2015 Virtualization 50

Targeting The Virtualized Data Center

While software-defined data centers are not yet available, there is considerable buzz building up about the possibility of virtualizing an ever-larger part of the data center as such technologies, including server and storage virtualization, software-defined networking and storage, and VDI and hyper-converged infrastructures, continue to come to market.

With all the changes, it's important to realize that the channel remains at the center of the virtualization universe. Virtualizing more and more of a data center environment requires not only new software and services, but integration with a company's business processes, and legacy hardware and software.

Turn the page for a look at some of the key virtualization technology vendors working with channel partners.


CEO: Ash Ashutosh

Waltham, Mass.

Actifio's technology virtualizes copy data for enterprises and service providers by separating the data from the underlying infrastructure to improve resiliency and let customers manage and use data when and where it's needed. Actifio in 2014 became a "Unicorn" by passing the $1 billion valuation threshold.


CEO: Scott Arnold

Sunnyvale, Calif.

AppSense's virtualization technology builds the same user experience across desktops, laptops and mobile devices regardless of the operating system, server environment or application. The company's new DataNow solution lets customers take advantage of their existing infrastructure to provide file sync and share capabilities.

Big Switch

CEO: Douglas Murray

Santa Clara, Calif.

Big Switch is a leader in the nascent SDN industry. Its flagship Big Cloud Fabric is a bare metal SDN switching fabric targeted at new data center deployments for modern workloads like private clouds, while its Big Tap Monitoring Fabric provides an entry-level network monitoring solution.


CEO: Mike Gregoire

New York

CA in 2014 sold its Arcserve data protection software business to a private equity company, letting CA focus on its CA Devcenter application management and delivery suite, its CA Intellicenter services management suite, its CA Opscenter performance and availability management suite and its CA Securecenter security suite.


CEO: David Keasey

Scotts Valley, Calif.

Catbird develops software-defined security for virtual infrastructures, with software that provides visibility into, and protection of, private clouds and virtual data centers based on VMware and OpenStack technology. The company in 2014 unveiled what it called the first security policy automation solution for OpenStack.


CEO: John Chambers

San Jose, Calif.

Cisco provides server, networking and security technology for physical, virtualized and cloud data centers. Cisco is the king of partnering in virtualized data centers, combining its server and networking technology with storage from nearly every major vendor, including, starting in 2014, IBM for the first time.


President and CEO: Mark Templeton

Santa Clara, Calif.

Citrix provides a wide range of virtualization and cloud technologies, including application and desktop virtualization, enterprise mobility management, file sync and sharing, cloud networking, collaboration and cloud services. 2014 saw Citrix extend desktop virtualization to iOS and Android tablets, and introduce Linux virtual desktops and applications.


CEO: Alex Polvi

San Francisco

Linux developer CoreOS, funded in part by Google, develops a platform that allows the implementation of Google-like infrastructures across enterprise data centers. The solution combines CoreOS' lightweight Linux distribution targeted at hosting Linux containers with the Kubernetes container management platform developed originally by Google.


President and CEO: George Teixeira

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

DataCore develops storage virtualization and virtual SAN solutions for scaling storage architectures. The company in 2014 expanded its flagship SANsymphony-V10 and DataCore Virtual SAN offerings to scale hyper-converged storage systems to 64 nodes, deploy 64-petabyte configurations with more than 100 million IOPS, and add new QoS and SLA capabilities.


Chairman and CEO: Michael Dell

Round Rock, Texas

Dell offers a range of virtualized server and data storage systems for its data center customers. The vendor's servers, such as the PowerEdge line, and storage systems, such as the Dell Compellent SC8000, are integrated with virtualization platforms such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.


President and CEO: Jedidiah Yueh

Menlo Park, Calif.

The Delphix Virtual Data Platform virtual data management technology provides quick, secure and automatic data delivery. The technology accelerates enterprise applications and business intelligence by eliminating redundant infrastructure and slow processes. The company has, over the last year, expanded its capabilities significantly via partnerships with VMware, SAP and others.

Digital Guardian (formerly Verdasys)

President and CEO: Ken Levine

Waltham, Mass.

Digital Guardian was last year known as Verdasys before adopting the name of its primary technology. It develops an agent-based data loss prevention platform that uses behavior-based data to protect against insider threats and external attacks in VMware, Citrix and Microsoft environments.


CEO: Ben Golub

San Francisco

Docker is the company behind the open source Docker platform, which allows an application to be created and run as a collection of Docker containers working across nearly any infrastructure. Cutting infrastructure dependencies means faster software development and increased infrastructure efficiency.


Chairman, President and CEO: Pete Manca

Boxborough, Mass.

Egenera develops cloud management and data center infrastructure technology for managing physical, virtual and public cloud systems. The company's Xterity platform brings its cloud management technology into Equinix data centers for a hosted IaaS solution that MSPs and solution providers can design and brand as their own.


Chairman and CEO: Joe Tucci

Hopkinton, Mass.

EMC is a top provider of data storage, cloud and virtualization technology, enterprise security tools, and big data and analytics software. The company is betting big on the EMC Federation, which plans to build solutions that combine technology from EMC Infrastructure, VMware, RSA and Pivotal.

Ericom Software

President and CEO: Joshua Behar

Closter, N.J.

Ericom Software provides server-based application access, virtualization and RDP acceleration solutions to help customers access enterprise mission-critical applications using a variety of client systems. The company bills itself as a lower-cost alternative to Citrix.


President and CEO: Meg Whitman

Palo Alto, Calif.

Hewlett-Packard is in the process of splitting itself into separate enterprise and PC/printer companies. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will continue development of the company's storage and networking virtualization technology as well as the HP Helion public cloud business.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

CEO: Jack Domme

Santa Clara, Calif.

Hitachi Data Systems develops virtual storage technology and converged and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, combining its servers and storage with servers and networking from multiple technology partners. The company is in the process of combining much of its storage technology behind its VSP platform.


Chairman, President and CEO: Ginni Rometty

Armonk, N.Y.

For IBM, virtualization and the cloud is now job No. 1 as the company shifts gears after selling its x86 server business to Lenovo. The company has turned its SoftLayer into a top public cloud offering, and has recently invested heavily in storage virtualization technology.

Jeda Networks

CEO: Stuart Berman

Newport Beach, Calif.

Jeda Networks develops what it calls software-defined storage networks, which it said expands on the concept of software-defined networks to build scalable and virtual SANs. The company's Fabric Network Controller is software that creates a high-performance storage overlay network on top of an Ethernet network.

Juniper Networks

CEO: Rami Rahim

Sunnyvale, Calif.

While Juniper Networks continues to be a significant provider of networking technology, the company is investing heavily in software-defined networking based on its Contrail platform for providing SDN and network function virtualization (NFV), as well as cloud orchestration and automation.

Liquidware Labs

CEO: David Bieneman

Alpharetta, Ga.

Liquidware Labs provides a series of desktop management software applications, including Stratusphere FIT VDI assessment solution for capturing desktop metrics; ProfileUnity for managing user profiles; Stratusphere UX monitoring and performance diagnostic tools; and Flex-IO storage performance acceleration in virtual desktop infrastructure environments.


CEO: Yoram Novick

Sunnyvale, Calif.

Maxta is the developer of MxSP, or the Maxta Storage Platform, which uses any combination of compute and storage devices to work in any x86-based server to form a hyper-converged infrastructure solution for mission-critical applications, virtual desktop infrastructure, and remote and branch offices.


CEO: Satya Nadella

Redmond, Wash.

Adopting Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology is the first step toward moving all or part of a business' operations to Microsoft Azure, one of the industry's leading public cloud platforms. Azure is supported by multiple leading Microsoft technologies, including Office 365.


CEO: Dan Mihai Dumitriu

San Francisco

Midokura is the developer of the MidoNet network virtualization platform. MidoNet includes a software layer that runs directly within existing physical network hardware to help centralize the control of an entire network, and improve data center efficiency, load balancing and security.


CEO: Bob Farzami

Reston, Va.

Netuitive develops software to automate performance analysis. That software solution is offered as a service (SaaS) and on-premise to let companies visualize, isolate and proactively address IT performance issues across a variety of data sources in physical, virtual and cloud environments before those issues impact the business.

Nexenta Systems

CEO: Tarkan Maner

Santa Clara, Calif.

Nexenta, which develops software-defined storage appliances and software, partners with vendors such as Dell and VMware in virtualized storage environments. Nexenta's latest, the NexentaEdge 1.0, is a software-only, scale-out block-and-object storage solution with high-performance global inline deduplication for petabyte-scale clusters targeted at OpenStack environments.


CEO: Rocky Bullock

Austin, Texas

Nimboxx in 2014 exited stealth as a developer of hyper-converged infrastructure via its Nimboxx Mesh Operating System, the company's software stack that includes server, storage, networking, security and virtualization hypervisor technology, and installs on commodity server hardware. Nimboxx this year acquired the VERDI VDI solution from Virtual Bridges.

Nuage Networks

CEO: Sunil Khandekar

Mountain View, Calif.

Nuage Networks virtualizes and automates data center network infrastructures. With the company's software, data center environments can automatically establish the network services required to deliver cloud applications across thousands of tenants in a policy-driven manner.


CEO: Dheeraj Pandey

San Jose, Calif.

Nutanix became the early leader in the hyper-converged infrastructure market with technology that combines compute and storage resources into a single appliance that scales both resources by connecting additional nodes. The company last year expanded its channel presence with a deal to let Dell OEM its software stack.

Palo Alto Networks

Chairman, President and CEO: Mark McLaughlin

Santa Clara, Calif.

Palo Alto Networks focuses on protecting networks from targeted cyberattacks. The company's natively integrated platform combines network, cloud and endpoint security to detect and prevent attacks against enterprise, distributed enterprise and virtualized data center environments.


CEO: Birger Steen

Renton, Wash.

Cross-platform, and hosting and cloud services provider Parallels this year went through a major transformation by renaming its service provider business unit Odin while keeping the Parallels name for its software for running Windows apps on Macs. The Parallels business unit also acquired mobile device management technology developer 2X.


Chairman and CEO: Ron Nash

Austin, Texas

Pivot3 builds its scalable Pivot3 Enterprise HCI-converged compute and storage appliances based on its patented vSTAC OS software. The software offers shared compute and storage resource pools for VMware Horizon Suite-based virtual desktops, and for powering business-continuity and disaster-recovery initiatives.


CEO: Sirish Raghuram

Sunnyvale, Calif.

Platform9, a startup co-founded by former VMware engineers, develops a cloud-based management platform that lets companies run private clouds with the automation and efficiency of public clouds. In January, the company released Platform9 Managed OpenStack, a SaaS solution for quickly turning existing servers into self-service private clouds.


CEO: Rich Napolitano

Nashua, N.H.

Plexxi develops software-defined networking software that "renders" network configurations based on application requirements. That software sits on the company's software-definable hardware platform. The company claims its hardware can be quickly defined and redefined by its software in response to the needs of a customer's application.


CEO: Awais Nemat

Sunnyvale, Calif.

The PLUMgrid Open Networking Suite provides multitenancy, security, scale and performance to a cloud's virtual network infrastructure. The suite's Virtual Domains provides tenants with complete isolation and control by allowing networks to be created or changed on demand without impacting other Virtual Domains or the physical network.

Pluribus Networks

President and CEO: Kumar Srikantan

Palo Alto, Calif.

Pluribus Networks delivers SDN as an open application platform aimed at making data center operations more efficient. The company claims its flagship Netvisor is the industry's first distributed network hypervisor operating system, one that converges compute, network, storage and virtualization with an open, programmable approach.

Red Hat

President and CEO: James Whitehurst

Raleigh, N.C.

Red Hat continues to be a major force in the virtualization market, challenging VMware with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and building a strong software-defined storage presence. The company has recently introduced Linux-ready containers, as well as unified storage, bringing together its Ceph and Gluster technologies.

RES Software

CEO: Al Monserrat

Radnor, Pa.

RES Software is a leading provider of user virtualization or user environment management (UEM) technology, which virtualizes user data so it can be easily moved between desktops and devices. The company also develops IT automation and self-services for end users, such as password resets and on-boarding and off-boarding users.

Silver Peak

Chairman and CEO: David Hughes

Santa Clara, Calif.

WAN optimization technology developer Silver Peak has extended its performance-enhancing capabilities with Unity, a new intelligent wide-area-network fabric designed to tackle the challenge on increasingly complicated data paths between physical locations by monitoring the status of those paths and dynamically routing traffic on an optimal path.


CEO: Doron Kempel

Westborough, Mass.

SimpliVity develops the OmniCube converged infrastructure solution that combines server and storage capabilities into a single x86-based system available exclusively via the channel. SimpliVity and Cisco last fall unveiled the new SimpliVity OmniStack Integrated Solution that combines SimpliVity's software and proprietary hardware card with Cisco UCS servers.


President and CEO: Kevin Thompson

Austin, Texas

SolarWinds is a leading developer of IT performance management software. Its suite of network management software and tools provides performance monitoring, bandwidth analysis, IP address management, troubleshooting, configuration management, network mapping, switch port management and VoIP monitoring.


CEO: Brian Cohen


StrataCloud develops unified infrastructure management solutions for virtual, converged and cloud environments. It provides a single, granular view of operations along with the situational intelligence to help companies optimize IT infrastructures to speed deployment, optimize performance, right-size capacity and increase IT productivity.


CEO: Ariel Maislos

Marlborough, Mass.

Hyper-converged infrastructure software developer Stratoscale in November came out of stealth mode with a huge $32 million round of funding led by Intel Capital, Cisco and SanDisk. The company develops software that, when combined with industry-standard servers, competes with such vendors as Nutanix, SimpliVity and VMware.


President and CEO: Dan Cordingley

Burnaby, British Columbia

The company's secure PC-over-IP technology for virtualized and cloud environments is changing the face of desktop virtualization. The popular technology is part of Amazon Web Services' Desktop-as-a-Service offering. The company has a strategic relationship with Amazon and VMware under which the companies jointly develop PCoIP technology.


President and CEO: Don Bulens

Marlborough, Mass.

Unidesk virtualizes everything above the hypervisor, including the Windows operating system, applications and users, as separately managed layers to help simplify the building, patching and supporting of virtual desktops. Its technology is integrated with VMware Horizon View, Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.


CEO: Saad Hussain

Austin, Texas

VDIworks develops virtual desktop and cloud computing software. The company's Virtual Desktop Platform manages both virtual and physical desktops with the ability to spin up virtual machines, and do auto-discovery and control of IT assets, including zero clients, thin clients, virtual machines, and so on, running a variety of hypervisors.


President and CEO: Ratmir Timashev

Baar, Switzerland

Veeam is a leading provider of data protection technology for virtualized environments. The company offers tight integration with Microsoft Azure and VMware vCloud Air to extend data protection to the cloud, and provides free endpoint backups to protect desktops and laptops. Its technology is available to service providers.


Chairman and CEO: Rodney Rogers

Bethesda, Md.

Virtustream provides cloud software and services that target customers' security, compliance, performance and efficiency requirements in hybrid, private or public cloud environments. Capabilities of the Virtustream platform include consumption-based billing and application-level SLAs to let businesses run their own private clouds, and service providers to offer enterprise cloud services.


CEO: Pat Gelsinger

Palo Alto, Calif.

VMware remains the leader, by far, in terms of the platform used by companies to virtualize their IT. VMware has built on that strength to become a leader in virtualized networking, storage and data center infrastructure, and is moving fast to be a cloud technology leader.