The VMworld annual virtualization geek out begins this week in San Francisco. The big topic that will dominate all others: the radical transformation of the data center as a flood of data makes the old IT ways just seem antiquated and ill-fitted to the reality of a new mobile-first world.
A host of startups are emerging that leverage VMware’s dominant position in the enterprise. Here are ten worth tracking this week and the months ahead:
- CloudPhysics collects and analyzes virtual machine data from data centers to give IT a way to simulate potential problems that they may encounter when introducing new cloud services. The company uses data analytics to also help with the decision-making process, giving customers a way to better choose vendors, avoid costly downtimes and keep in check the ever-increasing human costs that come with IT. Its platform pulls virtual machine data from multiple data centers and then models it for customers to do simulations. For instance, a customer considering flash storage could use the service to simulate how various configurations from different vendors would fit in their static data-center environments.
- Nutanix plays in the software defined storage space — a topic that should get a lot of attention this week at VMworld. Enterprise customers have long kept storage separate from the servers. Nutanix takes a different approach. It wraps that storage into commodity x86 servers, helping reduce the space needed for big box storage attached networks (SAN) and networked attached storage (NAS) environments.
- Cloud Velocity makes the cloud a seamless extension of the data center. Software is installed in the data center and in the cloud with access to the compute, storage and networking. The technology allows companies to run application in Amazon Web Services (AWS). In the coming months, the company will expand to other infrastructure environments.
- HyTrust technology is designed to secure virtualized data centers that take all the compute, storage and networking and put it into one software layer. Virtualization administrators can manage everything through management platforms, exposing organizations to considerable risk. An administrator can erase an entire data center or copy a virtual machine with relative ease. HyTrust offers a way to manage data between the administrator and the virtual infrastructure. It offers a role-based system that can help monitor what a person is doing as compared to what they should be doing.
- Tintri provides storage for virtualized data centers. It is one of the next generation flash storage providers that are putting pressure on traditional giants such as EMC and NetApp. The storage is designed specifically for virtualized environments.
- Vormetric provides enterprise encryption for databases and files across the enterprise. It offers tight access controls to ensure only authorized users and applications can have access to the data.
- In a post last week, I wrote about AnsibleWorks, which offers an orchestration engine that allows users to avoid writing custom scripts or code to manage applications. The open-source project is designed to open up IT automation to a less technical community. In turn, that also means less reliance on traditional IT, faster delivery and better time spent on important projects. Ansible is different from most IT automation offerings. It does not focus on configuration management, application deployment, or IT process workflow. Instead it provides a single interface to coordinate all major IT automation functions. It also does not use agents nor does it require software to be installed on the devices under management. Puppet Labs and Opscode are two of the more mature startups in the DevOps and IT automation space.
- Tier3 is a Seattle-based company that provides a service layer to give IT the flexibility of its infrastructure and managed services to make cloud technologies more accessible. In its latest release, Tier 3 launched the capability for architects to design network configurations in the public cloud that for the most part mirrors the networking common to internal data centers.
- Pernix Data provides a Flash Virtualization Platform (FVP). The technology clusters flash to get higher levels of performance. It’s similar to how VMware aggregates CPU and memory to give customers more for its server infrastructure. The advantage comes with getting more out of a flash-based server and reducing the need for storage, one of the greatest costs for today’s enterprise customers.
- PureStorage offers enterprise storage that takes advantage of flash memory. According to the company, its products accelerate random I/O-intensive applications like server virtualization, desktop virtualization (VDI), database (OLTP, rich analytics/OLAP, SQL, NoSQL) and cloud computing.
All of these startups reflect how virtualization and the advancements in software have made it possible to manage data at a granular level. It’s a wholesale change, reflective of significant overall change in the enterprise.
Update: Please add any startups to the comments that I do not have on this list.