastructure that for our competitors will represent death by 1,000 cuts."

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