Virtual Iron Software planning a serious market startup

Ex Katana Technologies, Virtual Iron Software is doing some interesting moves to put itself as the only true VMware competitor on the market. Nor XEN (at least until the project won’t be able to virtualize Microsoft operating systems) neither Microsoft are actually able to provide a virtualization solution as complete as the one VMware offers since years.
The upcoming Virtual Iron product, Real-Time Infrastructure (RTI), claims to be able to compete VMware products and the company already did some important moves to support this announcement.

Quoting from Linux Business Week:

Chris Stone, late vice-chairman of Novell responsible for its acquisition of SUSE and Ximian, has surfaced on the shiny new advisory board of Virtual Iron Software Inc, a start-up virtual computing platform outfit in Acton, Massachusetts that has also joined OSDL intending to participate in its Data Center Linux working group.

Virtual Iron says it’s going to deliver an enterprise-class virtual computing platform that enables what it calls a Real-Time Infrastructure (RTI) for rapid resource deployment, lower TCO and freedom from proprietary lock-in.

It claims it can virtualize anything from a fraction of a processor to large-scale multiprocessors. It’s supposed to show off what it’s got at the upcoming Demo and LinuxWorld shows next week.

The company was founded in 2003 under the name Katana Technology Inc by chief scientist Alex Vasilevsky, a grid pioneer and Thinking Machines veteran, along with CTO and head of business development Scott Davis, the former CTO of Mangosoft who in his youth was technical director of DEC’s VAXCluster, VMS Volume Shadowing and DEC’s NT clustering technology.

They thinks they can “reinvent how server technology is utilized in the data center.” Evidently so do Highland Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and Matrix Partners, which stuffed $20 million in the company.

Virtual Iron has itself a new CEO and president, John Thibault, who previously held the same offices at GeoTel Communications Corporation, the call-center software house that Cisco acquired for $2 billion in 1999 after Thibault took it public. Thibault, who ran for state senator in November and lost, took over from Davis last month.

Besides Stone, Virtual Iron’s glittery advisory board includes Steve Beckhardt, a former IBM distinguished engineer who as co-founder of Ray Ozzie’s Iris Associates helped develop Lotus Notes and Domino and at DEC was a principal architect of the seminal VAXCluster; Dr John Carter, University of Utah professor and researcher into memory coherence, scalable data management an large-scale multiprocessor architectures; Dr Charles Leiserson, MIT professor and head of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab’s Supercomputing Group; Billy Marshall, Red Hat’s former VP of North American sales; and Richard Napolitano, the former CEO of Pirus Networks, the storage virtualization start-up Sun acquired for N1. Napolitano is now president of US sales for Sun.

These guys are supposed to guide the start-up’s marketing strategy and technical direction, advising on partnerships and customer requirements.

Quoting from official announcement:

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, today announced that Virtual Iron has joined OSDL and will participate in the lab’s Data Center Linux (DCL) working group.

Founded in 2003 by computer industry innovators Scott Davis and Alex Vasilevsky, Virtual Iron Software will deliver an enterprise-class virtual computing platform enabling customers to implement a Real-Time Infrastructure (RTI) – creating more flexible, rapid resource deployment and significantly lowering total cost of ownership and ensuring that enterprises are not locked into proprietary architectures and solutions. Based on open standards, this innovative software platform dynamically creates “virtual servers” from any number of physical servers – from a fraction of a processor to large-scale multi processors.

“Linux continues to gain momentum and market share in the corporate datacenter and we are committed to working with the open source community to further its acceptance,” said Scott Davis, executive vice president, CTO, Virtual Iron Software “We believe that our experience in building a comprehensive virtualization platform specifically for Linux will provide valuable benefits back to OSDL and we look forward to joining with the Data Center Linux working group to further advance adoption of Linux in the enterprise.”

“As enterprises move from legacy systems to Linux servers at the core of the network, OSDL will benefit from the expertise of enterprise infrastructure software companies,” said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. “We’re delighted that Virtual Iron is joining OSDL and we are eager to work with their team.”

I hope someone from Virtual Iron is reading my blog and would contact me for an early technology preview.