Keep an Eye on These Hot Start-ups in 2010

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On the Web security front, a team of ex-Google employees are behind Dasient, which is tackling the nagging problem of legitimate Web sites infected with malicious code.

"Our monitoring service regularly scans Web sites, looking for Web-based malware infections such as malicious JavaScript or iFrames," the company explains. "If our monitoring technology discovers an infection, we send an alert with detailed diagnostic information - including which pages of the site have been compromised and the specific attack strings that have been injected - to the webmaster."

The Dasient co-founders include two former Google employees, Neil Daswani, previously Google's security product manager, and software engineer Shariq Rizvi. The management team was spurred to start Dasient to help legitimate Web sites avoid infecting their users and avoid getting blacklisted by search engines and browsers.

On the network management front, a software-as-a-service company called Vineyard Networks uses SaaS (as well as an on-site version) to simplify the monitoring and reporting on performance of network devices, WAN connections and voice applications. Targeted at customers ill-equipped to take on a large management software deployment, Vineyard says its NetCore On Demand service helps small and midsized businesses answer the question "what's on my network and how is it being used?"

NetCore can be set up within minutes, and even people without a networking background can use the service to troubleshoot problems and monitor network usage and performance, says CEO and founder Jason Richards.

"Our product includes a small unmanaged probe, a SaaS service and a network exploring interface on the customer site. We kept it very Fisher-Price style. If customers want to know more details about something, they simply click on it and the data is there," Richards explained to Network World's Denise Dubie in September.

Our final company to watch, Viridity Software, is targeting power use in the data center with software that analyzes the energy consumption of IT equipment and applications. A shortage of power and cooling capacity has forced numerous companies to build new data centers, but Viridity says a new approach to energy monitoring can extend the life of existing facilities.

Viridity further argues that today's power monitoring products focus only on the physical infrastructure, giving insight into how power is delivered to the data center but not insight into why it is being consumed. Viridity's technology looks at how applications consume energy, offers recommendations to eliminate inefficiencies, and uses simulations to show the potential impact of new technology deployments,

"They take an application-based view," says David Hill, an analyst with the Mesabi Group. "It's much more sophisticated and much more elegant [than current power monitoring products]. It's the way it should be done."

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View original version of related slideshow for more on our 10 companies to watch

This story, "Keep an Eye on These Hot Start-ups in 2010" was originally published by Network World.

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