HyTrust leaves the stealth mode and enters the access and configuration management segment

hytrust logo

HyTrust is the latest US startup to enter the virtualization market, specifically invading the access control and configuration management where Catbird, Configuresoft, ManageIQ, Veeam and Tripwire are busy.

The company was co-founded in late 2007 by Eric Chiu, who was Vice President of Sales and Business Development from 2005 to 2007 at Cemaphore Systems.
With Chiu, who works as CEO, there was Boris Strongin, the former Vice President of Engineers at SeeContro and Director of Engineering at Determina (now acquired by VMware).
Strongin is working as Vice President of Engineering.
The third cofounder of the company is Renata Budko, the former Director of Product Management at Cemaphore and former Manager of Solutions and Technical Marketing at VMware. 
Budko now works as Vice President of Marketing.
The leadership team also includes Rober Hammer, the CFO, and Hemma Prafullchandra, the Chief Security Architect.
Prafullchandra was the Vice President of Advanced Products and Research at VeriSign from 2005 to 2007.

On top of this the company advisory board features the VMware Director of R&D, Vikram Makhija, the Symantec Advanced Technology Group member Slava Kritov, and a security expert coming from NSA, Rebecca Bace.

HyTrust is currently funded by Trident Capital and Epic Ventures with $5.5 million.
It has 21 employees and a tight relationship with VMware, Cisco, Citrix and Symantec (this last one is especially important as Kritov is responsible of merge and acquisitions and OEM agreements evaluations at Symantec).

The company launched at the beginning of this week, announcing its first product, simply called HyTrust Appliance.

Despite the product is developed for virtual infrastructures, it’s available both as virtual and physical appliance.
It acts as a transparent proxy (ready for high availability) between the VMware Infrastructure clients and vCenter Server (or the ESX hosts in case of direct connection), and does several things at the same time:

  • it authenticates the users against a Microsoft Active Directory or another LDAP directory (even in case of direct connection to an ESX host)
  • it controls and correct the hosts configuration against standard frameworks (like the CIS Benchmark or the VMware Best Practices) or custom ones
  • it collects all the activity in a centralized log repository that is ready for auditing


At the moment the product only supports VMware Infrastructure 3.5 (vSphere 4.0 will be supported at a later time) but the support for Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V is coming.
The integration with vCenter Server is tight. Customers can even import the existing roles into the HyTrust Appliance.


The HyTrust license is made of two components: the appliance license ($7,500 for the physical box, $3,000 for the virtual machine) and the protection license ($1,000 for a 2-CPUs ESX host).
On top of this there’s the yearly support agreement that costs 25% of the purchased licenses.

By the end of this month HyTrust plans to release a free edition of its virtual appliance, which will support up to 3 ESX hosts for free.

The company published a brief (5 minutes) review of the product that you may want to check. 
We republished it as Video of the Week in the Product Demos category at virtualization.tv.

HyTrust has been included in the virtualization.info Virtualization Industry Radar.