Liqid Gets $28M for Adaptive Resource Management in Data Centers

Twenty years ago, a key differentiator Google had over competitor Yahoo was its ability to scale rapidly with inexpensive computers as opposed to required hyper-expensive Sun servers.

The flexibility Google gained helped spur the white-box revolution in data centers which many are enjoying the benefits of to this day.

Liqid is doing for data centers what Google did for itself.

A Colorado-based start-up company founded in 2013, the company has been one of the early entrants in the developing market for composable infrastructure. Their sweet spot is high-performance applications that use multiple GPUs. Most servers have limited slots for GPUs, which makes it difficult and inefficient to expand this capacity. By composing GPUs, like they do flash, Liqid makes it easy to create a server instance with any number of GPUs and then to add more with a few software clicks. These resources can also be shifted to other workloads when needed, even on a short-term basis.

Unlike the composable products built around proprietary modular chassis, Liqid allows industry-standard storage, compute and other resources to be used, potentially reducing cost. The ability to leverage Optane as flash capacity or memory with Intel’s IMDT is also a valuable feature.

Liqid’s focus on GPU-heavy use cases is somewhat unique in this nascent industry, as is its recent software update that enables multi-fabric composability. The company is making the most of their current success but will need to leverage their OEM partnerships with the large infrastructure vendors over the long term, as this industry matures.

Liqid currently partners with Dell EMC, Inspur, Xylinx and other infrastructure OEMs.

Liqid’s technology, the Liqid Grid PCIe switch and Command Center software, are designed to create high-performance, rack-scale infrastructures for “next generation” applications such as AI and machine learning. Where most server chassis can only support a limited number of GPUs, Liqid composable architecture can incorporate large numbers of GPUs into a dedicated server instance.

Liqid’s technology, the Liqid Grid PCIe switch and Command Center software, are designed to create high-performance, rack-scale infrastructures for “next generation” applications such as AI and machine learning. Where most server chassis can only support a limited number of GPUs, Liqid composable architecture can incorporate large numbers of GPUs into a dedicated server instance.

The company claims 2x-4x the data center resource utilization.

Liqid offers Development Kits for Media and Entertainment, AI / HPC industry verticals, and vSAN, as well as composable expansion solutions for FPGA, GPU, NVMe and Intel Optane. Each Dev Kit consists of the Liqid Grid PCIe switch, Command Center software, a 4-slot (x16) Expansion Chassis for composable elements (listed above), two compute nodes, two GPUs, plus NICs and SSDs, configured for industry-specific workloads. Liqid also sells a “GPU Composable Half Rack” 24U configuration with 3 Liqid Grid switches and 12 compute nodes (each with 6 SSDs), plus 24 GPUs in 6 Expansion Chassis.

Stephen J. George, Managing Partner, Panorama Point Partners

“Liqid brings a fresh, critical perspective to the old problem of data center resource inefficiency, delivering a powerful, adaptive platform to dramatically increase resource utilization and reduce operational footprints and associated costs,” said Stephen J. George, Managing Partner, Panorama Point Partners. “We look forward to working with Liqid to amplify its value proposition and increase market presence, while improving customers’ architectural flexibility, time-to-market operations, and the speed at which IT organizations can support informed business decisions.”

Sumit Puri, CEO and Cofounder, Liqid

“As traditional computing environments falter under the demands of AI-centric, dynamic applications driving economic expansion, Liqid’s innovation in composable infrastructure provides a comprehensive platform to optimize and efficiently architect data centers to address the evolving requirements of a data-rich world,” said Sumit Puri, CEO and Cofounder, Liqid. “We are grateful to Panorama Point Partners and all our investors, customers, and partners for believing in the Liqid platform’s ability to deliver the foundation for an adaptive and agile data center to meet the rapidly evolving IT challenges of businesses across industry verticals.”

Thanks to this major funding news – even more companies can take advantage of much of the data center optimization technology once only available to big tech companies.

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