What Happens to Verari's Technology? update from December 2009

High performance computing specialist Verari Systems is restructuring and may be seeking buyers for its assets, according to numerous reports. What happens to the company's technology, including its FOREST data center container.

Rich Miller

December 14, 2009

2 Min Read
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The Verari data center container housing the NASA Nebula cloud computing application arrives at Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

There has been speculation about the financial health of high performance computing specialist Verari Systems ever since the company failed to show at the SC09 conference, where it had purchased a booth. Most employees have been let go, and reports Friday on Twitter and Inside HPC indicated Verari had shut down.

On Monday the company issued a statement, saying it is reorganizing. "Verari has initiated a process that will protect our customers investment and benefit our creditors as we restructure the business," the company said on its web site. "The intention is to safeguard customers investment and provide an ongoing support capability. There are several options that are being considered to provide solutions to our customers. We expect to have the new plan in place soon."

Earlier Monday, Verari CEO David Wright told InsideHPC that the company is in a "controlled reorganization" and won't file for Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Wright says Verari is still open for business and working on a support plan for existing customers.

One rumor, seen in the comments at several sites, is that an investor may try to acquire the assets of Verari's data center container business to form the nucleus of a new company.

For now, the current state of Verari leaves serious questions about the future of the first two commercial data center container offerings. Verari announced its container program shortly after Sun Microsystems unveiled its Blackbox container, since renamed the Sun MD. Back in April Sun agreed to be acquired by Oracle for $7 billion, but the deal has been delayed by antitrust concerns from European regulators.

Verari's FOREST container had recorded some high-profile customers wins in recent months, including sales to Qualcomm and a deal with NASA to house its new Nebula cloud computing platform.  

Microsoft also uses a Verari container to power its Virtual Earth service. Despite its early adoption of Verari's container, Microsoft later chose to use containers from Rackable and Dell in its huge container farm data center in Chicago, which may ultimately hold up to 150 containers packed with high-density servers.

Other large companies on Verari's customer list include Virgin America, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia, Akamai, EMC, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Sony Imageworks.

Here's a video from Data Center World 2008 in which Verari's Michael Slagel gives a brief demo of Veraris XM Blade Rack and describes the Forest container solution.

For former employees, a Verari Alumni web site and Facebook group has been formed.

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