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IIX raises $10.4M to bring peering to everyone

IIX, a startup that provides direct interconnection technology, has just come out of stealth mode, and it wants to bring peering to another level, with help from the money it just raised and the colocation companies in its ecosystem.

The startup announced a new $10.4 million funding this morning. The name IIX (pronounced eye-eye-ex) stands for International Internet Exchange.

Network peering has been around for quite long time. Big companies peer with others via Internet Exchange Points (IXP) to exchange traffic and cut Internet transit costs. However, until now, it’s been cost-prohibitive to connect with other companies, even when their services are vital to your business. IIX, the company says, “enables IIX customers to connect to leading Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) via a single interconnection from anywhere in the world.”

The technology is especially important in the era of cloud computing, as companies are shifting more and more work to the cloud, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks continue to be a problem.

“We partnered with all these existing colocation companies out there,” said Al Burgio, IIX’s founder and chief executive, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We knew where Box was, Salesforce, Google, and so forth. We went into these strategic locations to deploy our solution, much like CDN [content-delivery network] providers have done the same thing.”

IIX launched its first “Internet exchange points” in 2011. Customers include Box, GoDaddy, Google, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, Wikipedia, and Yahoo.

The technology is network virtualization, in essence. “In addition to servers, storage, and so forth, we have a dense carrier grade switching platform that we deploy in a lot of locations,” said Burgio. “We also latched existing fabrics from generation one onto our platforms.”

IIX has a usage-based business model. Customers are charged by the megabits per second (Mbps).

The new funding, which comes from New Enterprise Associates, will help IIX grow its team and drum up more business.

The startup is based in Palo Alto, Calif. It plans to hire 50 more employees in the next six to 12 months.

Its management team includes Bill Norton, a co-founder of Equinix. Its advisory board members include Jay Adelson, another Equinix co-founder, and Keith Mitchell, founder and former chairman of the London Internet Exchange.

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