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Virtualization Vendor Profile: enStratus

Welcome to the debut of a new feature here on the SearchServerVirtualization Blog, called 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.

Yesterday I spoke with George Reese, CTO of enStratus, a Minneapolis-based management vendor. The company’s software provides monitoring, provisioning, security and access-control features, but the real selling point, if it works as advertised, is a feature for moving data across private and public clouds. (The company says it supports most major cloud providers, including VMware, Rackspace, Azure, Amazon Web Services, Eucalyptus and Google storage.)

Many organizations have dabbled in public cloud computing. Most are just starting to think about the private cloud model. But it seems like the ultimate goal (at least if you listen to vendors like VMware) is the hybrid cloud model: where some computing is done in the data center, some is done through external service providers, it’s all done on demand, and the data can move seamlessly among these different platforms.

From this perspective, enStratus is positioning itself as a management vendor for the hybrid cloud. Reese recognizes that a lot of customers aren’t even close to getting there yet — he said organizations with older systems in place will “need some significant work” on the infrastructure side — but the company is already drawing some interest. Its first customer win came in the summer of 2008, and there are now “100-ish” customers, Reese said.

enStratus execs view their competitors as VMware (with its upcoming Project Redwood launch), BMC, CA and, to a lesser extent, RightScale, Reese said.

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