Badu uses its own congestion control algorithms to improve network performance, which makes its solutions compatible with others aimed at improving bandwidth. This appliance solution is aimed at the commercial space, and the plan is to ultimately have it as fully channel for its go-to-market.
Irvine CA-based early stage startup Badu Networks has released its WarpGateway desktop appliance solution. The TCP acceleration solution relies on its own congestion control algorithms to provide major increases in bandwidth utilization. While it is being sold both direct and through partners at the moment, the plan is for it to eventually be a pure channel product.
Badu is still pre-Series A funding, having relied on deep pocked seed funding rather than the venture capitalist route. They believe, however, that they have an innovative approach to bandwidth utilization problems which makes them a good fit across all markets, and a likely candidate to partner with vendors approaching the issue from a different perspective.
“A major problem with wireless networks is bandwidth underutilization, which we have solved,” said Monika Gupta, Badu Networks’ vice president of sales and marketing. “We developed our own congestion control algorithms [WarpTCP] and have packed them into multiple different form factors. This is the hardware version.” They also have a WarpEngine appliance aimed at the service provider market, and WarpServer software, which is targeted at content delivery networks.
Gupta said the solution will improve existing network performance without a major overhaul or upgrade. It increases the range of wireless routers, and extends battery life by reducing wireless radio usage. Improved bandwidth sharing means more devices on the network can be supported. Badu is also emphasizing its ability to isolate WAN side and LAN side jitter and latency, and thus greatly reduce video buffering or eliminate it entirely, to improved user satisfaction.
“Depending on the use case, we have seen benefits from 20 per cent to 500 per cent,” Gupta said.
WarpGateway sits between the Internet modem and a local wireless router and can be deployed anywhere along the link.
“We don’t see any other solution on the market quite like this,” Gupta said. “It is agnostic, and you don’t have to deploy us at both ends of the link. Other companies do TCP acceleration, but focus more on the server side, or are app ones that focus more on the device side.”
WarpGateway is targeted at the enterprise market, although that seems to be defined here as any non-service provider commercial entity.
“It fits anywhere from the SOHO to large enterprise – anywhere you have a pipe coming in,” Gupta said. “Typical deployments include hotels and coffee shops – businesses that want customers to associate them with a good wi-fi experience.”
Installation, with Badu’s WarpAdmin management tool, is fairly simple.
“The installation is almost plug and play,” Gupta said. “You just need to know a couple IP addresses and you are up and running.”
Gupta said that the unique nature of Badu’s technology based on the value-add of their algorithms makes them a candidate to partner with other vendors.
“Hardware vendors in this space could be our customers or our partners,” she said. “WAN optimization is a very complementary technology. We would be open to bundling with other vendors, especially as most of our target customers are enterprises.”
Like most small startups, Badu began by selling direct, but the plan is to eventually make WarpGateway a channel product.
“This product is new, and the plan is that after a full year it will be entirely channel,” Gupta said. “We are just too small to be a direct shop.”
WarpGateway is already being sold through channel partners, although for now, the number is fairly limited. They have some in the U.S., Bemis Development and Twintel, and also sell retail through Amazon. They also have a partner in Europe, and several in Asia, particularly China and Vietnam.
“We have our hands full with the ones we have now, supporting them,” Gupta said. “We are almost there as far as making them self-sufficient, and once we are there, we will look at adding more, especially in the US and Canada.” They presently have no partners in Canada.
“We are especially strong in Asia, where we are working with VARs who look to deploy this in gaming cafes and in smaller businesses,” Gupta said.
WarpGateway is available now.It comes in three versions, a standard 100 Mpbs unit for $USD 1200, one that adds VLAN support for $1500, and a third which adds failover/bypass capability.