Hybrid clouds sound warm and cuddly, and apparently everybody wants them. But rigging up a hybrid cloud — which connects disaparate public and private cloud resources — is harder than it sounds. That’s the challenge startup Siaras Inc. is undertaking.
Siaras today used the OpenStack Summit Paris event to come out of stealth mode and launch its product, CloudScape, which it hopes will become a key management platform for service providers who want to tie together hybrid cloud services.
The idea is that service providers need to catch up to the cloud business. Now that they have handed over most of the the cloud services business to folks like Amazon and Microsoft, they have a chance to get back in the game as natural connectors of these hybrid clouds, using their strong position in Wide Area Networks (WAN) services.
Siaras, based in Los Altos, Calif.-based wants to be the “orchestrator of orchestrators.” That means they will help service providers to become the glue between the many cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), and private cloud networks. Imagine a control panel that can be used by service providers or large enterprise to manage these cloud networks across the WAN so that they can work together. This includes providing interoperability and portability between AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, and others.
The Siaras founders believe this is a particular pain point for service providers, who have lost the race to provide cloud services and need to take a different strategy to cash in on the cloud boom.
“If the service providers don’t do anything, the customers are all inside Amazon, and they [service providers] will lose those customers,” said Sig Luft, CTO and Co-founder of Siaras, in a telephone interview last week. “We’ve extended this solution to the service providers — because the solution is connectivity to drive into AWS and extend the ability to burst into public clouds.
The company is part of two big trends right now: The so-called “Hybrid Cloud” or “Cloud WAN” trend, in which dynamic technologies are being used to connect various clouds via the WAN; and the movement toward more cloud interoperability, much of it starting to coalesce around OpenStack. For more information, you should can see a Webinar I participated in two weeks ago with Pluribus Networks.
CloudScape will handle provisioning of WAN connections between clouds, which can be dynamically set up and torn down in a matter of minutes as “WAN as a Service” (yes — we now have WANaaS!). It will enable traffic engineering of these WAN connections as well as policy-based management of connectivity (giving certain applications priority). It will also allow the creation of “virtual data centers” in the cloud for customers that will need on-demand cloud connectivity for applications, data backup, and disaster recovery.
The business model is to sell the software to service providers so that they can create more cloud WAN services. CEO and Co-founder Vivek Ragavan says it will provide an cloud WAN strategy for the service that is software-based.
“Our model is help service prodders leverage an existing customer base to generate more revenue,” says Ragavan.
If Ragavan’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s a veteran of service provider startup circles. He was the founder of optical networking company Siara — Siaras’ long lost parent? — which was purchased by Redback Networks for an astounding $4.5B during the telecom bubble in 1999. Ragavan went on to become the CEO of Redback, and he was involved in other startups including Atrica, which was acquired by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).
Siaras was founded last year. Its product is in trials and the company says it will ship in the first quarter of 2015. It’s got 25 employees and an R&D center in Burnaby, B.C. The company has not disclosed its funding, but it has done one pre-series A round of funding.
Category: Service orchestration
Key Team Members: Vivek Ragavan, Co-founder and CEO; Sig Luft, Co-counder and CTO; Christian Daudt, Chief Architect; Sanjay Aiyagari, VP, product management and strategy; Igor Gorodetsky, VP of engineering; Kevin Walsh, VP of marketing.
Funding: One seed round, amount undislosed. Currently raising Series A.
Headquarters: Los Altos Calif., with R&D in Burnaby, B.C.
Customer base: Service providers