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3Leaf Sprouts Up

Startup 3Leaf Systems has emerged from stealth with $32.5 million in funding and a new virtualization product.

Execs at the Santa Clara, Calif., firm say five early adopters are already using the vendor's V-8000, a box designed to provide "virtualized I/O" to LANs, NAS, and SANs by creating a pool of virtual disk and network connectivity across multiple x86 "bare metal" servers.

"The solution is aimed at users, such as hosted service providers, that require mainframe-style availability -- without the mainframe pricetag. We're trying to bring the capacity of large systems to low-cost commodity x86s," says Sash Sunkara, chief business officer and co-founder of 3Leaf. Her previous credits include executive posts at Brocade and Precision I/O.

This piques the interest of at least one prospective customer. "We've been interested in 3Leaf for awhile, and we've been lab testing and giving advice and feedback," says Bryan Doerr, CTO of service provider Savvis. He says the first phase of 3Leaf's product, which includes I/O virtualization, interests him because it lends itself to a multitenant server environment, such as Savvis's.

"When you virtualize a physical box across contractual resources, you need to control port I/O," Doerr says. Savvis hasn't actually bought the new wares, but it looks as if it will, if 3Leaf lives up to its plans.

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