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Managing Editor

Packet Design spins off two more

Feb 18, 20032 mins
System Management

Packet Design LLC has spun off two companies to further develop and market its networking technologies.

Packet Design was formed in May 2000 by serial entrepreneurs and former Cisco executives Judy Estrin and Bill Carrico. Packet Design develops products to improve the performance of the Internet and other networks, and then spins off separate start-up companies to take the products to market.

One of the two new spin-offs, Packet Design Inc., will offer a line of network appliances that extends the routing control plane to address the reliability, performance, scalability and predictability of IP networks. The company’s initial product, Route Explorer, announced last year, provides visibility, analysis and diagnosis of a service provider’s IP network.

Additional routing-related intellectual property, including Packet Design’s BST, a protocol for enhancing the reliability, scalability and security of the widely used BGP routing protocol, also will be transferred to this spin-off.

The second spin-off, Precision I/O, will commercialize a high-speed networking architecture developed by Packet Design that will allow servers to take advantage of increasing networking speeds, including 10G bit/sec Ethernet. The company plans to offer both hardware (chip- and board-level) and software products, the first of which will be announced later this year.

Packet Design spun off its first company, Vernier Networks, in March 2001. Vernier markets IEEE 802.11-based wireless network security and management systems.

In addition to intellectual property and products, parent company Packet Design LLC is transferring technical resources into each spin-off company. Packet Design LLC will maintain a majority ownership position in the spin-offs, and will continue to assist them in their development and funding and manage common services.

Estrin will be chairman of both new companies.

Packet Design Inc., will be headed by CEO Douglas Brent, who joined Packet Design LLC, as chief operating officer in September 2002. Approximately 25 of the parent company’s 41 employees will move to this spin-off, which has begun raising a new round of venture funding.

Eleven of Packet Design’s employees will move to Precision I/O, which will be led by Estrin while a permanent CEO is sought. Packet Design LLC will provide seed funding while a business plan is being developed; outside funding will be raised later this year.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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