HPE Partner Invested In And Helped Shape Greenqloud, Before It Was Acquired By NetApp

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One Hewlett-Packard Enterprise solution provider played a key role in the development of a company NetApp recently bought: enterprise-scale cloud management technology developer Greenqloud.

Greenqloud, which NetApp acquired in the second quarter, counted among its investors and board members Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of CB Technologies, a Kirkland, Wash.-based solution provider.

Ireland (pictured) told CRN that she was introduced to Jonsi Stefansson, CEO of Reykjavik, Iceland-based Greenqloud, by a mutual acquaintance at Microsoft in 2015. Greenqloud was originally founded to sell public cloud computing services based on its facilities powered 100 percent by renewable energy, but in 2014 had changed course to focus on software.

[Related: NetApp Bought Iceland's Greenqloud To Fill Data Fabric Need For Cloud Automation, Orchestration]

That software is Qstack. Launched in 2015, Qstack can be deployed in multiple private cloud locations and to share resources between those private clouds extend them to another remote Qstack cloud environment, any EC2-based public cloud, or AWS or Microsoft Azure.

"Jonsi had a concept that really resonated with me," Ireland said. "While everyone else was going down the OpenStack path, Jonsi said a true cloud platform is not just OpenStack, but also CloudStack and others."

Ireland sent four engineers to Iceland to visit Greenqloud in order to understand the company better, and they were impressed, she said.

"Greenqloud was exactly what its name implied: A green cloud," she said. "The company operated off thermal energy, and is completely green."

While Greenqloud's original investors came from the IT industry, Stefansson over the course of a year told Ireland that he needed someone who could talk to the company's board of directors about the IT market, and about the U.S. market.

"We had seen lots of starts and struggles in the cloud," she said. "And I've been in IT for 30 years, and felt I could bring in a lot of information."

That eventually led Ireland to take an equity stake in the company in 2016. She declined to discuss details regarding the value of her stake in Greenqloud.

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