An emerging truth about modern data centers is that they are heterogeneous. They run multiple operating systems, applications and, increasingly, hypervisors. (One survey found that up to 20 percent of VMware users have deployed the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor in their data centers, with Red Hat's KVM and Citrix's Xen Server each gaining market share against VMware's dominate hypervisor market position.)
But the downside to all this: "Heterogeneity is typically synonymous with complexity," says HotLink CEO LeBlanc.
The vendor's SuperVisor product is designed to simplify management of heterogeneous hypervisors via a software plugin to VMware vCenter. HotLink's recently launched Hybrid Express platform allows vCenter users to control Amazon Web Service's public cloud resources.
In effect, Hotlink's software tricks VMware vCenter into thinking that Hyper-V, KVM or Xen-virtualized machines are running on VMware hypervisors. A variety of management platforms allow users to deploy virtual machines across hypervisors, but HotLink goes beyond just that and allows users to migrate workloads across them, too. "No one else is really doing integration to this degree," says Bernd Harzog, an analyst at The Virtualization Practice.
HotLink gives IT administrators the power to set access controls, track benchmarking and use, make changes to, configure and manage the instances across clouds.
The company has an impressive list of backers. Its advisory board includes CIOs from some of Silicon Valley's biggest names, including from Facebook, Citrix and EA. Partners include VMware, Red Hat, Microsoft and Citrix, makers of the four major hypervisor platforms.
Flush with venture funding and actual customer-generated revenue, and fresh off winning a best in show award at VMworld 2012, HotLink is now looking to broaden its products' integration with additional management platforms and to increase their functionality.
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif., with offices in Lyon, France
Focus: Application-defined networking for the cloud
Product availability: Public beta of CloudWeaver launched in January; general availability expected in early 2013.
Funding: $3.3M in series A from Idinvest Partners, a pan-European mid-market private equity firmManagement: Pascale Vicat-Blanc, founder and CEO, is former research director at INRIA (French National Institute for Research in Computer Science) and former CIO of a Grid 5000 Data Center, as well as project manager at CERN.
More information: Lyatiss
Lyatiss is taking a slightly different approach to software-defined networking and instead is focused on application-defined networking.
"Cloud networks are unpredictable and complex; traditional networks are blind to the applications running on them and rigid," says CEO Vicat-Blanc. "There's a missing link there."
Lyatiss's recently launched CloudWeaver product is an operating system that runs on Amazon Web Services' cloud that makes networks application-aware. It has a series of collectors that monitor application demands in real-time through an API, collects the correlating network requirements and provisions the network to those specifications. If one application needs a low-latency connection for speed, the network will automatically be configured for that. If another app needs high bandwidth for a certain type of traffic, the network can be optimized for that, too.