Firms Push Cloud, Virtualization for IT Niches

A handful of cloud computing and virtualization companies are pitching new products and enhancements as the Enterprise 2.0 conference kicks off in Boston and interest continues surging in both technologies as ways to cut IT costs and improve flexibility.

For example, the VMLogix LabManager — Cloud Edition is a newly released sandbox for developers. LabManager, first launched in 2006, gives developers a variety of tools for individual and group software development and also provides audit trails for standards compliance. Like most cloud products, the newest edition is priced on a pay-as-you-go model.

In addition, it is designed to work seamlessly with Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing product. Pricing was not disclosed.

VMLogix isn’t the only company to aim the first in a planned suite of products at developers. Last week, IBM did the same.

When several companies pursue the same strategy, there’s often a good reason. “We expect the adoption in the cloud to mimic the adoption of server virtualization a few short years ago — starting in pre-production labs,” VMLogix CEO Sameer Dholakia said in a statement. “This starting point is natural given that labs are a low-risk environment, and that the early adopters of innovative, new technologies are often the developers and testers themselves.”

Memory’s virtualization

A more specialized virtualization offering comes from RNA Networks, a company that specializes in memory management in virtual environments. The company announced RNAcache, a product that allows servers to leverage a virtually infinite memory pool while working on large data sets.

“Rather than adding more database nodes, expensive storage or faster processors to support these types of memory intensive applications, RNAcache software drops into the data center without any changes to an existing infrastructure,” the company said in a statement.

The need for the product is particularly acute in companies manipulating massive data sets on a 64 bit architecture, Jim Bole, RNA Networks’ vice president of products and services, told “With a 32-bit architecture, the addressable memory space was 4 GB … but with a 64-bit architecture, the addressable memory space is essentially enormous,” he said.

“Applications are now constrained by the physical limit of the memory on a machine,” he added.

There’s often memory available in a company’s existing infrastructure. “We find that although some high-performance applications are scaled out and built to use all memory on all nodes, often there’s a lot of underutilized memory on other servers or even within a high-speed fabric,” Bole said.

“Our secret sauce is a distributed meta data management server that caches data on nodes that are members of the memory pool,” he added.

“The product can scale up to 10 TB of memory on hundreds of servers,” Andy Mallinger, RNA Networks’ vice president of marketing, told

Pricing was not disclosed.

Making drugs

In San Diego, at the start of the 45th annual meeting of the Drug Information Association, regulated industry specialist Virtify announced the release of the Virtx integrated software suite that delivers a Web-based interface for “managing the complex content and compliance requirements in the highly regulated pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, animal health, and food sciences industries.”

“Unlike traditional content management solutions or individual point products, the Virtx software suite provides a secure, collaborative Web-based environment for managing regulated content throughout the entire life sciences product continuum,” the company said.

Individual modules start at $150,000 and the complete suite starts at $1 million, depending on scope and configuration, Stephen Bergson, Virtify executive vice president of commercial operations, told in an e-mail.

He added that key improvements over the previous version include an enhanced interface with Ajax controls, automated XML generation for “regulated product submissions — built for all users, not just
technical experts,” Bergson said.

He also said the new version also offers a Software-as-a-Service architecture designed to lower the costs of getting started with the offering.

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