The 10 Coolest Virtualization Startups Of 2014 (So Far)

Key Startups In A Key Industry

Most startups these days prefer to be associated with cloud rather than virtualization because, well, cloud is just sexier. But virtualization is the key enabling technology for cloud, touching storage, servers and networking. No one would even be talking about how cloud is revolutionizing IT and bringing previously undreamt of efficiencies to enterprises everywhere without virtualization.

Here CRN presents our picks for the coolest virtualization startups of 2014. There's some well-known names on this list, as well as some new one. All of them bear watching if you're interested in who's pushing the envelope in the cloud.

Ravello Systems

CEO: Rami Tamir

Ravello Systems pitches its ability to let customers run their VMware and KVM workloads in any type of public cloud without making any changes to their virtual machines or networking configuration. One of the key advantages to this is that customers' cloud-based development and testing environments are the same as their production environments.

Ravello Systems was founded by the co-founders of the KVM hypervisor, and its technology means companies can use a mix of private clouds like VMware and public clouds like Amazon Web Services as they see fit. This sort of flexibility is in high demand these days.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ravello has raised $37.5 million to date from Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital.


CEO: Greg O'Connor

AppZero makes it possible to move around Windows Server apps and everything connected to them by putting them into its "virtual application appliance" instead of a virtual machine. This means it can work with any kind of hypervisor or cloud, instead to being tied to a specific vendor or technology.

Andover, Mass.-based AppZero says the advantage to its approach is that enterprise apps can be moved between clouds faster than in the past, and without making any changes to the app.

AppZero, founded in 2009, has raised $3 million from investors Frank Bonsal, Jr. and Joseph Alsop. Simon Crosby, co-founder of security virtualization startup Bromium, is a board member.


CEO: Gaurav Banga

Virtualization technology is good at creating partitions between data, and Bromium has taken that to a new level with its "micro-virtualization" technology for enterprise security. Its vSentry endpoint protection technology protects users when they're downloading content from the web and opening email attachments by ensuring these tasks run inside their own "micro-VM".

If a user does open a file with malware, it can’t get outside the micro-VM to spread through an organization's IT infrastructure, which is how most advanced malware operates.

Bromium was founded in 2010 by virtualization rock stars Gaurav Banga, Simon Crosby and Ian Pratt. The Cupertino, Calif.-based startup has raised $78.5 million from Intel Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Ignition Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Meritech Capital Partners.


CEO: Dan Mihai Dumitriu

Midokura's network virtualization technology is a software layer that installs and works on top of physical network hardware, allowing data center administrators to control networks as they already do servers and storage. Midokura works with OpenStack, CloudStack and a wide range of cloud software.

Tokyo-based Midokura has raised $17 million since its founding in 2010, from SunBridge Global Ventures, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Innovative Ventures Fund Investment and NTT Investment Partners.


CEO: Ben Golub

Docker, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2008 that used to go by the name dotCloud, has exploded on the enterprise IT scene this year, and for good reason. It's the company behind Docker, an open-source Linux "container" technology that makes it possible to build and run distributed apps in the cloud.

Docker isn't virtualization per se because it doesn’t run an operating system like a virtual machine does. Instead, it uses virtualization to isolate apps and processes from the rest of the environment.

Developers love Docker because they can build apps using any language and have them run on any kind of OS, device and cloud. Admins love Docker because it creates a standard environment for development, QA and production. Google, Red Hat and many other vendors are using Docker, and given the crazy amount of attention the technology is getting in the enterprise IT market, more big names are sure to follow.

Docker has raised $15 million from Insight Venture Partners, Greylock Partners and Trinity Ventures.


CEO: Jeffrey Hausman

CloudPhysics, a startup founded by former VMware employees, uses big data to identify potential problems in customers' virtual server, storage and networking environments at an early stage, which is key to avoiding downtime.

Cloud Physics gathers billions of samples of anonymized operational data from its worldwide customer base and uses this to power its flagship SaaS offering. The idea is to cut down on the human error that is often the cause of problems in the data center.

Mountain View, Calif.-based CloudPhysics has raised $27.5 million from Jafco Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Mayfield.


CEO: Jedidiah Yueh

Delphix, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup, has found what it says is a better way to deal with the heavy lifting involved with copying databases. Instead of creating multiple copies of a database to support application development, QA testing and backup, Delphix's technology makes a single copy of a database and shares it over multiple database instances using virtualization.

In addition to cutting storage costs, Delphix's approach shrinks the time needed for provisioning databases from days to minutes.

Delphix has raised $44.5 million since its founding in 2008 from In-Q-Tel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, Summit Partners and Jafco Ventures.


CEO: Shimon Hason

Intigua doesn't just virtualize servers or storage or networking -- it covers provisioning, configuration and ongoing management of the entire IT stack. This level of monitoring means organizations can be certain they're getting a high level of performance and available for their mission critical apps running in virtual and cloud environments.

Intigua, based in Newton Lower Falls, Mass., has raised $8.6 million in funding from Cedar Fund and Bessemer Venture Partners.


CEO: Ken Rugg

Tesora, which was founded in 2010 as ParElastic and changed its name earlier this year, is building a business around the Trove database-as-a-service project under OpenStack.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Tesora virtualizes the database layer and spreads workloads across many servers and allows that capacity to be shared by many users. It also runs on commodity hardware and handles both NoSQL and SQL queries.

Tesora has raised $8.2 million in funding from General Catalyst Partners, CommonAngels, Point Judith Capital, Jit Saxena and LaunchCapital.


CEO: Ziv Kedem

Boston-based Zerto focuses on business continuity and disaster recovery technology for virtual and cloud environments. Its flagship Zerto Virtual Replication product competes with VMware's Site Recovery Manager for the hearts and minds of enterprises in this red hot part of the market.

Zerto, founded in 2009, has raised $60.2 million from an investment team including U.S. Venture Partners, RTP Ventures, Harmony Partners, Greylock Partners Israel and Battery Ventures.