LightSand Raises Cash, Moves to Acquire SANcastle

In transactions the developer of high-end SAN gateway products says will allow it to provide the “industry’s broadest range of SAN connectivity products,” LightSand announced earlier this week that it has wrapped up a new round of funding and is also in the process of acquiring SANcastle Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) gateways and inter-fabric switch (AR/DAT) technology.

“LightSand has exceeded its sales goals every quarter since we began shipping products last year,” said LightSand CEO Philip Black. “Our successes in the market have enabled us to raise this round, which should take us to positive cash flow.”

Investors in this $7 million round include Baring Equity Partners Asia, Concord Venture Partners, Fremont Ventures, and Genesis Partners Group. The boards of directors of LightSand and SANcastle have approved the acquisition, which, after obtaining shareholder approval from each company and satisfying other closing conditions, is expected to close in August 2003. Terms of acquisition were not disclosed.

The combined company will offer a broad array of SAN connectivity products, says Gregg Pugmire, LightSand vice president of business development. “LightSand’s SAN extension gateways provide high performance data movement over SONET/SDH (Synchronous Optical Network/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy), DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing), and dedicated fiber optic networks. SANcastle’s product line is the perfect complement to this family.”

SANcastle’s SAN extension products are designed to operate over an IP infrastructure, providing customers with a more affordable platform for SAN extension requirements. By combining LightSand and SANcastle, company officials contend the new company will offer a solution to meet any price/performance requirement.

SANcastle’s inter-fabric switch technology (i-Switch) is designed to solve a major industry issue, SAN scalability, by using the AR/DAT (autonomous region/domain address translation) proposed industry standard, according to Peter Dixon, SANcastle’s executive vice president sales and marketing. Dixon adds that the i-Switch also allows for the creation of multi-vendor SAN fabrics and provides SAN-to-SAN isolation. “For the first time, as multiple SAN fabrics are brought together, changes made to one SAN fabric do not disrupt the operation of the others.”

According to a statement released by the companies, SANcastle products and employees will be moved to LightSand’s headquarters in Milpitas, Calif. The company will retain the LightSand name and will continue to be headed by Philip Black, LightSand’s current CEO.

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