The 25 Coolest Emerging Vendors For 2014

The Coolest Of The Cool

Each year, CRN looks at the hot IT startups making an impact on the channel on our Emerging Vendors list. The list includes startups that were established no earlier than 2008 and know the value of good channel partnerships; a strategy to leverage the channel to go to market is also a requirement. Here we present to you the 25 coolest startups on the Emerging Vendors list for 2014.

Also, check out a breakdown of each company on this year's list by technology expertise:

Alpine Data Labs

San Francisco

Category: Big Data and Business Intelligence

Top Executive: CEO Joe Otto

Not everyone has the coding or analytical know-how to glean insights from large, complex data sets. Enter Alpine Data Labs, one of the better-known big data startups dedicated to bringing predictive analytics to the masses.

Founded in 2010, Alpine Data Labs offers a platform that lets users create analytical queries using a simple and familiar drag-and-drop approach. The platform works with both Hadoop-based data sources and traditional relational databases. It also has built-in collaboration features that let team members work together on a single predictive analytics model.

Alpine Data Labs in November raised $16 million in Series B venture funding, bringing its total funding to $23.5 million.


Irvine, Calif.

Category: Big Data and Business Intelligence

Top Executive: CEO Dean Stoecker

Alteryx calls itself the leader in "data blending and advanced analytics" software. The company's Alteryx Analytics platform combines internal, third-party and cloud data into a single stream, which can then be analyzed using spatial and predictive drag-and-drop tools without the need for programming.

Alteryx runs an active channel program, the Alteryx Analytic Partner Program, for VARs, systems integrators, MSPs, ISVs and business analysis consultants. In July the vendor added Slalom Consulting to its partner ranks.

Anuta Networks

Milpitas, Calif.

Category: Virtualization

Top Executive: CEO Chandu Guntakala

Anuta Networks targets enterprise companies and service providers for its network orchestration and virtualization solutions. Founded in 2010, Anuta's products include its nCloudx network services virtualization platform for simplifying and automating the life cycle of network services in heterogeneous environments. The company's NCX software delivers network service orchestration for campus, branch and data center networks.

Anuta has been getting a lot of attention lately, including making Gartner's 2014 list of "Cool Vendors In Communications Service Provider Infrastructure" and receiving the Best of Interop 2014 Finalist Award in Enterprise Networking.

Big Switch Networks

Mountain View, Calif.

Category: Networking and VoIP

Top Executive: CEO Doug Murray

Big Switch Networks has been one of the more prominent startups in the SDN world for a couple of years now. But the company is reinventing itself under new CEO Doug Murray -- and it's making big investments in the channel as part of that transformation.

To move forward with its new strategy dubbed "SDN 2.0," Big Switch last year abandoned the software overlay approach to SDN it had been touting to embrace a new approach that uses bare-metal switches running its Big Switch's Switch Light software. As part of this shift, Big Switch is turning to the channel to help with the integration of its software, stepping up its channel strategy in the U.S. and signing on Synnex as its first distribution partner.


Waltham, Mass.

Category: Mobility

Top Executive: CEO David Keane

The bring-your-own-device trend has been a nightmare for many corporate IT executives, but BigTinCan thinks it can turn BYOD into an opportunity for businesses to change the way they work and improve their operating results.

The company's product, BigTinCan Hub, is a unified set of productivity tools that allows mobile device users to access corporate content no matter where it resides. For corporate IT the technology provides control and governance over content usage and sharing.


Mountain View, Calif.

Category: Virtualization

Top Executive: CEO Jeffrey Hausman

CloudPhysics uses big data and predictive analytics to protect virtual data centers. Founded in 2011 by former VMware employees, the company offers a cloud-based service that gathers billions of samples of anonymized operational data each day from business customers around the globe. That information is dissected to identify potential problems within virtual server, storage and networking environments, reducing human errors that can wreak havoc on a data center.

Industry veteran Hausman, a former Symantec senior vice president who oversaw that company's Information Availability and Intelligence group, was named CloudPhysics CEO in early July.


Irvine, Calif.

Category: Security

Top Executive: CEO Stuart McClure

Founded by former McAfee executives, Cylance is working to remove the "human element" from security with its enterprise endpoint security platform that uses mathematical analysis to detect threats. The problem with traditional security, according to the company, is that it relies on people knowing what is good or bad, or trusting security vendors to know. Cylance's Infinity solution relies on data mining, algorithms and machine learning to collect, classify and learn what is a threat and what isn't.

In February, the company raised $20 million in Series B venture capital funding to accelerate product growth and expand its go-to-market strategy.

Databricks Cloud

San Francisco

Category: Big Data and Business Intelligence

Top Executive: CEO Ion Stoica

Big data managed services company Databricks Cloud has built a platform to help users "get started with big data in seconds." The platform is 100 percent open source, based on Apache Spark, which Databricks Cloud founders helped create. Through the platform, users have plenty of options to explore their data using SQL, Python, Java or Scala. From there, users can analyze, visualize and put data into production, in what the company calls a "one-stop shop" for big data.

While the product was just launched June 30, the company has been making moves in the market, signing a partnership with SAP and pulling in $33 million in Series B venture capital funding.


San Francisco

Category: Cloud Computing

Top Executive: CEO Ben Golub

Putting a new spin on the OS wrapper is Docker, formerly dotCloud, which develops an open-source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a lightweight, portable, self-sufficient Linux container that runs virtually anywhere, including on any server, OpenStack cluster, VM or even bare metal.

After more than a year of development and early releases, Docker shipped the official Docker 1.0 in June.


American Fork, Utah

Category: Big Data and Business Intelligence

Top Executive: Josh James

Aiming to bring the right information, at the right time, to information workers' fingertips, Domo offers a cloud-based platform designed to give users real-time access to data scattered across different sources via a single dashboard. Domo says its platform can quickly derive structured and unstructured data from almost any source, whether it's from a spreadsheet, a database or a social media site.

In February the company raised a whopping $125 million in Series C financing.

Eagle Eye Networks

Austin, Texas

Category: Networking and VoIP

Top Executive: President and CEO Dean Drako

Eagle Eye Networks develops an on-demand security and operations video management system that offers cloud and on-premise encrypted recording, camera management, mobile view and alerts capabilities. The cloud-managed platform supports IP and analog cameras using the company's Intelligent Bandwidth Management technology.

Eagle Eye was founded in 2012 by Barracuda Networks co-founder and former CEO Drako.



Category: Cloud Computing

Top Executive: CEO Richard Davies

ElasticHosts is a global cloud service provider that offers easy-to-use cloud servers with instant, flexible computing capacity. ElasticHosts' Elastic Containers cloud servers, based on the company's auto-scaling technology, divide usage into 15-minute intervals to expand and contract to meet customer demand and are billed purely on consumption rather than capacity.

Solution providers can white-label ElasticHosts' services, which the vendor said could reduce hosting costs by 50 percent.

Igneous Systems


Category: Data Center

Top Executive: CEO Kiran Bhageshpur

Started by a team of executives and engineers from Amazon Web Services, NetApp, EMC and Microsoft Azure, Igneous Systems wants to change the way businesses build and scale data centers using the cloud. The startup is staying quiet about the details, but best guesses say it's working to bring the same kind of data center management technologies used by AWS and Google to mainstream businesses.

Igneous Systems raised $23.6 million in Series A venture capital funding in May to help accelerate its product development.


Frederick, Md.

Category: Security

Top Executive: CEO Josh Stella

Luminal is a startup that's addressing security and control in the cloud through DevOps. Its Luminal Conductor helps address the deficiencies and vulnerabilities in the way computing is normally architected. Instead, Luminal is working to use the cloud, starting with Amazon Web Services, to its advantage to give control, cost efficiency and security to its clients.

Earlier this year, the company raised $3.8 million in Series A venture capital funding from Core Capital Partners, Maryland Venture Fund and New Enterprise Associates to continue to grow its engineering staff.


Mountain View, Calif.

Category: Storage

Top Executive: CEO Amarjit Gill

Maginatics develops a software-only data storage platform designed for software-defined data centers and cloud providers. The technology allows IT organizations to migrate workloads and their corresponding data into the cloud without the need to modify the application or data set. That offers a way to replace or consolidate traditional network-attached storage appliances into public, private or hybrid clouds.

The company unveiled version 3.0 of the Maginatics Cloud Storage Platform in May.


New York

Category: Big Data and Business Intelligence

Top Executive: CEO Max Schireson

MongoDB is one of a number of next-generation "NoSQL" databases challenging the dominance of relational database products from Oracle, Microsoft and others found in most corporate data centers today.

MongoDB, a cross-platform, document-oriented database, is designed to help organizations manage their exploding volumes of unstructured data. The company, previously known as 10gen, has a rapidly growing partner ecosystem in the big data arena that as of June included more than 600 technology and services partners.


Los Altos, Calif.

Category: Security

Top Executive: CEO Sanjay Beri

One of the biggest nightmares faced by IT managers is the security and regulatory liabilities they face in the unknown number of cloud applications brought inside the corporate firewall by "Shadow IT."

That's the dilemma several security specialists from leading networking firms, including Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, McAfee and Cisco, decided to address when they formed Netskope in 2012. Netskope can help CIOs get a handle on Shadow IT by bringing visibility to the prodigious number of apps brought into businesses without IT oversight, and introducing good governance to application management.

Piston Cloud

San Francisco

Category: Cloud Computing

Top Executive: CEO Jim Morrisroe

Deploying and managing clouds based on the open-source OpenStack framework can be a complex chore. Piston Cloud offers a suite of products that use advanced systems intelligence to orchestrate private cloud environments on commodity hardware, creating virtual compute, storage and network capabilities on every server.

The software simplifies the process to the point that a single system administrator using Piston Cloud's Piston OpenStack 3.0 release can alone operate an OpenStack-powered private cloud.


Cambridge, Mass.

Top Executive: Co-Founder and CEO Achim Weiss

ProfitBricks claims it does cloud infrastructure better and faster than the big boys. The startup hosts an IaaS service built on Infiniband, a supercomputing technology that provides speedy networking connections between virtual machines. ProfitBricks also offers a "scale-up" approach that lets customers choose the amount of CPU cores, RAM and storage they need.

In May ProfitBricks won a pair of 2014 CODiE awards from the Software & Information Industry Association for Best Cloud Infrastructure and Best Cloud Management Solution.


Irvine, Calif.

Category: Cloud Computing

Top Executive: CEO Randy Jeter

While RapidScale markets itself as a provider of cloud services to companies of all sizes, its sweet spot is the SMB market and that makes it especially popular in the channel.

RapidScale offers a range of cloud computing products including the CloudOffice desktop virtualization platform, CloudDesktop Desktop-as-a-Service, and CloudServer Infrastructure-as-a-Service as well as recovery and mail services. Telco service providers, VARs, MSPs and master agents carry the company's products.


New York

Category: Big Data and Business Intelligence

Top Executive: CEO Amit Bendov

SiSense develops analysis, reporting, visualization and dashboard software that helps everyday users make sense of huge volumes of data. One of the product's key capabilities is its ability to join huge data sets from multiple sources and combine them into one database for analysis.

In February the company launched SiSense 5, a release that brings all those capabilities to tablet computers, smartphones and other mobile devices, in addition to desktop computers. The software includes new push notification and drill-down capabilities the company said is designed to encourage wider adoption of the application.

Splice Machine

San Francisco

Category: Big Data and Business Intelligence

Top Executive: CEO Monte Zweben

In May Splice Machine launched its long-awaited Hadoop real-time relational database that's designed to help businesses get around Hadoop's batch-analytics limitations, providing a full-featured, transactional SQL database on Hadoop that can run operational applications and real-time analytics.

Splice Machine is pitching itself as a best-of-both-worlds alternative to traditional relational databases such as the Oracle Database and Microsoft's SQL Server. Database architects and application developers can build real-time applications that work with huge volumes of data without giving up their SQL technology and expertise.


Redwood City, Calif.

Category: Security

Top Executive: CEO Greg Martin

ThreatStream's SaaS-based Optic platform maps relationships between adversaries and targets and provides threat intelligence data to support risk management decisions. The ultimate goal is to build out the platform to provide real-time awareness of targeted attacks by analyzing unstructured data, such as chat activity in underground hacking forums with malware and threat indicators.

To get there ThreatStream hired Jason Trost, formerly a senior software engineer at security intelligence and analytics firm Endgame, as its senior analytics engineer. In February the company raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Google Ventures.


San Jose, Calif.

Category: Networking and VoIP

Top Executive: CEO Amir Khan

Viptela is looking to shake up the way companies traditionally deploy wide-area networks. The startup emerged from stealth in May, touting its Secure Extensible Network, a software-based technology that Viptela said is the first of its kind to integrate routing, network security and segmentation policy into a single system. That approach, Viptela said, eliminates the need for enterprises to acquire each of those capabilities through separate, single-point solutions.

Viptela closed a $33 million funding round in December.



Category: Security

Top Executive: CEO James Foster

ZeroFox provides a security platform that monitors the Internet for social threats that could impact businesses. The platform attempts to identify active and ongoing cyberattacks targeting a company and its employees through social media. It can even spot and prevent potential social engineering attacks designed to impersonate key executives within an organization. When it detects suspicious activity, it provides an email alert and gives security teams the ability to address the issue through the platform.

Formerly called Riskive, the firm received $2.2 million in funding in 2013.