Privately held Virtual Instruments is a company to watch. The company is a 2008 spin-out of Finisar Corporation that has established early incumbency in the nascent market for Virtual Infrastructure Optimization [VIO], the next big wave in management of information technology. Founded in 2008, the company is funded by a group of highly experienced, well known IT industry veterans including CEO John Thompson. The former CEO of Symantec Corporation, Mr. Thompson played a key role in the development of two markets that grew to multi-billion dollars in value: distributed systems management and internet applications security. Mr. Thompson brings world-class leadership experience, familiarity with emerging infrastructure management technology, and a proven track record of successfully exploiting new infrastructure management market opportunities to Virtual Instruments.
We are moving to a new world of virtual infrastructure. The discrete physical data center consists of islands of servers, network connections and storage dedicated to specific applications. This discrete infrastructure is rapidly being replaced by virtual infrastructure: physical devices connected by a network and carved up into "virtual" servers, networks and storage units that IT organizations can provision to applications in the same way your local utilities can automatically deliver more electricity, gas or water when you need it. The ability to deliver IT resources in this manner is the essence of cloud computing.
Unfortunately for data center managers tasked to consolidate their resources with virtualization technology, the tools used to optimize the reliability, security and performance of their discrete resources don't always work the same way for their new virtual resources. As John Thompson is fond of saying, "you can't optimize your infrastructure if you can't measure it."
Products from Virtual Instruments tap deep into physical and virtual infrastructure, providing data center managers with vital information needed to proactively optimize their IT cloud. Although early adopters of VIO are large data centers, I believe the technology will follow server virtualization and SANs into the mid-market and beyond, making this technology the next big wave in management of IT infrastructure.
VIO is the next big wave in management of data center infrastructure. In the early 1980s, client-server architectures emerged from vendors like Sun. In the early 1990s, millions of PC clients, and object oriented programming, transformed the small client-server market into a huge market for distributed systems. As distributed systems scaled up, so did the need for better management tools -- and a wave of management products for distributed systems emerged. Today, distributed systems management software is a large part of the approximately $10 billion market for systems management software.