Virtual Computer Round B and Citrix

It's rather unusual for me to comment on funding for a supplier of virtualization technology. This time, however, I thought Virtual Computer's announcement that it had received funding from Highland Capital Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners and Citrix was worthy of comment.

It's rather unusual for me to comment on funding for a supplier of virtualization technology. This time, however, I thought Virtual Computer's announcement that it had received funding from Highland Capital Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners and Citrix was worthy of comment. I also saw a demonstration of NxTop during my discussion with Virtual Computer.

Virtual Computer's announcement

Virtual Computer Inc., the company redefining PC lifecycle management through virtualization, today announced it has secured $15 million in series B funding.  The round was co-led by series A investors Highland Capital Partners  and Flybridge Capital Partners with additional investment coming from strategic investor Citrix® Systems, Inc. The latest round of financing positions Virtual Computer to significantly accelerate its global sales and marketing efforts and further advance development of the company’s NxTop™ product offering.

Snapshot Analysis

Highland Capital and Flybridge Capital (formally known as IDG Ventures Boston) have long been involved with startups offering innovative virtualization technology. So, it wasn't at all surprising that they are backing Virtual Computer. The involvement of Citrix, on the other hand, was both surprising and encouraging. Although I'm sure that the thought behind Highland Capital's and Flybridge Capital's involvement is worthy of some discussion, I'm going to focus on Citrix's intentions.

Citrix is the flag carrier for Xen. It is in its best interest to help anyone who is bringing useful and clever products to market based upon that foundation. Although this sometimes means that Citrix is helping a competitor, its desire to make Xen pervasive can only be realized if there is a full and powerful ecosystem.

Citrix's level of support of another company often goes further when that company also could serve to help Citrix serve its installed base better and open the doors to new customers for Citrix's products. Virtual Computer is most certainly in the latter category.

Both Citrix and Virtual Computer are doing a great deal of work to use Xen technology to create a client environment that is more flexible, more reliable, more secure (see stories on the recent Citrix/Intel partnership centering on Intel's VPro security technology) and, here's the key, more manageable.

Virtual Computer has designed a powerful set of tools that make it possible for organizations to develop a number of golden images that include operating systems, applications, user data and user personalization data and then deploy that in a very easy, highly automated way. As it so happens, Virtual Computer's technology could be made to work with many different hypervisors including Xen.

The demonstration I saw of NxTop beta software was very impressive. I hope to speak with one of the companies who've been part of Virtual Computer's beta testing program. I would bet my $5 weekly paycheck that the stories are going to include how Virtual Computer combined with the Xen hypervisor made life simpler for IT administrators.

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