Rodney J. Rogers, CEO & Chairman and Kevin Reid, President & CTO
To seasoned entrepreneurs and technologists, Rodney Rogers and Kevin Reid, the idea to test the waters in the cloud domain spurred not at the best of times. The year was 2009; Amazon had just entered mainstream as a public cloud provider, while visionaries like Microsoft and Google were also placing their wagers on the cloud. Despite the adverse timing, Rogers and Reid took the plunge and spawned Virtustream—their third startup, a cloud company provisioning public infrastructure to enterprises. With well-heeled experience working in the trenches of enterprise applications, it dawned upon the duo that companies running mission-critical applications on the cloud can benefit from highly automated, multi-tenant clouds. When Rogers—the CEO and Reid—the President and CTO, Virtustream analyzed the scope of moving these highly-regulated applications to cloud, they took a markedly different approach to optimize the way these applications are run. The founders, in their forties, were antitheses of Silicon Valley’s youthful freethinkers, adding to this, the dawn of the financial meltdown was yet another hindrance in the way of raising funds for their startup. However, little did they know that their ‘not-so-sexy’ venture was about to vault the obstacles and match wits with the giants by making it to the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant as one of the top most Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers in 2015 and 2016.
The Out-of-the-Box Vision
At Virtustream, the top of the agenda focuses on solving the vexing issues in the areas of resource utilization, cost, performance, and security in multi-tenant environments. Interestingly, the solution revolved around a single point of convergence—usage of complex legacy systems that aren’t always designed to run in the cloud. To put it succinctly, the founders experimented the AWS approach on the enterprise to run mission-critical applications delivering deeper application know-how than its counterparts. The story of how the company took off from there is one that makes heads turn around very often. Virtustream’s genesis as a provider of IaaS, cloud computing management software and managed services for enterprises, was a natural progression to accelerate the duo’s zest for being a catalyst of change in the industry. At the core, Virtustream’s portfolio of cloud technology and services encompasses an array of capabilities from delivering business-critical applications on the cloud, enterprise-class risk management, to cloud management for private, public and hybrid clouds. Virtustream’s IaaS platform works in tandem to iron out impediments in traditional environments and allows a seamless migration to cloud—starting from the scratch.
The process takes off with a comprehensive study of presenting a clear account of the client’s IT consumption patterns, workloads, architecture, and other aspects, followed by building a seamless roadmap to the cloud. The firm’s conviction stands on migrating and running mission-critical applications in the cloud, at the same time solving the security, compliance, efficiency, performance, and consumption-based billing conundrums.
Passion, innovation, integrity, accountability and an unflagging commitment to excellence are the core values that we carry into our work
Virtustream’s cloud services narrow down the focus on complex production applications, such as ERP suites from Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. The team tailors procedures for automated deployment and management of such applications to attain agile application development life cycles and curb risks associated with application changes.
To their elation, Virtustream’s success soared high when a seller of sugar brands—Domino Sugar—also one of the largest SAP users in the US approached them to run their SAP application on xStream. The partnership reaped results that no other competitor could vouch for—speed, flexibility, disaster recovery, availability, backup and restore, expedient strategy, and faster responding applications.
The elite team at Virtustream knows the importance of “application-first,” when it comes to enabling greater agility, better performance, higher security, and superior economics. The firm’s enterprise-class cloud platform— Virtustream Enterprise Cloud—powered by the firm’s cloud management platform, xStream aims at running I/O intensive, state-full applications for delivering a true cloud experience to customers.
In addition to this, Virtustream Storage Cloud, a global, hyperscale storage cloud, was rolled out in EMC World 2016 Conference; meeting head-on with, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, and AWS.
xStream: A ‘Power Combo’
Virtustream’s xStream is an intelligent amalgamation of enterprise application automation, infrastructure orchestration, and service delivery features. An abstraction-based control plane, xStream is powered by Virtustream cloud resource management technology— μVM. The platform is built for I/O intensive mission-critical type of workloads to deliver assured SLA levels for both traditional and web-scale applications. This accelerates performance improvements and cost-savings by 30-50 percent over legacy environments, without having to rethink, rewrite, or retire significant IT investments. Besides provisioning a single-pane view across distributed hybrid clouds, this platform also renders deployment flexibility through on-premise private cloud, virtual private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud options.
xStream’s multi-tiered workflow and security model allow exercising greater flexibility by combating cloud computing security concerns, regardless of where the applications and data are deployed. Virtustream’s platform ensures compliance with industry and government regulations with multi-level security, defence architecture, geo-fencing and geo-tagging features; and encryption at rest, in use and in motion.
An Alternate Plan in the Cloud
When Diesel Direct, a trucking and construction business, suffered power outage due to the onset of Hurricane Irene, the company chose cloud as the alternate option to keep its business up and running.
However, Diesel Direct’s reliance on Microsoft Access, Exchange email, and paper invoices resulted in cash flow implications. In this scenario, Virtustream’s private, virtual private, and public cloud seemed a convincing solution. The client approached Virtustream to host its data and latest version of its software to help its employees work from the same office using the same workflows. Consequently, Diesel Direct saved both time and money, thanks to Virtustream’s dynamic capacity management for resource-intensive processes.
The Quintessential Forward-Thinking
As the name suggests, at Virtustream, ‘service is a promise and commitment is a virtue’.
"We were able to separate ourselves from the pack and achieve viable commercial results in a relatively short time in a space that is furiously IP-intensive and competitive"
Accentuating Virtustream’s singularly-focused approach, Reid points out that enterprises often migrate their edge applications to the cloud whereas prefer retaining the complex nucleus systems on-premise, owing to high investment involved and the deficiency of skills required in rewriting these applications to the cloud. To this end, Virtustream leverages cloud automation, cloud agility, and cloud economics to design a ‘different’ kind of cloud platform that keeps the vital systems of businesses running.
Entry to the Unicorn Territory
The adage—“It’s all about timing”— holds true for Rogers and Reid, when they turned down a potential acquisition deal with SAP after deep negotiations in 2013. However, according to the founders, it was a right decision. The timing did the trick. While the founders were looking forward to take their venture public, they arrived at crossroads with EMC and was acquired for $1.2 billion. As Virtustream matured into the centerpiece of EMC’s public cloud story in a matter of ten months, the real kicker came in: Dell’s acquisition of EMC—one of the biggest tech mergers ever. Stirring up the IT punditry, this acquisition draws a special attention to how Virtustream is poised to carve out a niche in the realm of hybrid clouds and ascend EMC/Dell to don the leadership hat in the domain.
The Cloud and Its Silver Linings
Rogers firmly believes, “Passion, innovation, integrity, accountability, and an unflagging commitment to excellence are the core values that we carry into our work with our clients and reflect in our interactions, our brand, and our leadership.” Following the same belief, the team at Virtustream has devoted all its energy to reach stellar heights in the global cloud market.
The cloud IT infrastructure spending is projected to grow by 15.6 percent a year, topping $54.6 billion in 2019, says IDC. While the cloud market is gearing up to lift off on a high trajectory against the backdrop of surging number of businesses migrating from legacy services to cloud-based IT services, the year 2016 has been nothing less than exhilarating for Virtustream.
Considering their late entry into the market, it is surprising and beholding on what prospects Virtustream continues to bring to its clients from a product-development perspective. With a firm foundation and riches of the combined technology portfolio from Dell and EMC, Virtustream is making significant progression in its core go-to-market motion and is following only one course—upward. That’s what counts.