Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Technology Sector: Virtualization
Key Product: Leostream Connection Broker
Year Founded: 2002
Number of Channel Partners: 23 worldwide
Ideal Channel Partner: Enterprise-focused solution provider
Why You Should Care: The virtual desktop market is set to explode. Savvy solution providers will look to get in on the ground floor with vendors such as Leostream.
The Lowdown: Leostream won't create your virtualized desktop environment, but the eight-year-old ISV can make getting there a whole lot faster and easier. The Waltham, Mass.-based company's Connection Broker is "a small but important part of overall virtual desktop deployments," said Jack Hembrough, executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Leostream.
Small, of course, is relative. Designing and deploying a connection broker -- which makes the decisions about who can access what parts of the network and how -- can represent "up to 40 percent of the effort" for a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment, according to the company.
"Connection Broker is software that ties the data center, where the desktops are hosted, to the end user's thin client device. So it ties all disparate parts of the network together -- the existing VPN appliance, the load balancers, etc. are all tied together," Hembrough said.
|Leostream Connection Broker|
The upshot is that systems, processes and procedures that Leostream customers already have in place in their existing fat-client environments are minimally disrupted when the company's Connection Broker is deployed to transition to a VDI environment, said Eric Hanselman, Leostream's director of professional and technical services.
That light touch and the quickness with which Leostream's Connection Broker can be tapped to complete a VDI project means the company is often called in by firms after merger and acquisition activity, Hanselman said. Merging disparate IT environments can be done swiftly and for relatively low cost by going with a virtual desktop solution, and Connection Broker is key to establishing access controls while "minimizing the disruption to how users live their lives day to day," he said.
"Not only is it a cost reduction, but it's a very solid consolidation play. In M&A situations, a key element is to bring together different organizations in as smooth a way as possible," Hanselman said. Other good plays for Leostream include verticals like financial services, health care and call centers: "any industry that is data intensive, where big drivers are things like data control and security," he said.
Leostream is looking to grow its enterprise-focused partner channel considerably, added Hembrough. "The market is really headed for rapid growth in VDI. We can't do it alone. With a select group of channel partners, we can really explode this market together."
How explosive will this all get? Leostream Marketing Director Kate de Bethune points to Gartner projections for the number of virtualized PCs worldwide to grow from less than 5 million two years ago to 660 million by 2011.
"That's probably the most aggressive prediction, but the analyst community in general is making really aggressive predictions of growth for VDI. There's just a really great opportunity here for solution providers to get on board early in the life cycle of this technology," de Bethune said.