Marathon Takes Top Prize at VMworld

software open source virtualization

Marathon, headquartered in Littleton, Mass., provides automated, fault tolerant-class availability solutions for virtual and physical environments. Marathon's v-Available software, designed to protect reliable protection for critical virtual workloads on x86 servers, is integrated through the vendor's everRun fault tolerant technology with leading open source hypervisor developer XenSource's XenEnterprise v4.

"It was a little surprising, but welcome," said Marathon CEO Gary Phillips of the award. His company was happy to accept the TechTarget-sponsored award in the New Technology category, though Marathon "has been shipping a product since January 2004 based on a virtualization architecture," he said.

"We're able to provide continuous availability, in such a way that it's transparent to the application, and everything's automated so it installs in hours. A good portion of our customers are SMBs, so they're very compelled by the fact that it's plug and play," said Phillips, who described his partner base as "100 percent channel."

Marathon has about 150 channel partners, with that number breaking down about 50-50 between system builders and system integrators, Phillips said.

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Key Information Systems has built a successful partnership with Marathon, said Pete Elliot, VP of marketing at the Woodland Hills, Calif.-based system integrator.

"Our pedigree is availability, keeping systems up and running. We take hardware and software and makes it work for companies. We take products like Marathon and bundle them with an HP or IBM component and make them work," said Elliot, whose company is an IBM Premier Business Partner.

Marathon has been a valuable virtualization tool for Key Information Systems in the most demanding IT environments, he said.

"We've been partners with Marathon for going on nine years. We're always looking at landscape and asking, 'Where can this take hold?' So in recent years, we looked at Windows-based slots management applications and started selling into Indian gaming casino operations. Marathon was a champ in that demanding environment. There's no more unforgiving environment than a casino environment," Elliot said.

Elliot sees nothing but growth ahead for the virtualization market and companies like Marathon, XenSource and VMware.

"These are the applications that created an industry, which is always interesting. Virtualization really started in the mainframe, and now it's come down to the mid-range. Because of the cost savings, that's really made it explode. The question a lot of companies are asking is, how do you get more out of your physical servers," he said.

"VMworld is the biggest, hottest conference in the world today. It's just as exciting as anything that came out of the Dot-Com era. New products are coming out, people are talking, every one of the booths is just jammed."