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Surgient CTO Talks Cloud and Virtualization Patents with VMblog

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Surgient's CTO, Dave Malcolm, to talk about virtualization and the cloud.  Surgient has been working with both technologies since 2001, long before most other companies out there, and even longer before the word "cloud" was coined as a term that most of us were willing to talk about in the field or within the media. 

And because Surgient has been involved in both of these cutting edge and emerging technologies for so many years now, they've been fortunate as a company to file for and receive granted status on a couple of very interesting and key patents in this market.  Here is part of our discussion:

VMblog:  In addition to offering virtualization lab management software and providing software for managing the cloud, you guys have also filed and received quite a few patents around "cloud technology."  Can you tell us a little bit about the most recent cloud patent granted?  Can you summarize it and tell us what it involves?

Surgient:  Certainly. Our most recent granted patent, entitled, "Virtual server cloud interfacing," addresses the concept of federated cloud management.  It defines the creation and management of multiple architectures of federated virtual server clouds: Inter-Clouds, Extra-Clouds, Super-Clouds, and Exchange Clouds.

The patent defines the management mechanisms for moving, cloning, activating, de-activating, and resource-balancing virtual servers across all four federated cloud architectures. Additionally, the patent describes the process for "follow-the-sun" virtual server activation and de-activation across multiple federated clouds.

This is a broad patent covering a wide range of management and automation mechanisms across four distinct federated cloud architectures.

Patent Details:

US Patent #7574496: Virtual Server Cloud Interfacing
Issued 8/11/2009, Filed 4/17/2002

VMblog:  You have some other cloud related patents, don't you?  Can you tell us about those as well?

Surgient:  Yes, the US Patent Office has granted Surgient six patents on our virtualization and cloud automation technology.  I'll describe a few of them here...

The first defines the general principles of virtual server cloud management, and is entitled, "Virtualized logical server cloud providing non-deterministic allocation of logical attributes of logical servers to physical resources."  This patent, granted in April 2005, covers the creation of a cloud of virtualized infrastructure and the management mechanisms for the virtual server cloud, including maintaining status information, managing access control, managing resources for virtual and physical servers, server cloning, and the movement of virtual servers across physical infrastructure. 

Patent Details:

US Patent #6,880,002: Virtualized logical server cloud providing non-deterministic allocation of logical attributes of logical servers to physical resources
Issued 4/12/2005, Filed 3/18/2002

Additionally, we hold Patent #6,990,666, which covers the dynamic resource management model. The patent defines virtual infrastructure resource allocation management for cost and performance optimization, priority-based scheduling, and over-subscription. 

Patent Details:

US Patent #6,990,666: Near on-line server

Issued 1/24/2006, Filed 7/25/2002 

VMblog:  How important do you believe patents are in today's IT world?  And do you continue to work on new and interesting patents today?

At Surgient, we believe innovation is important. We strive to create and maintain a culture of technology innovation, and as such, we continue to make investments in cutting-edge technologies. Patents are a way for us to protect our innovations and to build additional value for our business by reinforcing our technology vision and leadership. As we develop new and innovative technologies, we continue to protect those investments through the patent process, so yes, we are constantly evaluating our inventions and determining which of those need to be protected.

VMblog:  It seems like there are some technologies out there that may fall under your patents.  What happens here? 

What I'll say here is that Surgient has been pioneering cloud automation and management technologies longer than anyone in the industry.  We've been an innovator, and that innovation has been reinforced by the granting of these patents by the US Patent Office.  Because we've come from cloud roots, our solution is truly a purpose-built platform designed for managing clouds. The Surgient Platform provides the shortest time to value and most advanced technology for managing enterprise private clouds.

### 

Thanks again to Dave Malcolm and Surgient for speaking with me about patents.  I know they have to be pretty excited as an organization, and I hope to see more innovation coming out of the company in the future.

Published Monday, December 21, 2009 1:58 PM by David Marshall
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