This discussion focuses on the infrastructure end of private clouds.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself and ZeroStack to our audience.
Ajay Gulati: I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of ZeroStack. I started this company with a couple of other friends about three years ago. Prior to ZeroStack, I was at VMWare for a long time. One of the problems that we noticed with lots of companies is that there were companies who were looking at this new cloud-based model of IT both for building their applications and deploying their applications.
They were looking at public clouds like AWS or Azure. Many of them wanted a similar kind of cloud on-premise. Nobody really wanted to deal with all the infrastructure and software complexities that come with building, managing, and operating such a cloud. We started with this mission of providing cloud to companies who want to be in the business of consuming private cloud but not necessarily in the business of building a private cloud. That is the mission of ZeroStack. We want companies to have access to the cloud without dealing with all the complexities that come with it.
Sramana Mitra: Does that mean that you’re running a managed service?
Ajay Gulati: If you think of a private cloud, you have to put a whole bunch of pieces in terms of compute, server storage, and networking. Then comes the virtualization stack. In order to run the cloud, you need to have expertise in the stack that you choose. We have essentially built a solution where we have a hyper-convert platform so there aren’t that many moving pieces to deal with.
Second, we have written intelligent software that runs both on-premise as well as a SaaS-based service which, in combination, provides a cloud which is driven by the software instead of by humans. That allows customers to set up a cloud anywhere they want. They can put a couple of ZeroStack machines in any data center.
Once you put it in, the machines essentially talk to the ZeroStack cloud-based portal from which you can consume this private cloud in a very similar manner to as if you were consuming a public cloud. That is our unique value proposition.
Sramana Mitra: Talk to me a bit about where you’re seeing particularly strong adoption of your model.
Ajay Gulati: If we look at businesses today, there are broadly two kinds of businesses. One, there are businesses that get some enterprise packaged apps and they run those. They buy the infrastructure to run these apps. For example, a traditional manufacturing plant would just buy some infrastructure, put some applications on it like their SAP work load, and then run that application on the infrastructure.
There is another set of businesses where application is part of the business. The business is dependent on the application. They are building the application to either then ship the application or host that application as a SaaS or bundling that as part of their broader business. That is the more dominant category where most of the workloads are going and most of the companies are investing infrastructure into.
Those are the kinds of workloads where we are seeing lots of traction. For any kind of business where they are building applications for their end customer or for SaaS hosting, they need a cloud-like platform for the delivery of applications. That is what we provide.