What's become of 2008's 10 IT management start-ups to watch, Part 1

2008 management technology makers weather an economic recession, some seeing stellar results and others continuing to grow.

IT management software makers that launched prior to an economic recession show what it takes to market software designed to help IT departments do more with less.

The economy didn’t give many companies much room to grow in the past year, but the 10 IT management start-ups recognized in 2008 as ones to watch managed to make a name and some money for themselves.

10 IT management technology start-ups to watch – 2009

10 technologies from 2009’s IT management start-ups to watch

Here is a brief look at what 2008’s IT management start-ups to watch accomplished since landing on Network World’s list.

AppDNA

Why it made the list: Founded in early 2008, AppDNA delivered its AppTitude technology that the London and Chicago-based vendor promised would help enterprise IT assess application version, operating system and virtualization options before an application is deployed to a production environment. Industry watchers at the time said this type of capability would be welcome for those adopting virtualization, especially on the client side.

"People are trying to determine what the best delivery vehicle is for end-user applications. AppDNA checks dependencies and application attributes to gauge if an application would be suited to a Citrix thin client application, for instance," said Cameron Haight, research vice president at Gartner.

Highlights from the last year: In 2009, AppDNA released AppTitude 4.0, which includes Windows 7 reporting, but perhaps more notable, the company signed “Global Framework Licensing agreements” with both Microsoft and Citrix. The deal makes AppTitude the “application compatibility testing tool for both organizations,” an AppDNA spokeswoman says.

Apptio

Why it made the list: Apptio promised to provide transparency to IT costs, something high-tech leaders would need in a recession. But also industry watchers said such IT capacity planning, chargeback and cost management technologies – such as those available with Apptio’s Transparency Engine technology -- would play a pivotal role in larger efforts to manage IT costs in line with business demand.

"Globalization, consumerization, new competitors and new service models are radically changing the shape of IT. IT leaders must develop greater transparency into the costs, utilization and operations of their IT services," said Barbara Gomolski, research vice president at Gartner, in 2008.

Highlights from the last year: Not only did Apptio land on Gartner’s cool vendor list, the company also secured a $14 million round of funding in August 2009 from investors including Andreessen Horowitz Duns, Greylock Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Shasta Ventures. In terms of technology, Apptio introduced a Server Virtualization Cost Transparency offering to help IT and finance teams evaluate and accelerate expanded virtualization deployments and a Cloud Cost Transparency template to help IT teams analyze the return on investment of adoption cloud services as well as assess the cost as part of overall IT spend.

BlueStripe Software

Why it made the list: BlueStripe executives saw the need for application performance management software that works in virtual environments and its FactFinder product is able to discover applications and their components and benchmark normal behavior, making it that much easier for IT managers to spot performance anomalies.

"Anything that helps IT in measuring application performance in virtual machines will be very welcome,” said Jean-Pierre Garbani, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research at the time. "What BlueStripe proposed to do initially, the discovery of applications, is interesting, but what really would do the trick for the start-up is when they can effectively monitor applications within a container, something that very few products can actually do.”

Highlights from the last year: The company updated its FactFinder product, augment staff and secured funding in the past year. Landing $8 million in venture funding from Valhalla Partners and Trinity Ventures in April, BlueStripe “nearly doubled its staff in 2009” and also experienced growth with partners. And BlueStripe executives report that the company will soon announce a software connector to enterprise management solutions that will provide access to data on application-level configuration changes and other CMDB data.

DynamicOps

Why it made the list: The company’s Virtual Resource Manager, or VRM, software queries environments to find available resources and enables IT managers to use a console to allocate virtual resources and assign permissions. Such capabilities, according to industry watchers, would reduce manual efforts around managing virtual environments.

"Essentially DynamicOps is automating virtual machine provisioning in a way that really delivers a business service, rather than just an IT management tool," said Andi Mann, research director at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), in 2008.

Highlights from the last year: DynamicOps continued to grow its client roster and product suite in the past 12 months. Though none could be named, the company reports that it landed customers including an “HR and payroll service provider, a global hedge fund, a global financial services company, a communications and media company, and a publishing and media content company.” As for technology, the vendor added three products to its portfolio, which includes virtual server and desktop provisioning and ongoing management.

Hyper9

Why it made the list: Hyper9 combined two of the buzziest technologies into one company in 2008: IT search and virtualization. The Hyper9 search software uses five data collection methods to gather configuration, patch and other data on virtual and physical machines. The software aggregates the data and presents it via a Web-based interface, coupling the search results with business intelligence metrics and potential actions to take in response to search results. And the company made the search platform available for free.

“Hyper9 is addressing one of the biggest problems in virtualization -- the complexity that is apparent in virtual machine sprawl and inconsistent configurations," EMA's Mann explained at the time. "Hyper9 allows operators and administrators -- even less skilled staffs -- to find and compare detailed virtual machine configuration information and even control the virtual machines themselves with stop, start, pause, migrate, clone, snapshot and other capabilities."

Highlights from the last year: While landing customers such as Major League Baseball, Hyper9 also secured $8 million in Series B funding from Venrock, Matrix Partners, Silverton Partners and Maples Investments. The company also added two new products to its portfolio: Virtualization Optimization Suite and Virtualization Environment Optimization.

Stay tuned for an update on the remaining five companies called out in 2008 and their notable technologies to watch.

Interested in freeware and shareware, open source applications and scaled-down versions of commercial software and services? Network World devotes an online forum of free techie stuff. Let me know what you find, what you want to hear more about and what invaluable tools that didn’t cost you a thing at ddubie@nww.com.

Do you Tweet? Follow Denise Dubie on Twitter here

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)