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Hybrid cloud company Velostrata now out of stealth with $14M

Velostrata provides on-demand hybrid cloud software that decouples compute from storage

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 26, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3fbd

The hybrid cloud, which involves an integrated cloud service that uses both private and public clouds, is supposed to lower costs, and provide more agility for enterprise companies. What winds up happening, though, is that there are numerous barriers, with security risks, as well as cost and migration time

That is where Velostrata comes in. The company has some up with a solution to those problems. 

Velostrata  provides on-demand hybrid cloud software that decouples compute from storage. What that does is enable enterprises to stream production workloads to and from the cloud in minutes, leave the storage on-premises and optimize performance end-to-end.

The company, which came out of stealth mode on Wednesday, also announced that it has raised $14 million in a Series A funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners and Greylock IL Partners (83North).

"We have spent the last 16 months developing a system that, for the first time ever, enables enterprise customers to stream to the public cloud from its own premises in a matter of minutes versus weeks or months, while also keeping storage and the images on premises," Issy Ben-Shaul, CEO of Velostrata, told me in an interview.

"The conventional wisdom has been that to get good performance it had to be tied to storage. We decided to challenge that notion and develop technology that decouples the computer from storage, and doing so without sacrificing performance."

The company talked to a large number of customers as it was developing the product, and the feedback that Velostrata received was that one of the biggest pains involved needing to move storage to the cloud in order to compete, yet large companies are still getting push back on moving to the cloud, especially due tio compliance.

Another big problem is flexibility. If a company moves to Amazon Web Services, for example, and then wants to back out, how can they do it without affecting processes?

With Velostrata, companies can move in and out very quickly, moving back and forth between clouds, along with the capability to dynamically determine when and where to move in real time.

There are three pillars that allow the company to do this, said Ben-Shaul. First, he compared what Velostrata does to streaming a movie.

"If you are streaming media, like let's say you are downloading a video file, you don't need to download the entire movie to start watching it. As the movie streams, you are watching it. That is similar to the way we are able to take virtual machines or containers that are running on premises and we are able to stream them into the public cloud withing having to migrate and copy and boot them in the cloud, which is how others operate" he said.

"You don't have to wait. You also don't need to copy something that you'll never use. If it's the first episode of 12 of series, you don’t need all 12. Applications you don't use are never going to stream. That explains how it can be so fast."

The byproduct of this approach is that is also safer, since the containers don’t have discs attached they are less prone to attacks.

Second, the company makes the process run faster is that it will predict what users need to know and cache it for faster performance. 

Third, since companies are resistant to change, Velostrata made it its objective to be the least disruptive as it could possibly be.

'We integrated the management of this solution into existing management consoles and systems  so workers could continue to work the same way they worked before, except they now have an infinite extension of their data center," said Ben-Shaul. 

"That is a very common reaction. They say, 'If you can tell me I can work the same way before leveraging the public cloud then I'm in.'"

While in beta, Velostrata has been working with a large number of customers for a number of months, the of them since bulk since July. They range from very large automakers and health insurance companies to tech to energy to even some financials. One of the company's current customers is energy company Just Energy.

So, for example, a company might use Velostrata if it has new workloads to accommodate, and needs to seamlessly expand to the cloud. Or it may need to move virtual machines from overloaded on-premises hosts to the cloud to restore performance and stability.

Other potential use cases include cloud bursting, in which the company would provision the data center for average utilization and burst to the cloud on-demand during peak times, or storage consolidation, in which it would consolidate storage to a centralized data center while running virtual machines remotely in the cloud without impacting performance.

The company plans to use the funding to further build out its sales, marketing and support teams in North America and Europe, doubling its 25 person team over the next year.

It will also use the funding in order to develop the product road map, which means supporting more clouds, such as Microsoft Azure, as adding more cloud options gives customers the ability to mobilize workloads between those clouds and on premises.

That also means expanding more support for different kinds of containers, and investing in more automation, in order to assist customers to make the right choices of what to move, when and where. 

"We seeing ourselves going in the right in place to be on multiple clouds, giving customers multiple ways to go. We are not going to just see customers with private clouds, but working and competing with partner clouds," said Ben-Shaul.

"We're going to offer all kinds of things that are intercloud, either private to private, or public to public, and they will be supported by us. The choice will be made by the customers to move workloads based on the best price and capability and that flexibility makes us the highway that connects all clouds together. Customers can decide where to go. That's where we see the world of clouds evolving to in the next five to 10 years. We will give you choice, flexibility and freedom without being locked in."

(Image source: velostrata.com)