Ravello Systems launches with $26M in funding

Startup helps companies - large and small - tap the public cloud

Financial trends and news by Bambi Francisco Roizen
February 4, 2013
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Ravello Systems came out of stealth mode Monday night, while at the same time announcing that it's raised $26 million in total funding from Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.

The Palo Alto, Calif-based company was founded by Rami Tamir and Benny Schnaider, serial entrepreneurs who had previously founded Qumranet, which was sold to Red Hat in 2008 for more than $100 million. Tamir and Schnaider, along with friends, initially seeded the company with $1 million back in 2011, before raising the $26 million in two traunches - the first $11 million in late 2012 and the last $15 million at the end of last year.


Ravello Systems is now open to developers and engineering teams looking to use the public cloud to test their applications. Heretofore, companies couldn't really use the public cloud for testing because 1. Getting an existing data center application to the public cloud required extensive changes, rewriting, rebuilding etc. and 2. The public cloud is expensive (using the public cloud could often cost three times more than using an internal data center), said Tamir, in an interview, explaining that using the public cloud is akin to renting a car. The cost of renting a car can be expensive, compared to owning one, but worth it if used when required. But what if you could lower the cost of the rental and use more often? Then renting would seem attractive. 

In like vein, Ravello Systems wants to make usage of the public cloud a more reasonable option. One that is easier to use, without needing to make any changes to the application, and also significantly more cost effective. 

"The process companies would have to go through is to change their application [for the cloud vs internal data centers] or use their own limited resources," said Tamir, in an interview. The challenge then is that engineering teams end up delaying their releases or reducing the tests and pushing out buggy products or bringing in more teams to build out infrastructure, which can all be very expensive.

Ravello enables developers to overcome their internal data center capacity constraints and leverage the unlimited resources of the public cloud to develop and test their applications in a faster and more robust manner. 
Ravello Systems is one of the companies emerging to address new ways of testing new products before making them live. For companies who push out new releases daily, weekly or monthly, they know the importance of being able to test these out in a safe environment. Otherwise, pushing them out to production (or a live platform) could cause massive outages if one minor code was off. 


Companies, such as Engine Yard, help create duplicate environments for testing. Other emerging companies, such as Delphix, also allow companies to duplicate their database. Ravello Systems doesn't just duplicate the database, but rather it also duplicates the whole application, from the stack to storage.  

"In our technology,assuming you have 10 VMs (vitrual machines)," Tamir explained, "We can do all applications in on VM." In other words, Ravello Systems can consolidate the number of virtual machines a company uses, thereby reducing the cost.

"Ravello allows organizations to completely encapsulate multi-VM applications and their entire environment (networking and storage) and run them on any public cloud (Amazon Web Services, Rackspace or HP Cloud) without making any changes whatsoever," said Tamir.

Tamir would not disclose how many clients Ravello has worked with nor who they are and how much they pay for the Ravello Systems service. Tamir would only say that the "infrastructre as a software" service is available for a few hundred dollars a month to much more. The pricing has yet to be determined.  

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