10 Hot Cloud Computing Startups for 2010

Cloud computing startups that provide security, data migration, application management and more. This group reflects the emerging trends in virtualization and software as a service.


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Posted January 31, 2010

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance

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The big question for the cloud in 2010 is where Microsoft will fit in. Microsoft used to be a laggard when it came to the cloud-enabling technology of virtualization, but Windows Azure is already grabbing market share from more established cloud vendors.

Sure, plenty of other vendors – Google, Rackspace, Amazon and Salesforce.com, to name only a few – have a head start in this space. But what Microsoft lacks in early mover cachet it more than makes up for with ubiquity.

No matter how the big platforms shake out, though, problems remain. Security, management and licensing could all hinder broader cloud adoption. These 10 startups have novel solutions that will help drive adoption in 2010 and beyond:

1. Altor Networks

What they do: The rapid adoption of virtualization technologies signals a major transition in the datacenter. Enterprises are achieving major benefits, including operational cost savings, consolidation of physical servers, and greatly streamlined deployment. However, understanding and locking down the security posture of virtualized datacenter infrastructures represents a significant challenge.

Altor tackles this challenge through a virtual firewall/IPS system that mitigates risks to virtualized and cloud-based applications and data.

Customers: Altor has 25+ customers, including Syracuse University, the U.S. Army, International Medical Corps, Ericsson and Nielsen Mobile.

Funding: $7.5 million in Series A and seed funding from Accel Partners and Foundation Capital.

CEO Amir Ben-Efraim was formerly head of business development at Check Point Software.

Headquarters: Redwood Shores, CA.

2. Appirio

What they do: Appirio bills itself as a provider of “both products and professional services that help enterprises accelerate their adoption of the cloud.” The company’s strategy is to focus on existing platforms, such as Google Apps, Amazon Web Services and Salesforce CRM, and provide tools and services that help customers leverage those platforms. These engagements, the company believes, will serve as a springboard to broader adoption of its cloud offerings.

Customers: Appirio claims over 2,500 customers, including Japan Post, Avago, Starbucks, Author Solutions and Qualcomm.

Funding: $16.7 million in total funding. The last round (Series C) closed in February 2009. Key investors include GGV Capital and Sequoia Capital. Before taking over at Appirio, CEO Chris Barbin served as CIO and SVP of business operations at Borland Software.

Headquarters: San Mateo, CA.

3. Boomi

What they do: One of the big obstacles to enterprise-class clouds is that data is locked into many applications that don’t always play well together. Delivered as a service, Boomi’s AtomSphere “can integrate any combination of SaaS, cloud and on-premise applications from its integration cloud without the need to install and maintain conventional integration products.”

Customers: Customers include Ingres, Marketo, Global Forex and EA Sports.

Funding: $4 million in Series A funding from FirstMark Capital and undisclosed investors.

Before joining Boomi, Bob Moul, President and CEO, was group president at MAXIMUS. Earlier, he spent several years at EDS where he held various roles, including director of EDS’ operations in Hong Kong and China, and executive director of its federal government business in Australia.

Headquarters: Berwyn, PA (suburban Philadelphia).

4. Canonical

What they do: Canonical (along with Eucalyptus) developed and continues to support Ubuntu, one of the main OSes used for cloud deployments. The two companies continued to work together to further develop the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.

Canonical is following the Red Hat model, deriving revenue from their support of an open-source project. They also deliver images of their server product for use on the Amazon EC2 cloud.

Customers: Canonical claims “hundreds or thousands of users” of Ubuntu on Amazon EC2. Meanwhile, they have pilots of UEC in place at “two major banks and a number of universities.”

Funding: The company is backed by an undisclosed amount of private funding.

Founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth will continue to run the show until March 1, when current COO Jane Silber will take over.

Weird fact: In April 2002 Mark Shuttleworth flew in space as a member of the Soyuz mission TM34 to the International Space Station.

Headquarters: Isle of Man with offices in London, Boston and Taiwan.

5. Cloudkick

What they do: Cloudkick provides tools to manage cloud servers within a number of environments, including Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Rackspace Cloud and Slicehost. With Cloudkick IT pros can monitor a number of critical server metrics, including load, CPU, bandwidth, memory, and disk space, through a browser-based agent.

Customers: This is an early stage startup that has not announced any customers.

Funding: $750K in seed funding from Avalon Ventures, with participation from Nueva Ventures. Alex Polvi, CEO

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

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Tags: cloud computing, security, virtualization, application management, startups

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