Volterra, Backed By Microsoft And Samsung, Emerges From Stealth With $50M Haul

The startup looks to ease distributed application deployment and management headaches with a platform that spans public and private clouds and the network's edge


Volterra, a well-funded startup backed by some powerful strategic investors, came out of stealth Monday with a set of solutions meant to ease headaches in running applications across highly distributed clouds.

Founded two years ago in Santa Clara, Calif., Volterra has developed a platform that enables enterprises to build, deploy, secure and operate applications and data in a uniform fashion across all public and private clouds and edge compute environments, CEO Ankur Singla told CRN.

The company has taken more than $50 million in funding from Khosla Ventures, Mayfield, Itochu Technology Ventures, Samsung NEXT and M12, Microsoft's venture fund. While still in stealth, Volterra grew to more than 100 engineers and signed more than 30 customers.

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Singla's previous software-defined networking company, Contrail, was purchased by Juniper in 2012 for $176 million. At Contrail, he saw the challenges large Software-as-a-Service providers had in scaling their operations across infrastructure providers.

It's easy to build a product on AWS, he said, but as you start to expand providers and sites, from one to many virtual private clouds, operations and security become much more challenging.

Volterra has two products that reduce those obstacles.

VoltStack uses Kubernetes APIs to deploy and managed distributed applications across clouds and edge environments. VoltMesh adds high-performance networking and zero-trust security across those disparate sites.

The result is a unified multi-cloud and edge environment that can be used to accelerate delivery of SaaS, like the Office 365 productivity suite offered by Microsoft, its investor.

"You can basically make your Azure, VMware and AWS all look like a unified and uniform cloud with all the management and security, connectivity, and a single set of policies and a single console," Singla said.

Almost all Volterra customers are running workloads on the big three hyper-scalers: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, he said. As to the "edge side," the company is seeing "all sorts of disparate solutions, some private clouds, some in combination with telco hosting environments or public cloud providers. "

The startup will bring to market its distributed cloud technology primarily as a channel play, Singla said. Partners, who consist mostly of global systems integrators, will be announced in the coming months, including all three of Europe's largest SIs.

"All the large enterprises typically go through channel partners," Sankur said, so a channel approach is an essential part of the startup's broader strategy.

"Many organizations facing enterprise transformation projects, especially on the industrial and automotive side, cant do them without the channel," he said.