Startup Of The Week: EmboticsStartup Of The Week: Embotics
Embotics tackles virtual machine sprawl.
June 5, 2008
Virtual machines are a lot like tribbles from Star Trek: If you aren't careful, they can multiply quickly and end up in unexpected places. Embotics tackles VM sprawl by tagging virtual machines as they're provisioned. It then tracks their movement around your company's IT infrastructure, helping put you back in control.
--Andrew Conry-Murray EMBOTICS
HEADQUARTERS: Ottawa, Ontario
PRODUCT: V-Commander VM life-cycle management software
PRINCIPALS: Jay Litkey, founder, president, and CEO; Jean-Marc Seguin, chief architect; David Lynch, VP of marketing
INVESTORS: Tera Capital, private investors
EARLY CUSTOMERS: AMD, financial services and health care companies
THE BIG IDEA
Virtual machines are easy to provision and move from one physical machine to another, making it difficult for IT to maintain administrative control. Embotics' V-Commander tracks each authorized VM with a unique ID, allowing IT to better monitor VMs from creation until they are decommissioned. Embotics alerts IT when new VMs appear in the infrastructure. BUSINESS CASE Existing virtualization management tools handle provisioning, resource usage, backup and storage, and availability. In tackling VM sprawl, Embotics carves a useful niche for itself while solving a key problem. Unmanaged VMs are a security risk. They may miss OS and application patches or expose network services that leave them vulnerable to attack. They consume system resources, possibly degrading overall performance. Rogue VMs may also violate compliance mandates or regulations. PEDIGREE Founder Litkey started Symbium, an IT automation company, and began his career at Nortel Networks. Chief architect Seguin, who also came to Embotics from Symbium, holds several patents. CONTROL KNOBS V-Commander requires VirtualCenter, VMware's provisioning and management system, to see when new ESX-based VMs are created. Support for Microsoft's virtualization platform is planned by year's end, and Citrix support should follow. V-Commander scans each new VM to see if it's a copy of an existing VM, which Embotics calls "lineage." Tracking lineage enables interesting features. If one VM becomes unstable, administrators can proactively examine other VMs that are copies of the problematic one. TIMELINE
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