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New virtualisation vendor heads into local market

New virtualisation vendor heads into local market

Dunes looks for channel to tout its virtualisation management software product

Swiss software vendor, Dunes, is in talks with local distributors and VARs as part of plans to expand global sales of its business process products.

CEO, Dr Robert Laurie, who was in Sydney this month, said the decision to come south was prompted by global customer requests for 24-hour support. It is also investigating opening an Asia-Pacific office.

"We have a very aggressive growth plan. In the enterprise software business, you have to be global," he said.

Dunes is the latest vendor to step up to the virtualisation plate, producing process automation tools (also called orchestration software) to manage virtual environments. The company was founded in Switzerland in 2001 and launched in the US late last year. Its platform product, Virtual Service Orchestrator (VS-O), creates workflow policies around a company's services and systems and automates them. The technology has been written in Javascript and is accessible through a GUI via Web browser or intranet.

The vendor has also developed a shrink-wrapped hosted desktop version, called Virtual Desktop Orchestration (VD-O), which provides customers with pre-defined workflows. VS-O is based on a licensing fee and annual support subscription service, while VD-O is sold on a concurrent user basis.

Rather than targeting vertical market segments, Laurie said it focused on applications within businesses.

"Today, people have bits of disjointed hardware and they have some automation software, but these don't work well together," he said. "Dunes' platform is process automation which enables services on-demand. We can take the business practices and turn those into processes which can then be automated.

"Because we are also based on an open platform, Dunes can be used to manipulate all APIs. Users could not only use it to manage a virtual environment, but also their network, storage -technologies can just be plugged in. We could even control the toaster."

While rival software products from CA and IBM's Tivoli offer software tools for managing business processes, Laurie said Dunes' differentiation point was virtualisation. He claimed the vendor was the only one with plug-ins to all of VMware's 860 functions.

Dunes' open architecture and the high level of consulting required to implement and maintain the tools presented a great opportunity for service providers, he said. For example, service providers could develop plug-ins for other third-party products or systems depending on the customer's needs.

Laurie said it planned to create more vertical plugins with the channel. These included functional applications such as hot back-up and disaster recovery. Dunes is also working on plug-ins for virtualisation tools from XenSource, Virtual Iron and Microsoft, as well as networking and storage platforms.

The vendor maintains a tiered channel model in Europe and the US, including resellers, premier consultants (VARs) and distributors. Laurie said it would roll out a similar program locally. Its first port of call would be to work with VMware's existing channel.

Those interested in selling the products will need to undergo training. The course will be available free of charge at the vendor's US and Europe facilities, and in Asia-Pacific down the track.

Laurie expected to have Dunes' Asia-Pacific presence and channel underway by mid-year.

"Two years ago, virtualisation penetration was low. Then people thought VMware offered enough management - but they're now realising they need to go beyond that. Dunes is about optimising that space," he said.


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