Take Five

5 Hot Virtualization Companies, Under the Covers

These virtualization vendors will be getting more than your attention in the coming months.

With so many virtualization and cloud vendors fighting for attention, it's inevitable that some will grab more than others. Here are five companies that I think could really benefit from a little time in the limelight.

Take 1. Ericom. It may seem unusual that Ericom -- which has been providing enterprise-wide application access and virtualization solutions since 1993 -- is still under the covers after some 18 years, but markets change, and sometimes they create new contacts between vendors and customers. These days, Ericom is cashing in on the proliferation of enterprise apps running on Microsoft Windows Terminal Servers, virtual desktops, blade PCs, legacy hosts and other systems.

Take 2. RES Software. RES is sharing an extremely crowded stage with a passel of other vendors who are all out to make virtual desktops fully featured, inexpensive and easy to use. RES hits all the big desktop notes -- user virtualization, profile management, persistent personalization and more -- and it seems to be winning hearts and minds from some users who are quick to heap praise, such as: "Our users are far more productive, and I've significantly reduced the cost of ownership of my PC population." Now, all RES has to do is break through the competitive noise and get a solid foothold in this slippery market.

Take 3. WhipTail Tech. WhipTail claims to have engineered the first fully populated, solid-state SAN, and the company is telling anyone who will listen how its XLR8r can slash the I/O demands of processors and applications to the bone. The company maintains that the biggest challenge of deploying and scaling a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the underlying storage performance. In the VDI game, WhipTail says it's all about two words: write I/Os. Why? Because 80 percent to 90 percent of VDI's I/O requirements are small, random-write Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS), which the company calls a "nightmare scenario" for traditional and cache-based storage vendors. Therefore, WhipTail vigorously claims that performance -- not capacity -- needs to be the primary focus when deploying virtual desktop environments.

Take 4. PiCloud. PiCloud is a pay-as-you-go cloud computing platform that integrates into the Python programming language. PiCloud users can crawl the Web, process images and videos, calculate analytics and run simulations. The company's easy-to-use claim to fame is its ability -- with a mere three lines of code -- to leverage the computational power of a server cluster. Elasticity is another key feature, and PiCloud says it's constantly scaling its service to match user needs "from almost no load to peak usage." Pricing-wise, there's no minimum fee, and users are charged by the number of compute unit hours their functions consume. The standard rate is $0.05 per compute unit per hour.

Take 5. Zerto. Zerto claims to offer the industry's first hypervisor-based, virtual-aware replication solution for Tier-1 applications. This Israeli start-up closes a critical gap in cloud and enterprise business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR), and it does so at a time when the need for cloud-based BC/DR is really picking up steam. Zerto hopes to make a name for itself via its Zerto Virtual Replication, which is "100 percent virtual machine-aware and storage array-agnostic, delivering the mobility and flexibility needed for virtualized infrastructure without compromising on the scalability and performance required for protecting federated production applications." That's a mouthful, but the company seems poised to walk the walk.

Let me know if you encounter a great company that's operating under the industry's radar. E-mail me at bhoard@1105media.com.

About the Author

Bruce Hoard is the new editor of Virtualization Review. Prior to taking this post, he was founding editor of Network World and spent 20 years as a freelance writer and editor in the IT industry.

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