Neocleus leaves the stealth mode, to launch the hypervisor for desktops

A new startup enters the virtualization market today with a soft launch: Neocleus.

The company, founded in 2006 and based in US (with the R&D center in Israel) received a first round of investments in 2007: $5 million from Battery Ventures and Gemini Israel.

Neocleus has a strong focus on security as testified by the management team: its co-founder and CTO, Etay Bogner, comes from SofaWare (the historical partner of Check Point, leader in enterprise firewalls), its Vice President of R&D, Yair Tor, comes from BeeFence (a startup focused on intrusion detection systems) and its Chief Security Architect, Yoav Weiss comes from Entercept (acquired by McAfee) and Check Point.
Ariel Gorfung, coming from Intuwave, is the co-founder and CEO.

The company didn’t launch any product yet, limiting itself to pitch the new concept of endpoint virtualization, which implies the goal of security physical desktops through virtualization.
The reality is that most of the informations provided at the moment implies that Neocleus is about to market a new architecture to bring a bare-metal hypervisor to the Windows desktop (probably the term desktop virtualization was already too abused by VDI vendors to be used).

  • The hypervisor mentioned above should be a variant of Xen with additional pass-through drivers for memory, display, networking and USB, called NativeDom, so to not negatively impact the end-user experience.
  • The product will support hardware with or without the Input/Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU). In the former case multiple native operating systems (guest OSes with pass-through drivers) will be supported.
  • The product installer will integrate a P2V migration tool to move an existing Windows installation inside the first virtual machine (NativeDom).
  • Security monitoring and enforcement will happen at the hypervisor level through the Neocleus solution deployed as virtual appliance.
  • Neocleus will create an open source framework API to allow 3rd party virtual appliance to plug-in (similar to what VMware is doing with its VMsafe).

The company didn’t provide any timeframe for the first product launch or details about its feautres but it seems that the solution is already in beta phase.

The Virtualization Industry Radar has been updated accordingly.