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Virtualization: Article

VMware Should Watch its Back; ex-Novell Vice-Chairman Chris Stone Resurfaces

Stone Joins Board of a Start-up Virtual Computing Platform Outfit

Chris Stone, late vice-chairman of Novell responsible for its acquisition of SUSE and Ximian, has surfaced on the shiny new advisory board of Virtual Iron Software Inc, a start-up virtual computing platform outfit in Acton, Massachusetts that has also joined OSDL intending to participate in its Data Center Linux working group.

Virtual Iron says it's going to deliver an enterprise-class virtual computing platform that enables what it calls a Real-Time Infrastructure (RTI) for rapid resource deployment, lower TCO and freedom from proprietary lock-in.

It claims it can virtualize anything from a fraction of a processor to large-scale multiprocessors. It's supposed to show off what it's got at the upcoming Demo and LinuxWorld shows next week.

The company was founded in 2003 under the name Katana Technology Inc by chief scientist Alex Vasilevsky, a grid pioneer and Thinking Machines veteran, along with CTO and head of business development Scott Davis, the former CTO of Mangosoft who in his youth was technical director of DEC's VAXCluster, VMS Volume Shadowing and DEC's NT clustering technology.

They thinks they can "reinvent how server technology is utilized in the data center." Evidently so do Highland Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and Matrix Partners, which stuffed $20 million in the company.

Virtual Iron has itself a new CEO and president, John Thibault, who previously held the same offices at GeoTel Communications Corporation, the call-center software house that Cisco acquired for $2 billion in 1999 after Thibault took it public. Thibault, who ran for state senator in November and lost, took over from Davis last month.

Besides Stone, Virtual Iron's glittery advisory board includes Steve Beckhardt, a former IBM distinguished engineer who as co-founder of Ray Ozzie's Iris Associates helped develop Lotus Notes and Domino and at DEC was a principal architect of the seminal VAXCluster; Dr John Carter, University of Utah professor and researcher into memory coherence, scalable data management an large-scale multiprocessor architectures; Dr Charles Leiserson, MIT professor and head of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab's Supercomputing Group; Billy Marshall, Red Hat's former VP of North American sales; and Richard Napolitano, the former CEO of Pirus Networks, the storage virtualization start-up Sun acquired for N1. Napolitano is now president of US sales for Sun.

These guys are supposed to guide the start-up's marketing strategy and technical direction, advising on partnerships and customer requirements.


More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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