Vladimir Anatolievich Butenko – email legend


On the 29th of August, at the age of  56 years, Vladimir A. Butenko died. The founder of CommuniGate Systems and the Regatta.link project, is legend among the early pioneers of the Silicon Valley “.com” era that went from the early 1990’s into the turn of the 21st century. This period is when many of the core foundations of the Internet were established and created by a few great engineers.

Vladimir was known globally for his insanely efficient code that even the competition revered and spoke of in respectful terms.  Today, over 200 million people use his technology each day to communicate and collaborate on the Internet.

Vladimir Anatolievich was a bright man who left an imprint on the history of the development of software technologies…his works are the “bar standard” for reliable and efficient multi-threaded code. Back in the mid-1980s, as a graduate student at the faculty of Physics at Moscow State University, Vladimir developed the operating system MISS (Multipurpose Interactive time Sharing System). Subsequently, he moved from being the core developer and architect into organizing a group of like-minded colleagues who supplied the MISS OS with a powerful set of application software to the oil, gas and chemical industries.

In 1991, Vladimir Anatolievich founded the company Stalker Software, in Germany. He moved the head quarters to San Francisco in the late 1990’s; later renaming the enterprise to CommuniGate Systems in 2003 combining “CommuniGate”  as the company and product brand. In the early days the products were developed on and sold for the Apple Macintosh platform. By 1997, Vladimir started to create the unified communications platform CommuniGate Pro, when new ISPs were popping up weekly around the globe. CommuniGate Pro soon became a leader in the email communications business with 1.000’s of clients, each often times hosting millions of users. The platform was available on Solaris, Linux, HPUX, True64 and FreeBSD by the year 2000 and was soon followed by Microsoft Windows server versions.

For more than 30 years of software development, Vladimir surrounded himself with many millions of people; the developers, business users and followers of the product. His work on protocol level technologies was extraordinary and became known by the technical communities for the “tight code” and extreme performance. The CommuniGate Pro platform not only had scale and reliability from day one, but Vladimir began adding telecom capabilities with SIP and XMPP technologies by 2004; creating the only known “fully unified” communications platform to this day.

After massive growth in the marketplace on uptake of email and VoIP technologies, competition inevitably grew. Large systems went from millions of users to 10’s of millions and banks often times 50+ million users was “normal”. In order to set the record straight, on performance and scale, we decided to slap down any published specifications to give us tailwinds for a year at least.

We set up several public displays of the CommuniGate Pro Dynamic Cluster with HP demonstrating 20 million users; then later 50 million in a single image on an IBM zSeries mainframe! CommuniGate Pro went on to take the world record for performance on the SPECmail submission in 2005.  No other platform ever challenged those results and CommuniGate Pro remains to this day the world champion in terms of the SPEC.org rating system.

In addition to working on software development, Vladimir Anatolievich was a professional athlete and a prominent figure in the world of yachting. Vladimir began sailing as a child in the “Aurora” yacht club, and he received the title of master of sports of the USSR.

Vladimir Butenko also acted as a patron – supporting the sailing section in Strogino, which provides comprehensive support to the national team of Russia (sailing) during the World Championship in the class of 470 in San Francisco. (sponsored regatta Who is Who).

Since 2014 Vladimir worked on his new business project with excitement and passion – this was the creation of an automated system (Regatta.link) for the yacht racing competition marketplace with innovative technologies. The heart of the system is GPS – and it uses trackers with high accuracy and a system for transmitting data from the racing judge yachts gathered usual tactics format. This system has been deployed during the Open Russian Regatta in both 2017 + 2018. Regatta.link has already been fully deployed at several international competitions; including world championships.

We remember Vladimir created legend….we never forget….as millions of people use his artwork daily. Vladimir helped create far more than just great code. As the company grew over time, so did his team…..and inevitably families were born as a welcomed consequence.

CommuniGate Systems core values of reliability and efficiency are our founders vision of product excellence. Legend; CommuniGate Pro the unwavering penchant for reliability will continue to run non-stop as so it should.

Farewell to Vladimir Butenko will be held September 1, 2018

Christmas and New Year event – Nice Côte d’Azur 2016

The CommuniGate Systems Christmas event this year was wonderful; not only was the weather awesome for some fun outside, but with our partners and clients it made the tours around Nice exceptionally memorable! This year we made the theme “niçois” which is the name of the culture in Nice that has specialties to eat, dress, and there is even the dialect to speak. Kind of a blend between French and Italian cultures with a lot of influence from the sea and marine lifestyle.

Durning the week we found the region to be a lot more peaceful and calm. The locals were happy and helpful in the markets around the Cours Saleya and Libération to greet and speak with us about the unique niçois facts about their history, products and the buildings around the “old town” part of the city. However, many of us found that the marché in Libération was very beautiful and reminiscent of markets in Paris along the rue Mouffetard.

Of course there was a good amount of fun with hats and Christmas themed poses under just about everyone’s iPhone; stretching the limits on storage and iCloud quota! But like any team of geeks we had more fun talking about the technology to filter and change the pictures perhaps than anything else.

Like all our events we try to mix in some sport activity and took this trip on the electric bikes that got us up to Mont Boron and around the Castle in the Port region and along the Sea towards Ville Franche and Monaco. We learned that the “e-bike” is really all about assistance to the rider and not like a motor bike or scooter. We had a good mix of Beach cruiser bikes, to BMX style and sport versions that have Bosch motors that can be, let me say, “enhanced”. Like all good electric devices, there is a logic board and controller and that means some good old fashioned programming changes can be a lot of fun ….. But if all else fails  you can always grab a soldering iron and use your high school tech-ed course principals and figure out how to “exchange” the resistors  for added “options”.

Spectacular views are some of the best features of the rolling hills in the region around Nice. The great part is that the climb up the hills is super fun with the electric bikes and the amount of places we could manage to visit in one afternoon was at least 3x more with a large group of people peddling with a little help from the technology from bosch.

One of the downsides of the precipice of mont Boron is that you really do not want to leave and stay on schedule. So like any good amount of southern European cultural influences we adopted the tardiness of our stop for lunch and arrived quite late back on the Port at “le Plongeoir”.

The restaurant is a great place to relax on the sea and not just enjoy the views but some awesome French cuisine. To keep with our theme, we exposed some of the culture of the restaurant history. Durning the belle Époque era there was actually a small ship attached to the rock and later on diving boards for guest to jump off into the sea that can still be seen today.

Our evenings were spent in the “marché de Noël” enjoying the Christmas themed snacks and foods. We also really liked the new fountain and park in the city center that was accordingly decorated to be Christmas like yet still clearly a sea side community.