CloudBolt, Helmed By Internet Pioneer, Integrates SDN, Containers

As all sorts of clouds and micro services proliferate the IT landscape, the market is heating up for cloud management platforms that can simplify provisioning and management of those often disparate technologies.

CloudBolt is one startup competing to position itself in that space between the user and the many cloud environments, both those hosted on-premise and through public providers. Led by Internet pioneer Jon Mittelhauser, CloudBolt upped its game last week by expanding its platform to incorporate some of the latest and most-disruptive technologies.

The Campbell, Calif.-based company's 5.2 release added support for VMware's software-defined networking solution, Linux containers and three public cloud environments.

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Mittelhauser told CRN that users are increasingly demanding a robust interface layer as they grapple with a multi-cloud world.

"Cloudbolt looks to provide that whole range of options across all the public and private clouds," the company's CEO said. "It takes away that barrier to getting the end user what they want and when they want it."

The integration with VMware's NSX software-defined networking solution enables administrators to define networks for new environments, and quickly remove them when they're no longer needed. And by supporting the Kubernetes platform, CloudBolt has enabled users to configure Docker containers and deploy Linux container services.

"Each of these features we've added is knocking down more barriers," Mittelhauser said. "But it's leaving the control with the administrator on things like quotas and cost visibility and other things they need to have."

CloudBolt has also added support for three public clouds: IBM SoftLayer, HP Helion and CenturyLink. The platform already supported Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, OpenStack and VMware.

The company closed a $2.1 million funding round in August and continues integrating with ground-breaking technologies -- CloudBolt is developing an interface for Cloud Foundry, the leading open-source Platform-as-a-Service technology.

The key is "we try to be agnostic about technology at every layer," Mittelhauser said, from servers, to applications, to stacks of applications. "I believe that the world is moving to more choices of cloud technologies and there are different reasons people are going to choose different technologies."

Two decades ago, Mittelhauser played a historic role in unlocking the power of the Internet as the author of the Windows version of Mosaic, the first modern Web browser. He and his collaborators took that world-beating technology and formed Netscape.

Back then, it took months to bring online new IT infrastructure. Now business-side leaders expect their IT departments to provision computing resources almost immediately and in any configuration or scale.

That's not always easy for companies working simultaneously with a smorgasbord of cloud vendors and competing technologies, from on-prem VMware and OpenStack servers to public clouds like AWS and Azure.

Hiding all that underlying complexity simplifies the process of pushing those desired capabilities to nontechnical users, Mittelhauser said.

Having secured more funding, Mittelhauser recently hired a new director of sales. Now an important priority is building a channel, he said.

"One of the things we are working on is rolling out a more formal partner program in the next couple months," Mittelhauser said. "We've got a select group of people we've been working with in terms of implementation partners. It's something we're working on."

The technology itself naturally complements the portfolios partners manage for existing customers, he said.

"Now that I've raised the money, I'm putting the foot on the accelerator to get that force multiplier," he told CRN.