The Virtualization Room

Sep 27 2010   5:09PM GMT

Virtualization Vendor Profile: Virtustream

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

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.

A few years back, managed services was a big buzzword. But then people started talking about Software as a Service, then Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Anything Else You Can Think of as a Service, and they wrapped them all up under the “cloud computing” umbrella.

But managed services are still alive, and they may actually get a boost from cloud computing, Virtustream CTO Julian Box told me.

“The managed services comes in on top of that,” he said. “We do see them going hand in hand.”

Virtustream is an infrastructure vendor that offers professional services, managed services and its own cloud platform, xStream. The Washington, D.C.-based company has spent 10 years in the virtualization market, doing live implementations since 2002.

Virtustream’s infrastructure offerings emphasize management and, above that, customer choice, Box said.

“It’s something that our client base is definitely asking for, to be very much heterogeneous and technology-independent,” he said.

That philosophy extends to virtualization, where more customers are expecting support for multiple hypervisors.

“It’s not necessarily something that people need today, but they want the choice going forward,” Box said.

The demand for multiple-hypervisor support is growing for a few reasons, he said. One is that customers realize some applications will run better on one hypervisor than other. (Box used SQL Server on Hyper-V as one example.) Another reason is, of course, cost, and customers don’t need expensive hypervisors for all workloads.

“You pay different prices for different capabilities, and customers want a choice,” Box said.

These mixed virtual infrastructures will eventually grow into private, then hybrid, clouds, but Box acknowledged it will take a while for most customers to get there.

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