It's been a while since I spoke with Marathon Technologies (the folks behind everRun high availability softwre.) Recently, the company's PR company did their best set up a call so I would have a chance to speak with Jim Welch, Marathon's new CEO. I believe Jim and I have spoken before when he was with IBM. After doing the typical dance to find a time and date that would work for both of us, I found myself on the line with Jim; Steven Keilen, Vice President, Marketing; and Brian Mullins, Director of Marketing Communications. For those of you keeping track, I’ve spoken with the good folks of Marathon on several ocassions (seeMarathon Technologies launches everRun VM, Marathon Technologies and Microsoft dance together and Sullivan Group a Marathon Technologies Customer).
The round table discussion covered customer adoption of various approaches to making their virtual environments more highly available and how Marathon Technologies' brand is faring in the market place.
I had to point out that adoption of virtual machine software in industry standard system-based environments is growing very rapidly, it still has not reached the level of adoption found in mainframe or midrange system-based environments. Quite often organizations adopt virtual machine technology are thinking about consolidation of workloads to reduce overall costs and to better utilize physical system resources rather than availability.
Furthermore, the adoption of this technology is often a "bandage" to cover a more serious issue that is harder to address - industry standard system application architects haven't really focused on maximum utilization of system resources at the same level as users of mainframe and midrange systems. They've relied on Moore's Law to provide more and more processor power rather than focusing on application efficiency. They've also relied on system redundancy rather than some form of clustering to improve levels of availability.
Although I was being a bit flippant, I pointed out that because neither Marathon Technologies nor everRun have much mind share, when Marathon was mentioned, if it was mentioned at all, an IT decision maker was likely to think about an oil company or pesticide rather than software increasing levels of application availability.
It appears to me that both the adoption level and Marathon's own brand image could be boosted with a well designed, long term marketing campaign. The key question is whether the company should try to increase recognition of "Marathon Technologies" or "everRun." Since the latter is more indicative of what they do, it would be a better focal point.
If you could speak with the good Mr. Welch, what would you suggest?