10 Coolest Cloud Startups Of 2011 (So Far)

Cloud Is All The Rage

Cloud computing has sparked the innovation bug in a host of new and fledgling companies, storming the market hoping to get their slice of the cloud pie. From platforms and infrastructure to add-ons and apps, cloud startups are springing up everywhere.

Here, we take a look at 10 hot new cloud startups that launched in the first half of 2011 (or the latter half of 2010, but made big waves early this year).


DotCloud, which was founded in late 2010, wrangled $10 million in venture funding in March. San Francisco-based DotCloud bills itself as a second-generation application platform company. The gist is DotCloud lets developers mix and match pre-configured software components that, unlike cloud infrastructure providers that require users to configure, run and manage everything, add control and flexibility for swift application deployment. The goal is to let developers and IT managers focus on developing instead of doing system admin work.

With its new model for PaaS, DotCloud lets developers build, deploy and scale cloud applications using any combination of language and database stacks without the need for additional hardware or software. It also offers a single point of management.


Founded in 2010, CopperEgg Corp. came out swinging in the first half of 2011, announcing a big funding round and launching its first product, RevealCloud.

Austin, Texas-based CopperEgg's rounded up $2 million in Series A funding to fuel its software for monitoring cloud performance, funds it will use to expand product development and sales. RevealCloud is a SaaS-based performance monitoring offering that helps companies accelerate the delivery of applications and services across public and private clouds and joins CopperEgg's existing suite of real-time performance monitoring solutions, including RevealStorage, which the company launched earlier this year to help companies optimize efficiency of critical data center resources.


Bromium came out of stealth mode last month at the Structure conference in San Francisco and announced that its first funding round brought in $9.2 million from high-tech investors Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Founded by a trio of tech powerhouses -- Gaurav Banga, formerly of Phoenix Technologies Ltd.; and Simon Crosby and Ian Pratt, formerly of Citrix Systems -- Bromium focuses on two key trends dominating IT: consumerization and cloud computing. The company said its virtualization technology will be a key driver. Bromium plans to use the funding to develop technologies that will help build a trustworthy computing infrastructure amidst the increase in consumer-driven devices, applications and networks, and the vulnerabilities introduced by cloud computing. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is expected to launch a product in the second half of 2011.


Portland, Ore.-based Cloudability is changing the way we look at cloud costs. Built on the mantra that "the cloud is infinitely scalable, your dollars are not," Cloudability makes software that aggregates the costs from multiple cloud computing services and providers to give cloud users a single view of their cloud costs. The company calls itself a "Mint.com for businesses on the cloud." The ultimate goal for the 2011-launched company is to aggregate cloud costs and data into comprehensive reports that help users manage spending, reduce waste and identify cost savings opportunities.

Piston Cloud

Piston Cloud Computing, an open-source cloud player, brought in a whopping $4.5 million in funding this month, cash that the startup will use to beef up its software for the Rackspace-led OpenStack cloud.

Piston Cloud is developing commercialized business software for OpenStack, the nearly year-old Rackspace-led open-source cloud initiative. Piston Cloud launched earlier this year and aims to extend the OpenStack cloud to address the security, performance, and lifecycle management problems in today's hybrid cloud approaches. The San Francisco-based company specializes in the federation of large, complex datasets that have regulatory requirements for authentication and access control.


Cloud startup Zerto officially launched last month with its hypervisor-based, virtual aware replication offering for tier-one applications. Zerto aims to close the gap in cloud and enterprise business continuity and disaster recovery and replaces traditional array-based replication solutions not built for virtual environments. Zerto is building out its global presence and its partner network and has headquarters in both the U.S. and Israel.


CloudFloor is reaching for the cloud ceiling with its CloudControl solution, which the company says lets users visualize and control cloud infrastructures through their key business metrics, which ultimately can minimize cloud adoption anxiety and ensure that companies realize the cost cutting and business efficiency promises of cloud computing. Waltham, Mass.-based CloudControl is designed to provide visibility and control of cloud applications once they have been deployed on one or more clouds, or across multiple zones within them, in terms both IT and business managers understand. And the cloud management upstart recently added $3.1 million in Series A funding from investors in London and New York to boost its partner network.

Big Switch Networks

Big Switch Networks is making a big splash, as the Palo Alto, Calif.-based cloud and virtualization startup stumps to be the VMware for networking and recently scored $13.8 million in venture capital funding to continue its charge.

Big Switch offers an OpenFlow-based platform that brings the benefits of virtualization and cloud architecture to enterprise networks. Big Switch Networks' approach removes the need for administrators to manually configure and manage every device that's connected to the network. Instead, the physical hosts plugged into the network are managed through a virtual network layer that sits on top, which makes it easier to add capacity to the underlying physical topology as needed. This is done using the OpenFlow switching protocol, which separates packet routing from the physical infrastructure and handles it on a separate software layer.


Palo Alto, Calif.-based ScaleXtreme launched last year, but in the first half of 2011 has kicked its cloud-based systems management into high gear. The company recently came off of an $11 million Series B funding round, money the company said it will leverage to speed up the rollout of new product capabilities and expand its sales and marketing campaigns around managing hybrid clouds. ScaleXtreme helps administrators and MSPs manage and configure cloud infrastructures on services like VMware virtual machines and Amazon EC2.


Cloud infrastructure startup Nephoscale came out of stealth mode in January with an IaaS play that includes cloud servers, on-demand dedicated services and object-based storage that uses Nephoscale's own CloudScript programmatic interface. The San Jose, Calif.-based startup's suite of cloud infrastructure services is built to boost the speed and scalability of Web apps. And in the following months, Nephoscale launched a free Cloud Computing and Storage Starter Package to give users an on-ramp to cloud services.