The 10 Coolest Cloud Development Startups Of 2016

A New Brew

The cloud has become a cauldron in which new paradigms for app development, deployment and management are constantly brewing. And a new breed of startups is making significant contributions to turning those emerging paradigms into innovative technologies. As their products penetrate the market, enterprises are realizing the long-awaited promise of agile software development -- and not a moment too soon.

Every company is a software company, the adage goes, and to compete in this era of digital transformation, enterprises require the ability to rapidly build and deploy applications across increasingly complex heterogeneous environments.

What's evident from this list of 10 cloud development startups is that container technology is playing a profound role in the process of transforming the data center and enabling the agile methods favored by DevOps practitioners.


CEO: Rajeev Chawla

While the company was founded primarily as a disaster recovery and app migration vendor, CloudVelox' portfolio also includes an automated dev/test platform that allows application development teams to test their products before releasing them into production.

The solution creates a virtual lab that simulates the complexity of modern hybrid cloud environments, speeding development and saving money.


CEO: Mark Davis

This startup, founded in Bristol, England, is helping containers play kindly with databases.

The company behind the Flocker open-source project, a Docker volume orchestrator, is focused on giving data prominence in the Docker ecosystem, building solutions that leverage the versatility of containers to migrate and access databases.

ClusterHQ's products enable applications built with micro-services architectures to be data rich, while maintaining governance and control of those data sources.

Editor's note: In a blog posted on Dec. 22 titled ClusterF***ed, ClusterHQ CEO Mark Davis announced the company had decided to shut down operations ’for a confluence of reasons.’ Davis noted ClusterHQ’s open-source tools, especially the Flocker container data volume orchestrator, are actively used by developers for many container projects.


CEO: Marc Fleischmann

Datera is attempting to simplify cloud consumption with a solution that allows developers to describe the storage resource needs of their applications.

The startup's software recognizes application intent, learns infrastructure capabilities and continuously optimizes the composition of underlying block storage resources. Those capabilities translate to low latency and optimal resource use for container implementations and other modern applications.


CEO: Ben Uretsky

Most cloud infrastructure providers tout their credentials for hosting production workloads, but not New York City-based DigitalOcean.

Instead, the Infrastructure-as-a-Service startup has built its cloud with the needs of developers, not enterprises, in mind. That means minimal options to choose from, reduced friction, and a bare-bones pricing model.


CEO: Josh Stella

Fugue, based in Frederick, Md., is looking to innovate around the management of cloud infrastructure for hosting legacy and cloud-native apps.

To better automate the provisioning of resources critical to powering distributed applications, Fugue offers its own programming language that operations managers can use to declare their infrastructures. The Fugue engine then automatically implements those rules on Amazon Web Services.


CEO: Dave McJannet

The San Francisco startup offers a number of DevOps tools that have surged in popularity in recent years among teams looking to deploy and manage applications across modern data center infrastructures.

It all started with Vagrant, a tool that facilitates portable development environments, which co-founder Mitchell Hashimoto built in college before founding his company.

Now, HashiCorp offers a complete lifecycle portfolio for monitoring, deploying, securing, provisioning, packaging, testing and building modern cloud-based applications.


CEO: Florian Leibert

Mesosphere is commercializing Mesos, an industrial-grade container orchestration technology that powers some of the world's largest Docker deployments, ensuring that containerized apps are always provided sufficient resources.

The company's Data Center Operating System handles both on-premises and in the cloud enterprise resource scheduling, container scheduling and data center orchestration.

Rancher Labs

CEO: Sheng Liang

The only fully open-source solution to take on the management layer of container tech, Rancher Labs is gaining enterprise popularity and recently launched its own channel.

Rancher's container management platform is agnostic to underlying cluster orchestration systems and container runtimes, allowing customers to use Kubernetes, Docker Swarm or Mesos in concert with its product.

Solano Labs

Co-founders: William Josephson and Jay Moorthi

With heightened enterprise interest in realizing the promises of agile software development, Solano Labs is looking to simplify and accelerate the continuous integration and deployment process that's crucial to that aim.

The San Francisco-based startup offers a Software-as-a-Service solution (as well as an alternative on-premises appliance) for CI/CD that implements a proprietary parallel optimization technology on fully managed infrastructure. The product, Solano CI, allows developers to rapidly integrate code and test their builds. The company says customers see results 10 to 80 times faster with its solution than others on the market.


CEO: Alexis Richardson

Weaveworks, founded by veterans of VMware, set out to solve networking challenges around Docker containers and simplify the process of connecting containerized workloads. The company, headquartered in London, and with offices in San Francisco, has evolved into a comprehensive platform for supporting cloud-native projects.

Weaveworks culls several open-source technologies to give DevOps teams an integrated cloud-based service for deploying and managing popular container technologies like Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Mesos and Amazon Web Service's ECS.