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Our investment in VKernel

05/12/2009

Today, VKernel announced a new round of funding led by Longworth Venture Partners. We welcome CEO Alex Bakman and the VKernel team into the Longworth family. The press release and other relevant details can be found here.

We believe virtualization represents a major platform shift, similar to prior shifts to client-server computing, Web applications and  n-tier enterprise applications. Each successful platform shift anoints its own winners, including the maker of the platform. Users of new platforms invariably need tools to manage them, and management tools for successful platforms can themselves represent compelling market opportunities. Platform makers, however, don’t always end up owning the market for managing their platforms because management concerns are often orthogonal to platform concerns. Historically, every classically disruptive platform shift has produced its own flourishing crop of systems management companies. We’re betting that VKernel will be among the systems management hits birthed by the move to virtualization.

We have been impressed by the traction VKernel has found among administrators of virtualized server environments. VKernel eases the process of capacity planning, change modeling and chargeback in virtualized environments by providing busy administrators with a suite of usable, high-quality management tools. Each tool is an easy-to-install virtual appliance that provides valuable insights in hours. VKernel has received enthusiastic recommendations from its customers and was recently named to the InformationWeek Startup 50 and as one of CIO.com’s 10 Virtualization Vendors to Watch in 2009. Having started and grown systems management companies like Ecora Software before, Alex has a strong understanding of the market as well as what it takes to scale a management tools business. We look forward to working with Alex and his team as VKernel brings out more virtualization management tools to fill out their vision.

Virtualization is an active area of interest for Longworth, and VKernel joins high availability startup Marathon Technologies in our portfolio. Past investments of Longworth include application virtualization startup Softricity, now known as Microsoft App-V.

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