Former Citrix, XenSource Execs Tackling Cloud Security In New Startup


The co-founders of the Xen open-source project are leaving Citrix to form a startup called Bromium, which will wield virtualization technology to address security challenges in cloud environments.

Bromium's co-founders are Simon Crosby, CTO of Citrix's Data Center and Cloud division, and Ian Pratt, chairman of Xen.org and former vice president of advanced products in Citrix's Virtualization and Management Division. Both came to Citrix in the company's 2007 acquisition of XenSource. Gaurav Banga, CTO and senior vice president of engineering at Phoenix Technologies, is also a co-founder.

Crosby introduced Bromium during an address at the Structure 2011 conference in San Francisco Wednesday, explaining that the company believes it has found a way to solve persistent cloud security challenges. Bromium is "using virtualization to secure applications and desktops in the cloud, on the server and also on rich client devices," he said at the event.

Bromium isn’t yet ready to talk in more detail about its technology or products and plans to remain in stealth mode "for some time," according to Crosby. The startup is actively recruiting teams in Cupertino, Calif. and Cambridge, U.K.

"We are fusing deep virtualization and security systems DNA to build a powerful set of tools that can offer continuous endpoint protection," Crosby said in a Wednesday blog post. "Bromium does not intend to compete with any virtual infrastructure or security vendor. There is much more to tell, but we have a lot of work to do first."

Bromium has closed a $9.2 million series A round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners, according to a report from Techcrunch. Bromium board members include George Kurtz, Worldwide CTO and EVP at McAfee, along with Peter Levine of Andreessen Horowitz and Frank Artale of Ignition Partners.

In his blog post, Crosby said he and Pratt "will remain active in our stewardship, contribution to, and promotion of the key building blocks of open infrastructure: xen.org, OpenStack.org, OpenVSwitch.org, the Open Networking Foundation and other projects."

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