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Stealthy Startup Prepping Virtualization Management Tool's open-source platform will help tame mixed virtualization environments.


Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

Technology Sector: Virtualization

Key Product: Kodiak

Year Founded: 2007

Number of Channel Partners: None

Ideal Channel Partner: Enterprise-focused solution providers

Why You Should Care: Bluebear's hypervisor-agnostic, cross-platform virtualization management application aims to bridge the disparate worlds of VMware ES X, Citrix Xenserver, and Microsoft Hyper-V, thereby making life easier for organizations with mixed virtualization environments.

The Lowdown: is still in hibernation, but the stealthy startup expects its Kodiak open-source virtualization management application to eventually exert a "top-of-the-food chain" type of influence in the virtualization market.

Bluebear's Kodiak virtualization management application

Currently in private beta, and slated for launch in June, Kodiak is written in Adobe Flex and runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. On the server side, Kodiak uses an abstraction engine that enables bi-directional data translation to third-party systems and software, tying together an unlimited array of external APIs, says BlueBear spokesperson Matt Miller.

The complexity of managing virtualized infrastructure has prevented the technology from reaching its potential, and Kodiak is designed to help organizations ranging from small businesses all the way up to huge data centers simplify management in mixed virtualization environments, Miller said.

Kodiak currently supports only VMware ESX Server, but Miller says Citrix Xenserver and Microsoft Hyper-V support is "coming very soon". In the opinion of virtualization solution providers, BlueBear would be wise to add Hyper-V support quickly in order to take advantage of a gap in Microsoft's virtualization portfolio.

"Microsoft has a pretty good management tool in Virtual Machine Manager 2008, but it's not attached to the majority of the Hyper-V implementations we're seeing right now, partly because it's sold separately," said Rand Morimoto, president of Convergent Computing, an Oakland, Calif.-based solution provider and Microsoft Gold partner. "If Kodiak were available now for Hyper-V, I could see organizations seriously giving it a try, since there is a gap."

Kodiak's virtual machine consoles are light-weight and fast, and the software uses an interactive virtual resource map that presents complex virtual object relationships as easy-to-use diagrams. "This enables administrators to make more informed decisions about how they manage their infrastructure as a whole," said Miller.

Miller said it's too early to comment on how BlueBear will go to market and whether channel partners will be involved. However, he said Kodiak will make sense for organizations of all sizes, and that any eventual channel push would target partners with expertise a broad range of market segments.

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