A new US startup recently left the stealth mode and officially entered the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing market: Cloupia.
The company is focused on cloud computing platform management with its flagship product Unified Infrastructure Controller (CUIC).
Three of them come from Cisco: Datla (CEO) has been Senior Manager of Software Development at the networking giant for almost five years; Penmetsa (Vice President of Technology and Strategy) has been a Technical Marketing Engineer there for almost 4 years; Lim (Director of Engineering) has been the Technical Leader of network management software and service platform development for nine years.
The two that don’t come from Cisco are Krishnamsetty (Vice President of Engineering), who has been a Director at Fidelity Investments for more than two years, and Alapati, who has worked as business development consultant for PG&E and Morgan Stanley in the last ten years.
The company doesn’t disclose if it’s privately funded or not, but looking at its management team it may easily be a Cisco spin-off.
Cloupia executives worked at Cisco for a significant amount of time and at a particular time, so it’s worth to highlight that this company may have an understanding of the Unified Computing System (UCS) internals and strategy that is superior to most competitors.
The flagship product, CUIC, is a IaaS cloud management solution that supports multiple hypervisors and public clouds. At the moment the list includes VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, as well as Amazon EC2 and The Rackspace Cloud, but additional platforms are already planned.
Expected from a product in this market segment, CUIC offers features similar to many of its competitors, like:
- self-service provisioning portal
- policy-based automated provisioning and decommissioning
- events monitoring and alerts
- metering and billing
- CLI and API
- integration with 3rd party tiers like directory services, enterprise management consoles, etc.
On top of that CUIC has a number of more sophisticated features that a few competitors are currently offering:
- virtual infrastructure elements auto-discovery
- storage and network management
- continuous capacity planning (this includes the capability to track under-utilized assets and missed SLAs)
Cloupia published a video to present CUIC. While it lacks technical details about the architecture and implementation, it may be worth watching.
Cloupia is also developing a couple of very interesting cloud brokers: Unified Storage Gateway (CUSG) and Unified Network Controller (CUNC).
The first one bridges the local SAN with remote storage offered by storage-as-a-service public clouds, like Amazon S3, through industry standard protocols, like FTP, SFTP, SCP, WebDAV and REST.
CUSG serves as a proxy for disaster recovery solutions and as a policy framework for the IT administrators.
CUNC instead bridges the corporate network with the ones of public IaaS clouds.
It creates a big virtual LAN, probably thanks to network fencing and virtual routing technologies, that IT administrators can control through access policies.
CUNC relies on a component called Cloupia Connector which encrypts the network traffic while it moves from the private infrastructure to the public clouds and back.
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