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Arbor Networks

arbor networks logo
Founded: Aug 2000
Founders: G. Robert Malan (MSE PhD CSE ’96 ‘00), Prof. Farnam Jahanian
Product/Service: Leading provider of network security and monitoring solutions for global networks
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Chelmsford, MA
London, England
Acquired By: Tektronix Communications in Aug 9, 2010

Security is a top concern for the operators of critical networks. Government agencies, service providers and large enterprises all face rapidly evolving threats such as denial of service (DoS) attacks, network worms and attacks on the routing infrastructure itself.

According to Arbor Networks' co-founder Dr. G. Robert Malan, "Distributed threats cannot be effectively addressed with perimeter-only solutions such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems." That fact helps to account for the phenomenal success of Arbor Networks' flagship product, Peakflowª, a distributed network anomaly detection system that had its start in the UM research lab of Dr. Farnam Jahanian, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the College of Engineering, and the thesis work of Malan, his then-graduate student. Peakflow closes the gap between the detection of a threat and its resolution, protecting the availability of critical networks. In the late 1990s, Jahanian and Malan decided to create a commercial version of their research prototype, originally devised to protect UM's educational network from DoS attacks. With funding from Battery Ventures and Cisco Systems, they officially launched Arbor Networks in February of 2001.

Today, Peakflow is being deployed by a broad range of government agencies, leading service providers and corporations. The past year was filled with milestones. Despite a generally weak economy, Arbor Networks experienced solid growth and won key customer accounts. In August, the company announced that it had raised $22 million in Series B financing from top-tier venture capital firms and strategic investors. Most of the new funding is earmarked for new product development. Arbor Networks has also been recognized as one of UPSIDE Magazine's Hot 100 Private Companies in 2002, Red Herring's Ten to Watch 2001 and Network World's Ten Start-Ups to Watch in 2001.

Co-founders Jahanian and Malan are quick to acknowledge early contributions made by the Office of Technology Transfer. "I credit Tech Transfer with helping us move through the start-up process judiciously and getting our technology to market quickly," says Professor Jahanian. "It would have taken us an additional six months otherwise, and we would have missed important opportunities to raise money and capture emerging markets."

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