Velostrata, an early stage hybrid cloud startup, emerged from stealth today announcing a $14 million Series A investment. The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners and Greylock IL Partners.
The company has a sophisticated hybrid cloud solution that decouples storage from compute resources, leaving the storage in place on-premises while running a virtual machine in the cloud. The advantage of this approach is that you can leave the storage closer to demand while moving certain workloads to the cloud when your datacenter gets overloaded.
Up until now, compute power and storage have had to be tightly coupled, but Velostrata is trying to change that, CEO and co-founder Issy Ben-Shaul explained.
What the company has done is essentially created a plug-in for VMware vCenter admin console. The administrator uses the console in the usual fashion, but Velostrata has added a new item to the console’s menu — a “run in the cloud” option.
In a typical use case, the admin might decide that they need to shift resources to the cloud to reduce pressure on the datacenter. Upon selecting the Velostrata “run in cloud” option, a couple of things happen. First, the software automatically shuts down the local machine. Then it begins streaming the VM to the cloud — in a similar manner to Netflix streaming a video.
This streaming process is part of the company’s secret sauce, allowing it to move the VM much faster than before, which Ben-Shaul claims could have taken weeks with a large workload. Once it has enough information in the cloud — much like the video starting before the whole thing is on your computer — the VM begins booting up and uses whatever data it needs to run the workload without taking the entire data repository up to the cloud.
In case you were wondering how it does this, it uses algorithms and caching to limit the amount of data it needs. The solution is currently designed to work with Amazon Web Services, but the company plans to add support for Microsoft Azure in a future release.
Needless to say, all of this is a highly technical, engineering-intensive undertaking, but it’s worth noting that the founding team that launched Velostrata did not just fall off the turnip truck. Ben-Shaul boasts two successful exits on his resume including Actona, a WAN optimization company acquired by Cisco in 2004 for $82 million and Wanova, a desktop virtualization company, acquired by VMware in 2012 for an undisclosed amount. His co-founder Ady Degan has similar credentials.
Velostrata currently has 25 employees, the majority located in its engineering center in Israel. There is also a business office in the U.S in San Jose, which it plans to expand using the funds from this round, particularly business development, sales and channel partner development .
The product is currently in Beta with a dozen customers. Velostrata hopes to make it generally available in the coming months.