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DataSynapse Goes Virtual

DataSynapse, once considered the fastest-growing grid computing vendor, now considers itself the fastest-growing application virtualization vendor.

The company is part of a growing trend, as grid vendors increasingly align themselves with the larger data center virtualization market. And with VMware soaring in its IPO today as the rest of the stock market is in freefall, there's clearly potential in virtualization.

Jamie Bernardin, CTO and founder of Data Synapse, says his company isn't new to the term virtualization — and in fact has been using it for three years. "It's not new for us to describe what we do using that term," he told Grid Computing Planet in a recent interview, while quickly adding: "Grid is by no means a bad word for our customer base."

In fact, GridServer remains the name of one of its flagship products, along with FabricServer.

"We're actually a lot like VMware in the problem we're solving," said Bernardin. But instead of creating virtual machines, DataSynapse creates "application instances" to maximize application performance, decoupling applications from underlying resources to improve scalability and resilience and set priorities.

"That requires an underlying platform, such as a grid," said Bernardin, who calls grid technology a "precursor" to such advanced functionality.

VMware may be the early leader in virtualization said Bernardin, "but virtualization as a whole is a huge market. There are plenty of areas where you can solve the same business problems."

DataSynapse's message appears to be catching on. The company expects to achieve 50 percent sales growth this year and is moving toward an IPO late next year. The company expects to turn profitable this year, but Bernardin points out that it is still making considerable investments in its business so profitability isn't the highest priority.

DataSynapse made its mark early on in financial services, where 80 percent of its customer base remains, but it is branching out into e-business, telecom and Fortune 1000 data centers, he said.

Application virtualization, said Bernardin, "is critical in terms of reducing application complexity and doing more with what you have. The more you can squeeze out of the data center, the better."

But, he adds, "Grid still a big part of what we do."

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