Cloudscaling has raised $10 million from Trinity Ventures, Juniper Networks, and Seagate Technologies in a deal that shows how software defined networking has become a focal issue for companies building out their own clouds.
Cloudscaling delivers an OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure system for enterprises, SaaS providers and cloud service providers. The company foreshadowed a deal with Juniper when it announced the company would provide Cloudscaling with its virtualized networking controller. That deal was precipitated by Juniper’s acquisition of Contrail Systems. The startup raised $10 million last July from Khosla Ventures. By December, Juniper had snatched up the company for $176 million.
Network controllers have become a hot topic as more cloud projects get underway. The importance stems from the need to scale out networks in an affordable manner. Adding more hardware just gets too expensive. Virtualizing the controller means that the data flowing through the pipes can be managed in a granular way, optimized through software so the network can be used efficiently without lots of spillover costs for additional hardware.
Contrail points to how Cloudscaling has positioned itself with a focus on providing networking for its customers building out enterprise and SaaS clouds. It puts the company in the same space as VMware-owned Nicira and BigSwitch. The difference for Cloudscaling comes in its dual focus on software to build out programmed cloud systems and SDN to give it scale and better manageability.
Juniper, for its part, has spent a lot of time focusing on advancing its silicon and keeping on pace or even in front of the likes of Intel, Bias said. The company has also hired top-talent. For example, they hired Bob Muglia, a lead executive at Microsoft who oversaw the development of Windows Azure. Muglia now heads an entire division at Juniper dedicated to software.
For Seagate, a traditional hard drive company, the opportunity is in providing the storage infrastructure and partnering with Cloudscaling and other providers such as Egnyte. It is also active in OpenStack and OpenCompute, the Facebook-led effort to open hardware to make it more adaptable for the new, cloud oriented infrastructures of the world.
Cloudscaling represents the demand for scale out infrastructures. Data is spreading but for companies to keep up, they need the networking to extend but without adding a sprawling array of big hardware boxes. Instead they need software to virtualize the network so it can spread far and wide.