10 Emerging Virtualization Companies Shaking up Datacenters in 2010

Emerging virtualization companies are targeting the rapidly growing market for many virtualization services, from security to the virtual PC to storage.


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Posted February 10, 2010

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance

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One of the virtualization companies who responded to my request for information asked me, “What exactly does ‘emerging’ mean?” Good question, especially since I badger marketing pros about ambiguous language like this all the time.

For the sake of this article, let’s say an “emerging” virtualization company isn’t one of the first ten or twelve companies you think of when you think about virtualization. This definition, though, rules out 2010’s top emerging virtualization company: Microsoft.

You’re probably shaking your head and asking how in the world a behemoth like Microsoft could be considered “emerging.” Simple, they went from a virtualization punch line to a heavy hitter in a very short time. Granted, that’s the Microsoft playbook, but the fact that Microsoft is including virtualization tools in Windows 7 means they are slowly but surely conquering virtualization in the same way they did the desktop.

This time around, however, no one will be taken by surprise. Competitors have been preparing for this eventuality for quite some time. Will that foreknowledge be enough for VMware, Red Hat, Sun/Oracle, et al. to keep Microsoft at bay?

Hard to say. The following ten companies aren’t waiting to find out. Each has a unique solution that tackles some of virtualization’s most bedeviling problems.

1. Crossbeam Systems

What they do: Crossbeam’s X-Series security platform virtualizes best-of-breed security applications (Check Point, Trend Micro, Sourcefire, etc.) on a single carrier-class chassis. While everyone knows that layered security is a must these days, managing, paying for and patching those layers is a big headache. Crossbeam intends to alleviate that headache.

Customers: Customers include both service providers and traditional enterprises, including AT&T, Telefonica and O2 on the service provider side, and Bank of America and Fujitsu on the enterprise side.

Funding: ~$100 million from Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Tudor Ventures.

Tom Sheehan, CFO, is Crossbeam’s acting CEO for the time being. The company is in the process of bringing in a new CEO but isn’t ready to announce anything yet. Sheehan was most recently CFO of Egenera.

Headquarters: Boxborough, MA.

2. HyTrust

What they do: According to HyTrust, organizations cannot rely on virtualization when sensitive information is at stake. Additionally, for certain regulatory compliance requirements, such as SOX and PCI, organizations must be able to assure that adequate processes and controls are in place.

HyTrust provides a network-based virtual infrastructure policy enforcement solution. The HyTrust Appliance delivers administrative access control, enforcement of policy across virtual infrastructures, hypervisor hardening, and audit-quality logging.

Customers: Active Networks, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, “one of the largest insurance companies,” and others.

Funding: $5.5 million in Series A funding was secured in April 2009, led by Trident Capital and Epic Ventures.

Eric Chiu, President and CEO, previously served in executive roles at Cemaphore, MailFrontier and mySimon. Before that, he was a VC at Brentwood/Redpoint and Pinnacle.

Headquarters: Mountain View, CA.

3. RingCube Technologies

What they do: RingCube is a desktop virtualization company. RingCube’s vDesk approach to virtual desktops is a novel one that they refer to as “workspace virtualization.” While RingCube offers standard “hosted” desktops, their vDesk platform moves beyond this use case to enable truly portable desktops.

Users can download and store their entire desktops, complete with all their applications, settings and personalization, on a USB 2.0 drive. For remote and mobile workers, they take their corporate desktops with them. For organizations working with contractors or guests needing temporary computing access, vDesk can partition desktops on PCs or offer hosted access. Through vDesk, IT has the ability to enforce policies, revoke desktops as soon as a guest’s status expires and push out patches and updates.

Customers: RingCube claims customers across several verticals, including financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. Their biggest named customer to date is the banking giant ING Group.

For individual users, RingCube provides a free version of the software called MojoPac . Combined, vDesk and MojoPac have been downloaded more than one million times.

Funding: $16 million in two rounds of funding from New Enterprise Associates and Mohr-Davidow Ventures.

CEO Pete Foley served as President and CEO of Port Authority Technologies before joining RingCube.

Headquarters: Mountain View, CA

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Tags: cloud computing, cloud services, virtualization, virtualization companies, virtual machine

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