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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Sash Sunkara, CEO of Rackware (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 21st 2017

A deep-dive into cloud infrastructure.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to Rackware.

Sash Sunkara: I’m the CEO and Founder of Rackware. My Co-Founder is Todd Matters. He’s my Chief Architect. We started Rackware in 2009. Rackware is a cloud management platform specifically targeted at mid-size to larger enterprises. We have a cloud management suite of products. We started off migrating applications into a variety of private and public clouds. Soon after, we introduced disaster recovery in the cloud.

With its fungible and on-demand resources, cloud became the perfect platform, especially for financial services, healthcare, and SaaS. Lastly, we introduced our hybrid cloud management portal that allows you to manage all of your resources across a variety of private and public clouds, do things like cost control, scaling, cloud bursting, and auditing. We’ve been around since 2009 and we’re on our sixth generation product. We’ve done three rounds of funding. Most recently, we closed a $10 million round in the summer of 2016.

Sramana Mitra: The first thing that would be helpful for us is have you explain your competitive landscape and your positioning within that landscape.

Sash Sunkara: Just to give you a little history of the company, when we started in 2009, Amazon had already come out with Elastic Cloud. There was a lot of buzz around cloud but it was mostly being used by SMBs and smaller companies on the consumer side. What we were focused on was how enterprise could take advantage of cloud for their enterprise applications.

However, enterprise applications are complicated. They’re multi-tiered. They have complicated networking and storage. There’s a lot of current investment but the fungible and on-demand nature of cloud was very attractive to them from two perspectives. One is from a cost perspective of not having to continue to invest in expensive data centers. The second is acceleration.

Part of what IT delivers is the application it gives to companies. Those are the problems that we are focused on. Our target was always to build a cloud management suite to solve multiple problems. One of the first solutions that we came out with is how do you get to the cloud. How do you get these complex enterprise applications that may include Oracle database? How do you deploy that to the cloud? It was very complex. How do you deal with security?

However, we knew there was much more to the problem. The second problem we tackled was disaster recovery. People often don’t even have a DR plan. If they do, it’s often in back up, which could take weeks to bring up, or in very expensive solutions and building redundant data centers. The third problem is around having a single portal that manages multiple clouds. It gives you things like scaling and parking.

The reason I’m giving you this lengthy answer is all of our competitors have point products. We have competitors in the migration space, the DR and backup space, and the  cloud management space. We don’t believe that it is going to be effective for enterprises. They want a comprehensive solution that allows them to solve multiple problems in their ability to utilize cloud. That’s a key differentiator for us.

Another differentiator is around addressing enterprise issues. A lot of our competitors have really wrapped themselves around VMWare or supporting Amazon. We believe the world is going to be hybrid. We believe that enterprises are heterogeneous. There are different platforms that need to be addressed. The world is not going to be owned by Amazon. The world is not going to owned by VMWare. We have expanded the type of platforms that we support. We support physical platforms, Oracle databases, Oracle Rack, SQL Cluster, and multi-tier applications.

These are key differentiators for Rackware versus other competitors in the space who are focused on VMWare or Amazon. Number one is providing a suite of products that clients can use for multiple things. Secondly, it’s really addressing the multiple platforms and technologies that exist in the enterprise and having one solution that can address all of those.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Sash Sunkara, CEO of Rackware
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