Sramana Mitra: You drive the management server that manages the logic of the grouping as well as the actions? We do have a lot of cloud computing stories. At this point, the readers are quite immersed in the cloud computing applications. I have done literally over 600 of these kinds of interviews. Maybe not all of them in cloud but cloud is one of our largest areas of coverage. You started off by saying that there is no competition for what you do, which always makes me very nervous.
Sebastian Stadil: It’s not that there’s no competition. The main competition is DIY. It’s customers or developers that build their own tooling from the vendor. At a very granular level, what we do is we help people manage cloud resources. Managing those cloud resources means lots of different things including enforcing security policies, and also role-based access control. We manage cloud resources – meaning infrastructures and service resources. That means management from an agility perspective and security perspective. The industry is called management platform.
Sramana Mitra: The environment or general space is not without competition. We’ve done numerous infrastructure as a service stories. Where do you fit in that general picture? You provide one of the pieces of infrastructure as a service?
Sebastian Stadil: Yes. Just see this as a stack. At that bottom of the stack, you’ve got hardware. On top of your hardware, you have virtualization. On top of virtualization, you’ve got cloud providers like Amazon and Google. On top of that, you’ve got management tooling. That’s the network services tool just like our competitors Redscale. The primary competitor piece that people use on top of the cloud providers are tooling that developers build for themselves. On top of that, you’ve got platform as a service or software as a service.
Sramana Mitra: In terms of your customers, why is it that they were doing this all by themselves and that there was no provider in this space when you came into the picture? I’m just curious. It sounds like an obvious problem to solve in the stack.
Sebastian Stadil: Every time there’s an industry where there are complex things to manage and there are management frameworks that are borne from that just to solve that problem. In 2008 when we started the open source projects, the only other player that was there was RightScale. RightScale had two problems. One was it was very complex. Second is that it is exclusively available as SaaS. When we decided to create Scalr, we wanted it to be open source as well as possible for users to deploy without having to ask for permission. What that means is our adoption as an open source project has been bottoms-up.