Welcome to the latest edition of the Virtualization Vendor Profile. Every once in a while I’ll talk with a smaller or lesser-known company, learn about their business, discuss some industry trends, and write up a recap.
There were lots of first-timers at VMworld 2010, and not just attendees. It was also the first VMworld appearance for French vendor UShareSoft, which just started doing business in the United States a few months ago.
“Being a European company, if you want to get into the U.S. [market], it’s important to have visibility, and these shows are one way to do it,” UShareSoft CTO James Weir told me. “Being at the VMworld event was very important for us.”
UShareSoft’s technology lets customers create custom “software stacks” — an operating system, application, settings, etc. — and deploy them on demand. They sound an awful lot like virtual appliances for use in private clouds, but Weir said they’re more than that, because the technology can also create and deploy full VMware or Amazon EC2 images, for example. UShareSoft calls these images vApps and describes them as “multi-tier software stacks.”
“What [customers] really want to do now is to take something off the shelf and have it easily provisioned and easily configured,” Weir said.
But who exactly are those customers? That’s still up in the air, as even Weir acknowledged during our phone call.
“I’m going to be frank with you, we’re still trying to figure some of that out,” he said.
Current customers are a mix of ISVs (who use UShareSoft technology for evaluations, demos and training on their products), service providers, telcos and, to a lesser extent enterprises, Weir said.
“Enterprises are slightly behind the curve in terms of changing their own data centers into private clouds,” he added.
For the time being, UShareSoft will cast a wide net and see which customer types end up finding its technology most appropriate for their needs. And despite its small size — just about 20 people, according to Weir — the company will also continue to expand its global reach, with presence in France, the United States, Argentina and Japan.