CIO Magazine recently did a story entitled “10 Virtualization Vendors to Watch in 2008“. This story focuses on up and coming vendors who add significant value to the virtualization stack.

I am very familiar with some of these companies, and others I only have heard of in passing. I did some research on each to ensure I am up to date. I would like to share what I found on each in the blog. I will do one post on each of the ten.

The first company on the CIO Magazine list is Cirba.

1. CiRBA

CiRBA’s Data Center Intelligence Software can help IT leaders analyze and visually map how to migrate and consolidate servers to a virtualized environment. For instance, CiRBA’s tools help you figure out which servers and applications can coexist efficiently. The tools analyze factors such as application middleware, database configurations, required service levels and workload patterns. Then CiRBA’s tools can help manage the virtualized environment.

Cirba has an interesting product for helping an IT team determine plan a new server consolidation or move to server consolidation (or both). Here is a overview from their site -

CiRBA’s patent pending analysis and visualization technology provides simultaneous multi-dimensional analysis of:

  • What could go together: Detailed hardware, OS, Application middleware and Database Configurations
  • What should go together: Non-technical/business/resource factors such as change windows, service levels, geography and others
  • What fits together: Workload patterns across CPU, Network IO, Disk IO, Memory and others

I found a flash product overview on their site – View it here.

There was a podcast earlier this year on the Virtual Strategy Magazine site with Andrew Hiller from Cirba.

Here is a summary of the discussion –

Podcast Summary:
Length: 14:34

1. Introduction
2. Benefits of CiRBA
3. The Three main pillars
4. Choosing the right strategy
5. The devils in the details
6. Monitoring and Reporting
7. Preventing Image sprawl
8. Our Customers
9. Why use CiRBA?
10. Storage Analysis
11. What Next?
12. Closing

This article from highlights the problem Cirba’s Data Center Intelligence software solves –

CiRBA is announcing version 4.0 of its Data Center Intelligence (DCI) suite this week, whose new graphical visualization capabilities allow IT managers to quickly identify which servers in their environment can be virtualized on to which servers.

Capacity planning tools are especially important in very large server environments, said Andrew Hillier, CiRBA co-founder and CTO. “If you have 50 servers in a lab and virtualize them, chances are it will just work. But a lab is relatively free of constraints,” he said. But if you have 2,000 servers, “virtualization is a big opportunity to make a mess.”

David Marshall of points out many of the accolades Cirba has received -

Expert accolades

CiRBA’s unique technology has garnered significant recognition within the analyst and press community, including:

  • CiRBA was named to Network World’s “10 Management Companies to Watch” list in October 2006 and to the publication’s 10 IT Management Companies Still Worth Watching” ” list in September 2007.
  • Burton Group’s Senior Analyst Chris Wolf noted: “CiRBA has yet to reach the same market share as PlateSpin, but CiRBA’s emergence as the dominant P2V planning tool is only a matter of time.”
  • Forrester Research Senior Analyst Evelyn Hubbert: “This is going to be something the big guys will want to have as virtualization adoption moves more aggressively into production.”

I was intrigued by the demo I saw of the Cirba DCI tool, and I can certainly see that value in doing such detailed analysis before a server consolidation and virtulization project.

Next up on the list is VizionCore. I will post that info later this week.