By guest author Shaloo Shalini
For the second interview in the series Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing (TLCC), Sramana talks with Fred van den Bosch.
Fred van den Bosch, CEO of Librato, shares his thoughts on cloud computing, drawing from his wealth of experience in the enterprise software industry. During his fourteen-year career at VERITAS Software (later acquired by Symantec), Fred played a key role in the company’s success, which grew from a small startup to a multibillion dollar company. Fred worked as the as executive vice president of engineering and CTO at VERITAS. Later, he was CEO of PANTA Systems, a manufacturer of data warehouse appliances. Fred started his career at Stanford Research Institute and also held various engineering and management positions at the data systems division of Philips.
Librato is a provider of software for maximizing the use of hardware and software assets in clouds and data centers while maintaining the desired application quality of service. Librato’s Silverline products and services manage the use of resources such as the central processing unit (CPU), memory, disk, and network I/O through interactive and background workloads on virtual and physical servers in public and private clouds or data centers.
Silverline is based on “workload virtualization,” a unique lightweight, application-centric variation on virtualization that is transparently interposed between applications and the operating system. This allows Silverline to be easily deployed in existing environments and generate a rapid return on investment.
Librato is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It has thirty employees including those at the R&D center in Pune, India.
SM: What are your thoughts on cloud computing in terms of adoption when you look at the market in general?
FB: From what I can see and expect, adoption will be strongest in the SaaS area. That is where most companies expect to get benefits. In the past, these companies deployed packaged software to address certain functions; now, they are addressing those functions by consuming a cloud service. SaaS is a replacement for packaged software solutions. It is a rapid growth area as compared to, say, IaaS and PaaS,, which are consumed more by the development and IT organizations.
SM: What are the trends you see from a company size perspective – small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) vs. mid-sized vs. Fortune 500?
FB: Small and medium-sized companies are adopting clouds more than the larger companies are. This is because they are satisfied with the features and functions that are offered today and don’t require a lot of customization. The inherent benefit to SMBs is in terms of avoiding capital investment and the need for all the IT infrastructure, services, and specialization. Small and medium-sized businesses are the first to adopt cloud computing as compared to large corporations.
SM: Do you have any data on what kind of penetration cloud computing has achieved in the medium to small business space or in different segments?
FB: I don’t have any other data than what you can learn from data around you.
SM: You talked about SaaS getting the most adoption. What is your sense of where the maximum adoption is happening in the SaaS universe?
FB: Do you mean which application areas? Well, the obvious ones are in sales force automation. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is the next major candidate, and soon it may happen in high-performance computing (HPC) and electronic design automation (EDA) software for quite a few software companies. In these areas, traditional vendors of packaged software are starting to offer their capabilities through an Internet-based service.