In-Depth

10 Cool Virtualization Vendors

Start the new year off with our helpful roadmap of the top vendors looking to make a splash in your enterprise in 2011.

With a ton of vendors out there ready to service your virtualization needs, it may be a bit daunting to pick the one that is right for you or your organization. Here's a list of our top vendors to keep an eye out on:

1.  Netuitive: I refer to this company as "the pointy-headed intellectual of monitoring solutions" because it uses self-learning, continuously adaptive software derived from nine patented technologies and highly complex, proprietary algorithms to stick its monitoring nose into systems and services within cloud infrastructures. Currently in use by seven of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., Netuitive replaces human guesswork with automated mathematics and analysis. Very exotic.

2.  Spoon: Spoon is an application virtualization software package that is following the "less is more" trend that is gaining increasing popularity among cost-conscious users. Spoon Server enables enterprises, software publishers and ISVs to launch applications out of the box without unwieldy installs, long downloads or dependencies such as .NET. Users can forget the hassle of encapsulating apps for Windows 7 migrations because with Spoon Server, they run as they are, without modification.

3. F5 Networks: F5 Networks is a key player in the bustling application delivery controller market, which sports some 20 vendors performing a variety of functions ranging from application acceleration and load balancing to rate shaping and SSL offloading, as well as serving as a Web application firewall. F5 is a proponent of virtual ADCs, which it says offer architects and developers at ISVs and cloud providers the ability to optimize their application delivery platforms.

4.  Leostream: They said Leostream wouldn't survive as an independent VDI connection broker, but they were wrong. The company, which links users to backend resources, has successfully worked its way into many large enterprises, where its multi-vendor compatibility and integration with a range of mobile devices continues to win converts. Leostream also offers a Web access capability, which opens the door to connectivity with both thin and fat clients.

5.  Surgient: Surgient, like Vizioncore before it, was acquired by Quest Software both for its customer list and its technology. Surgient was an early player in the private cloud market, where it promised to get users up and running within 30 days for $50,000.  The company is currently selling its ability to create robust, secure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds that can efficiently manage and deliver complex IT services across the enterprise. That sounds good to a growing number of users.

6.  AppSense: You know that when the highly partisan Scott Davis, CTO for the VMware Desktop Business unit says you have an interesting technology, something must be going right. AppSense hangs its hat on the concept of "user virtualization," which is designed to streamline multi-platform desktop deployments. It seeks to do this by eliminating expensive user management tools, enabling single-image application delivery and ensuring that users have the same experience at any desktop. All good stuff.

7.  Unidesk: Unidesk uses some very sophisticated technology to produce some very basic results. While its first offering employs a layering approach that was developed by diving deep into Windows, its true beauty is in its primary management benefits, including end-user flexibility that gives both end users and IT organizations the freedom and control they seek -- along with 100 percent personalization, streamlined management and cost-efficient storage.

8.  Veeam: Veeam is interesting both for the quality of its VMware management products and the personality of its major domo: president and CEO Ratmir Timashev. On the product side, the company is particularly celebrated for its award-winning data protection offerings, and on the major domo side, Timashev is noteworthy for the hard work and ingenuity he inspires in his employees, who claim to put in excessively long hours in order to please their boss.

9.  Kaviza: Kaviza is another one of the young lions of desktop virtualization that is making a name for itself by minimizing the overhead required to implement VDI systems. Via the company's virtual appliance, Kaviza claims it can provide all the functionality needed to provision and manage virtual desktops for under $500 by eliminating shared storage, and relying instead on inexpensive commodity servers.  If all the press attention Kaviza is getting truly reflects reality, this is a product that Is catching on fast.

10.  Nasuni: Forget all the bad mouthing about cloud storage you may have been hearing, because Nasuni is offering a paradigm-changing NAS filer designed to deliver unlimited file storage and complete protection while leveraging the cloud's unlimited capacity to store and protect customer files offsite. It does this while retaining the local functionality and performance of traditional NAS. If every company that has a file server buys this product, stratospheric success is guaranteed.

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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