Interview With Branndon Stewart, InovaWave

Austin, Texas-based Inovawave ( recently announced a Series B round of venture funding, worth $7.2M, to further develop the firm's software for managing virtual environments. Virtualization software has gotten lots of attention recently, as investors and others have noticed that virtualization has been seeing incredible adoption rates and acceptance in the enterprise. To get a better sense of the industry and how Inovawave serves the industry, we put together a quick interview with Branndon Stewart, senior director of Marketing at InovaWave last week.

It seems like the virtualization software space is getting lots of attention nowadays, particularly with VMware's recent IPO. Can you tell us a little bit about how you fit into the industry and what your products are?

Branndon Stewart: InovaWave is the leading provider of virtualization performance and efficiency management software. Although the virtualization market is experiencing tremendous growth, its continued success is currently restricted due in large part to performance limitations of virtualization platforms. InovaWave's DXtreme and Virtual Octane products work by significantly reducing the disk I/O bottleneck common to most virtual environments. As a result, our customers realize the following benefits: higher server consolidation ratios (i.e., ratio of virtual machines to physical server); extended virtualization efforts to include I/O intensive application (e.g., databases and messaging); increased ROI from virtualization; and improved performance and reliability of existing virtual machines

VMware already has a pretty robust set of management tools, why do IT users need to use your products?

Branndon Stewart: The InovaWave suite of products are complementary components to VMware and Microsoft virtualization platforms and are designed to optimize the performance of the virtual machines and the applications that run on them. InovaWave is the only software vendor offering products proven to improve performance and density (i.e., consolidation ratios) of virtual machines by as much as 25X. Any organization, regardless of size, application mix or geographic location is likely to gain some benefit from an optimized, accelerated I/O subsystem.

I understand your firm has received some venture funding--who is your firm backed by?

Branndon Stewart: InovaWave is backed by Silverton Partners and Boston-based Matrix Partners. The company recently closed its series B round of funding for $7.2 million led by Matrix Partners. Silverton Partners had led the funding in the first round. The total funding received till date is more than $9 million.

What's the background on your company and founders?

Branndon Stewart: InovaWave was founded by Terry Ferose, and Dave McCrory. With over 30 years of combined experience in the virtualization industry, InovaWave’s founders set out to solve the problems they continued to face while implementing large virtual server environments. Their primary focus was on launching a product for what they called disk casting or mobility of virtual machines. In the process, they discovered a technology that significantly increased the performance of virtual machines by optimizing the disk I/O. Considering the rapid adoption of server virtualization and the fact that performance is one of the top challenges to virtualization efforts, they launched InovaWave with the mission of improving virtual machine performance while continuing to pursue their original vision of disk casting.

Thanks for the interview!