Sauce Labs Finalizes $5M In Series C Funding For Automated Application Testing Platform

Sauce Labs today announced the finalization of $5 million in Series C funding from Toba Capital, entrepreneur Scott Banister and current investors such as Triage Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s business development initiatives as well as expand its customer support team. Tyler Jewell, leader of the Toba Capital investment, will join the Sauce Labs board of directors. Jewell remarked on the positioning of Sauce Labs within the software development industry by noting that the “market opportunity for automated application testing is large” and that Sauce Labs occupied “the sweet spot of this market, adding big customers names with a highly scalable and durable testing as a service” platform. Sauce Labs specializes in automated testing for mobile and web applications by delivering a testing environment that accommodates over 150 browser, OS and device platforms. The company also offers manual testing of a variety of mobile and non-mobile applications. The company’s core, automated testing platform assists customers tackle the challenge of ensuring the integrity and performance of applications given the contemporary proliferation of devices and browsers. Current Sauce Labs customers include Dropbox, McKesson, Mozilla, Yelp and Salesforce, the lattermost of which is also an investor. The company’s meteoric rise within the automated application testing space underscores the segmentation of the software/systems development lifecycle whereby application testing is increasingly outsourced given the complexity of testing applications across different environments, devices, operating systems and browsers.

Midokura Raises $17.3M In Series A Funding For Network Virtualization For IaaS

Today, Midokura announced the finalization of $17.3 million in Series A funding in a round led by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan with additional participation from NTT Group’s Venture Fund, DOCOMO Innovations Inc. and NEC Group’s Venture Fund, Innovative Ventures Fund Investment L.P. The funding is intended to expand Midokura’s product development teams and contribute to the refinement of its go-to-market strategy. Coincident with the news of Midokura’s Series A funding is the announcement that Dan Mihai Dumitriu, formerly CTO, replaces Tatsuya Kato as CEO. Co-founder Tatsuya Kato will assume the responsibility of Chairman of the Board. CEO Dan Mihai Dumitriu remarked on the significance of the capital raise and the company’s software defined networking technology as follows:

As enterprises and carriers embrace and build out IaaS clouds, an overlay-based network virtualization platform will soon be a must-have technology. The financial support of Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, and other key backers, validates our strategy as well as the work we’ve done over the past three years developing our industry leading product MidoNet. This funding will enable us to accelerate our product engineering, the establishment of partnerships, and the growth of our customer base. We look forward to delivering the most performant, scalable and fault tolerant network virtualization solution to the IaaS infrastructure market.

Here, Dumitriu neatly summarizes the concept behind Midokura’s Midonet platform, a distributed, software-defined virtual network solution targeted toward IaaS cloud-service providers as well as enterprises. Midokura plays in the space made famous by VMware acquisition Nicira, but is designed differently because of its decentralized, fully distributed architecture as elaborated by Brad Hedlund. The company is already a veteran contributor to the OpenStack community and is in the process of gearing up to announce further partnerships with other cloud platforms in the upcoming months according to Chief Strategy Officer Ben Cherian. Now that the company is flush with a significant infusion of cash, the industry should expect to hear more news about Midokura’s penetration into the U.S. market as its unique software defined networking platform increases its footprint in IaaS infrastructures and delivers simplified network infrastructures and protocols for data transmission in addition to high performance and high availability virtual networking solutions.

Concurrent Finalizes $4M In Series A Funding; Announces New CEO Gary Nakamura

Today, Concurrent Inc. announced the finalization of $4 million in Series A funding led by True Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners. The investment is intended to accelerate product development and expand the core team as part of the company’s larger project of simplifying application development within the Hadoop space. In conjunction with news of the funding, Concurrent also announced the appointment of Gary Nakamura as CEO. Nakamura comes to Concurrent with an illustrious tenure at Terracotta as Senior Vice President and General Manager and VP of World Wide Sales & Field Operations. Chris Wensel, Concurrent’s Founder and former CEO, will assume the role of CTO. Concurrent’s $4 million in Series A funding builds upon an initial seed investment of $900,000 in August 2011 that was similarly financed by True Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners. The Series A funding points to the success of Concurrent’s Cascading 2.1 platform for simplifying application development and management on Hadoop clusters.

Cascading delivers a framework that empowers developers to use Java languages to develop applications that operate on Hadoop instead of MapReduce. Used by the likes of Twitter, eBay and The Climate Corporation, Cascading joins forces with Concurrent’s platform Lingual, which provides a SQL interface for operating on Hadoop, in a concerted initiative to democratize developer access to Hadoop. In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, CEO Gary Nakamura noted that Concurrent intends to build on its initial momentum by delivering platforms that simplify and streamline application development on Hadoop as opposed to opting for the strategy of releasing a Hadoop distribution in the vein of Intel, EMC and others.

Concurrent already boasts partnerships with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure for managing application development and management within Hadoop infrastructures. Its Cascading framework is compatible with all Apache Hadoop distributions and claims more than 75,000 downloads per month. Given Concurrent’s notable acccomplishments with modest funding to date, the company is likely to expand its footprint in the space dedicated to simplifying Hadoop application development as a result of its new funding and CEO Gary Nakamura’s deep experience with enterprise software. As Hadoop distributions proliferate, expect to see the demand for simplified Hadoop development and management products skyrocket within the enterprise. Enterprise concerns about data security and consistency of application lifecycle management are additionally likely to fuel the demand for Hadoop management platforms, particularly given the increasing convergence between Big Data and cloud-based infrastructures.

SwiftStack Raises $6.1 Million In Series A Funding For OpenStack-Based Software Defined Storage Solution

Today, SwiftStack announces the finalization of $6.1 million in Series A funding in a round led by the Mayfield Fund with additional participation from Storm Ventures and UMC Capital. SwiftStack plans to use the funding to support product development for its software-defined storage solution as well as to expand its sales team and operations. SwiftStack delivers a software-defined storage solution that “decouples the management from the underlying storage infrastructure.” The resulting storage infrastructure is marked by greater scalability and durability than traditional storage solutions. Moreover, because SwiftStack’s solution is based on the storage component of OpenStack, customers can inter-operate with other vendors who use OpenStack-based storage. Navin Chaddha, Managing Director of the Mayfield Fund, remarked on the innovation of SwiftStack’s platform as follows:

SwiftStack is a great addition to our portfolio, which has included highly successful storage companies such as 3PAR and StorSimple. The company is uniquely positioned to be a frontrunner in the emerging software-defined storage market. With SwiftStack, application developers and operations teams can leverage the power of the public cloud storage inside their own datacenter, kind of like Amazon S3-in-a-box.

Chaddha highlights the way in which SwiftStack brings the scalability, durability and flexibility of public cloud solutions directly to the datacenters of enterprises. Customers can leverage SwiftStack’s software-defined storage solution to create the public-cloud grade storage platform for use cases such as on premise deployments, private cloud environments and backup and recovery infrastructures. SwiftStack’s solution simplifies operational costs associated with maintaining storage infrastructures, particularly in the case of organizations that require the ability to scale rapidly and store and manage petabytes of data.

SwiftStack was founded by CEO Joe Arnold and COO Anders Tjernlund, both of whom are veterans of Engine Yard, the Platform as a Service for Ruby on Rails, PHP and Node.js applications. Moreover, because many of SwiftStack’s engineers are key contributors to the code for OpenStack’s Swift platform, the company’s technology is poised to remain tightly integrated with OpenStack’s evolving enhancements. Precise details of the SwiftStack platform have yet to be released, but for now, the company’s core message appears to be that OpenStack-based, public cloud grade storage infrastructures are commercially available via a software-defined storage solution that simplifies and enhances enterprise storage.

Piston Cloud Computing Secures $8 Million In Series B Funding

This week, Piston Cloud Computing announced the finalization of $8 million in Series B funding from Cisco Systems, Data Collective and Swisscom Ventures, with additional participation from Divergent Ventures, Hummer Winblad and True Ventures. The $8 million in Series B funding builds upon $4.5 million in Series A funding from July 2011. The funding will be used to accelerate Piston’s product development and enhance the company’s ability to respond to the needs of its expanding product base. Piston recently appointed open source industry veteran Jim Morrisroe as CEO and correspondingly freed up Joshua McKenty, the company’s founding CEO, to focus on product development for Piston and his responsibilities as a board member of the OpenStack Foundation. Piston claims a unique and powerful position in the commercial OpenStack space given the depth of its executive experience in OpenStack and commercial open-source software. The company delivers software for managing private clouds based on OpenStack Infrastructure as a Service technology. Piston Enterprise OpenStack leverages its proprietary Moxie High Availability platform to minimize service disruptions and Null-Tier Architecture to simplify scaling and overall infrastructure management. Piston’s core product boasts the ability to operationalize an OpenStack private cloud in less than 10 minutes.

Ravello Systems Launches Cloud Application Hypervisor To Facilitate Application Migration To Public Clouds

This week, Ravello Systems announced the launch of a service that renders it easier for enterprises to migrate applications to the cloud. Founded by the team that developed the KVM hypervisor, Ravello also announced the finalization of a second round of funding that brings its total capital raise to $26 million. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, Ravello intends to disrupt the cloud computing landscape by making available the industry’s premier cloud application hypervisor that specializes in virtualizing entire software applications and facilitating migrations from enterprise data centers to cloud environments and vice versa.

Ravello’s cloud application hypervisor is a Software as a Service application that allows customers to migrate applications to a public environment by following steps such as the following:

(1) Select Virtual Machines for migration to a public cloud

(2) Illustrate the configuration of an application by detailing relationships between the different virtual machines and specifying machine and network input parameters

(3) Deploy the application to public clouds from a drop-down that currently includes Amazon Web Services, HP Public Cloud and Rackspace

Customers have the ability to save and duplicate each virtualized application for A/B or multivariate testing or devops related configuration and deployment testing purposes. The application leverages Ravello’s proprietary HVX, a high performance hypervisor that can virtualize applications regardless of their on premise operating system. HVX requires no changes to an application’s structure and can deploy to any public cloud environment. Ravello’s technology also makes use of an IO overlay based on software defined networking that supports networking of any topology within any cloud. Additionally, the product uses a cloud application framework that enables the definition of application components and interface parameters in order to ensure the successful migration of the application to a public cloud environment.

Navin R. Thadani, SVP of Products at Ravello Systems, spoke of the significance of Ravello’s cloud application hypervisor technology as follows:

Traditional cloud management vendors have been positioning the cloud as a journey. That’s because with existing cloud management tools, it is. Ravello’s unique technology enables organizations to encapsulate multi-VM applications and deploy them instantly on any cloud without making any changes. Development and test is a classic use-case for developers to start using the public cloud today. We are pleased to open up our beta and look forward to working with the extended developer community.

Here, Thadani highlights the lack of configuration changes enabled by Ravello’s technology with respect to deployment to any cloud. The product facilitates the use of public clouds as ancillary environments for development and testing purposes and thereby stands to radically accelerate cloud adoption by the enterprise. Ravello’s cloud application hypervisor technology is now available in public beta.