Valovic on Virtualization

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Talking with Virtual Iron CEO Ed Walsh

Virtual Iron has had some problems with management turnover but it doesn’t seem to have affected sales. I recently spoke with CEO Ed Walsh about what kinds of results they've been having and future plans. In early December, Virtual Iron announced an 130 percent increase in third quarter revenues over last year. It also announced expansion of its partner ecosystem, which currently includes Lifeboat, Zycko, Promark, Lefthand Networks (HP) and the IBM New Enterprise Data Center Alliance. The same release also said that Tech Validate, an independent third party, surveyed more than 400 Virtual Iron customers and more than half of respondents cited fullness of feature set, ease of deployment, quality of technical support and training and affordable price as key selection criteria.

Ed Walsh told me that the company believes it beats VMware on some of those survey intangibles that can make or break a deal. As an example, he cited tech support and training, pointing out that VMware requires customers to travel for four days of off-site training, whereas Virtual iron has their training optimized for an online experience. (I'd have to agree that, in the current economic climate, this makes a lot of sense.) Another interesting data point: The company, which is geared towards server virtualization, is apparently not seeing much of Citrix (XenServer) competitively (both products are Xen-based.) In terms of the roadmap for 2009, the company is working on OVF standardization and bringing higher levels of scalability into their platforms. But one thing Virtual Iron will have to do, given increasing levels of saturation by the big three, is ramp up its marketing efforts. Surprisingly, there's no one currently listed on their Web site as VP of Marketing, a curious omission.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 12/29/2008 at 12:49 PM


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