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Force10 gets more dough

Jun 10, 20042 mins

* 10 Gig start-up Force10 Networks gets $75 million in venture funding

If you want to see what’s going to be hot in networking, it’s a good idea to follow the money – and start-up Force10 Networks this week closed a funding round that brought the company just under $75 million.

As Force10 notes, this is one of the largest in the network business in the last two years. New backers included Crosslink Capital, Meritech Capital Partners and Morgenthaler Ventures, while previous investors – U.S. Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Worldview Technology Partners – also participated in the round.

Force10 concentrates on 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching, an interesting approach given that not only are there established vendors like Cisco making Ethernet switches, but there are also younger companies like Foundry Networks and Extreme Networks that arose during the development of Gigabit Ethernet and will also compete in the 10 Gigabit Ethernet market.

Force10’s E-Series routing switches can hold up to 336 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 28 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet per chassis, and offer access control lists across all line cards.

The company counts among its customers the European Centre for Mid-Range Weather Forecasts, NTT-ME, NASA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, MCI, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Hanaro Telecom, Petroleum Geo-Services and Veritas DGC.

The company notes that Dell’Oro Group pegged Force10 as leading the market for 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports with Layer 3 switching, with 36% market share in the first quarter of this year. Dell’Oro projects the total 10 Gig market to reach $2.4 billion by 2008.