Egenera Enters Virtualization Software Market

Egenera Inc. has entered the virtualization software market, announcing today that it will make its PAN Manager software available on other vendors’ hardware platforms. Until now the software has only been available on Egenera’s BladeFrame hardware.

The move allows Egenera to jump into the market for virtualization software, which is red-hot in the wake of the successful IPO by market leader VMware (VMW) earlier this year. Other leading players in the virtualization software market include Microsoft (MSFT) and Citrix (CTXS), which in August spent $500 million to acquire XenSource, a key provider of the open-source Xen virtualization software.

Egenera, which is based in Marlboro, Mass., calls itself the “data center virtualization company.” PAN Manager is Egenera’s core software, using a Processing Area Network (PAN) architecture to combine server virtualization with network and storage virtualization. Egenera PAN Manager creates networks of virtual and physical servers, and can move individual servers, groups of servers or entire systems from one place to another seamlessly.

“Bringing PAN Manager software to non-Egenera hardware platforms is one of our most significant and strategic moves since launching the company seven years ago,” said Mike Thompson, Egenera president and CEO. “PAN Manager is truly at the heart of our value proposition in the data center – giving customers the power to move quickly and without restriction as is required in today’s business environment. Making our proven software available beyond our own hardware makes business sense for Egenera and gives our customers choice in how they implement data center virtualization.”

Egenera didn’t immediately announce any partners, but said it will soon provide more detail on supported platforms. Egenera PAN has been running in production environments for more than five years and is deployed at hundreds of customer sites worldwide, the company said.

Managed hosting provider Savvis is a major user of Egenera hardware. “Savvis has leveraged Egenera’s unique virtualization technology as an integral part of our industry-leading Virtual Utility Services offering for over three years,” said Bryan Doerr, CTO of Savvis. “Egenera PAN Manager software provides exceptional value to Savvis, and we see great opportunity to increase this value by having this technology available across a broader spectrum of hardware platforms.”

Egenera has raised more than $150 million in VC money since 2000. The company filed plans to go public in 2005 and later withdrew the IPO, citing market conditions.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.