SAP Pumps Up Virtual Iron

The software giant pours $31.5 million in venture capital funds into Virtual Iron, a data center virtualization specialist.

Virtual Iron continues to garner support from industry heavyweights, announcing May 1 additional venture funding from software giant SAP.

The Lowell, Mass., company, which offers products aimed at virtualizing data center environments, said the investment from SAP Ventures—SAPs funding arm—brings Virtual Irons total capital funding to $31.5 million.

Other investors include Intel Capital, the investment body for chip maker Intel.

As with the Intel investment, Virtual Iron is working on joint projects with SAP to combine Virtual Irons virtualization technology with SAPs broad software portfolio.

Virtualization—the ability to run multiple workloads, applications and operating systems on single pieces of hardware—is gaining momentum as end users see the benefits in terms of reduced real estate and power costs, greater system utilization and easier manageability.

In addition, vendors now are beginning to extend virtualization—for a long time focused primarily on servers—to other areas of the data center, such as storage and I/O. In addition, the client space also is getting the attention of virtualization companies.

Analyst firm IDC, in Framingham, Mass., predicts that spending on virtualization technology will jump to $15 billion in 2009.

Version 3 of Virtual Irons namesake management software, released in early April at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, combines the companys virtualization and management capabilities with the open-source Xen 3.0 hypervisor.

The software also will support the on-chip virtualization capabilities being built into processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, which are making their way into the marketplace in 2006.


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