How Acme Packet Founders’ New Startup Plans to Fix the Internet

By Boston Business Journal |

With the lofty ambition of “fixing the Internet,” Burlington-based 128 Technology Inc. expects sharp growth over the next two years, as its new approach to routing catches on as a solution to convoluted systems currently used.

Since 128 Technology’s formal launch in June, a total of 20 large companies are customers and are currently in various stages of implementing the technology.

The startup’s routing software provides smart routers that increase security, efficiency, and operate on existing networks, said 128 Technology co-founder and chief executive Andy Ory.

“We think the way the internet operates could be dramatically simpler, far more secure at a far lower cost,” Ory said in an interview. “We think it can make a profound change, and we’re excited about it.”

Since the internet became widely available about 25 years ago, methods of routing data from one IP address to another within a network have largely remained the same, Ory said. Meanwhile, computer technology has expanded drastically, necessitating security features that are not built into current networks.

Instead of adding functions like firewalls and load balancers to networks in order to heighten security, 128 Technology’s routers have built-in functions that recognize the source and destination of all data that passes through. Any data coming from an unrecognized source is rejected.

“The Internet only routes based on destination address, it does not route based on the source address,” Ory said. “Our technology basically puts access control capability into the route path.”

In addition, since the routing technology is software based, rather than requiring physical routers, the cost to customers is about a tenth of the price of installing a traditional routing system.

Ory co-founded 128 Technology with six others, including Patrick MeLampy — who is the company’s chief operating officer — in July 2014, Ory said. Ory and MeLampy were co-founders of Acme Packet, a Bedford network equipment vendor that Oracle bought in 2013 for $2.1 billion.

The startup has raised $36 million in private and investor funding, Ory said. Venture firm G20 holds a minority stake in the company, while the majority of the funding is from individuals and employees.

Customer reviews of the routing technology should generate buzz and widen sales throughout next year, leading to what Ory believes will be a very fortuitous 2018 for 128 Technology, Ory said.

“This could be the first routing solution that could go viral,” Ory said.

Ory declined to disclose the company’s customers or exact sales figures.

The company currently employs about 75 people, and expects up to five more hires by the end of the week, Ory said. While the employees include numerous former high-level staffers from Acme Packet, most are people with whom Ory has never worked.

Ory said 128 Technology is actively recruiting young professionals and recent college graduates, Ory said.

“We’re looking for a lot of millennials,” Ory said. “Things change, and you want to change with them.”

The original article can be found here.

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