The US startup FastScale officially launched last year with two products: an innovative product to build slim virtual machines, Composer (April 2007), and a management solution, Virtual Manager (August 2007).
Today the company releases version 2.0 of this suite, introducing support for VMware ESX Server 3.5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
The original marketing message from FastScale was focusing on the capability of Composer to track down how an application works and tailor around it an essential operating system (aka cutting away all unnecessaries libraries and OS components). But with this second release the company seems to have slightly changed the tune, focusing much more on how Composer approach can be used in the so called VM Lifecycle Management market:
…streamlining configuration settings for improved ease of use; fine grained configuration control throughout the software lifecycle; expanded options and control over patch policies; flexible rules-based management of external file systems and storage; enhanced control and management of networking interfaces; and, the ability for users to view the impact of rules-based configuration settings before servers are deployed or anytime during the software lifecycle…
If so FastScale will have to compete against other startups like Embotics, FortiSphere and ManageIQ.
Even VMware is entering the space with the still-in-beta Stage Manager, but its unlikely it will be a competitor for FastScale. It’s well known in fact that VMware internally adopts FastScale products since much before the startup left the stealth mode.
Additionally, it’s worth to remember that FastScale is still on track for a Q1 2008 release able to support Windows environments. It will be interesting to see how FastScale will be able to squeeze the Microsoft operating system without breaking any license agreement.
The virtualization.info Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.