New Cloud Companies Bring Fresh Ideas to Under the Radar

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-04-16

New Cloud Companies Bring Fresh Ideas to Under the Radar

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-Nervous CEOs were sighted pacing the hall April 16 as they awaited their opportunity to introduce fledgling companies at Under the Radar, an annual new-company showcase for analysts and venture capitalists held here at Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus.

This was a huge chance for them to impress a group of potential investors and reassure their original financial backers that they, indeed, have the right stuff to succeed in the current IT market.

The format was sort of like speed-dating: The startups were grouped in sets of three or four for each of seven sessions. Each CEO or president had only 6 minutes to deliver a clear, compelling message about what problem his company's product or service solves and why that company will have enduring value.

Cloud adoption, migration and various associated services were the overriding themes of the day. Lots of notes were taken and questions asked, and some impressive ideas were brought to video screens and discussions.

These are companies-carefully selected by organizer Debbie Landa-that are likely to be serious IT influencers in the months and years to come.

Here are UTR's short descriptions of all of the 27 companies selected, in alphabetical order, including their headquarters locations. eWEEK will examine many of these in closer detail in the weeks to come.

App Dynamics, San Francisco
This is a next-generation Application Performance Management company that delivers rapid problem resolution for highly distributed applications through easy-to-use transaction flow monitoring and deep diagnostics. AppDynamics finds the root cause of performance problems without introducing excess overhead or requiring a complex and costly installation.

AppFirst, New York
AppFirst delivers the first SAAS [software as a service]-based application performance monitoring product enabling SAAS IT operations to visualize, at a glance, the real-time physical reality of applications on infrastructure. It is language-agnostic, supporting Windows and Linux servers.

Aprigo, Waltham, Mass.
Aprigo makes data management applications that are delivered via SAAS. Aprigo provides visibility and control into file access, file resources file and recovery for all unstructured data or files, on-premises and in the cloud. With no infrastructure to install and no files opened, Aprigo provides actionable results in minutes.

AwayFind, College Park, Md.
AwayFind makes a Web application that helps you find your important messages so you can get away from your inbox. When there's an urgent e-mail, AwayFind will call, SMS [Short Message Service], IM, DM (Twitter), or delegate the message to someone you specify. It supports all major e-mail platforms including Google Apps/Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo Mail and IMAP.

Cloudant, Cambridge, Mass.
Cloudant is an integrated data management, search and analytics engine that offers new ways for businesses to manage and analyze data. Cloudant's platform is built specifically for the distributed environment enabled by cloud computing [and] is grounded in the NoSQL philosophy of databases.

CloudShare, Menlo Park, Calif.
This SAAS platform is new way to share copies of complex IT environments online, so that developers can "collaborate with customers, partners and colleagues for demos, proofs-of-concept, training or other enterprise applications. The key takeaway: no wasting time copying gigabytes of software or shipping machines and people. VMware, Cisco Systems and SAP are already using CloudShare.

CloudSwitch, Burlington, Mass.
CloudSwitch makes a software appliance [that] enables enterprises to move their existing applications to the right cloud computing environment-securely, simply and without changes. With CloudSwitch, applications remain tightly integrated with enterprise data center tools and policies, and can be moved easily between different cloud environments and back into the data center based on the requirements of the business.

Conformity, Austin, Texas
This company provides a new-generation "enterprise-class management and governance platform for cloud applications. Conformity enables organizations to centrally manage on-demand applications, users and data, reducing security and compliance risks and operational costs associated with SAAS and cloud applications."

Crowdcast, San Francisco
Crowdcast is a SAAS crowd-forecasting service that the company says enables customers to understand the true state of their business by tapping the wisdom of their employees and partners. For the participants, it's like a game, where they are rewarded for accurately forecasting key events and metrics. For the enterprise, [Crowdcast presents] a rich source of unbiased insight about what is most likely to happen. Confused? Check out the Web site.

CubeTree, Redwood City, Calif.
In the last year, the market has seen a dramatic shift toward using social software platforms to transform how a company's employees, partners and customers connect and collaborate. Platforms like CubeTree are helping companies create connections between employees in unprecedented ways, enable real-time conversations within these employee networks, and enrich conversations with relevant content from end users and business systems.

Seventeen More Companies

Delphix, Palo Alto, Calif.
Delphix turns database infrastructure into software that operates in a fraction of the space while preserving full functionality and performance. With database virtualization, enterprises can reduce complex data refreshes and provisioning tasks from 10 days to 10 seconds and shrink 10 TB into 1TB. The Delphix team has developed products that have generated billions in revenue, including Oracle RAC, used in over 20 percent of Oracle deployments, and EMC Avamar, which pioneered data de-duplication, on pace for over $1 billion in lifetime revenue in 2011.

Fonolo, Toronto
Fonolo enables large companies to improve the experience of customers contacting their call centers. By adding Fonolo's intelligent caller interface to their Web site or mobile application, companies remove the annoyances of phone menu navigation, waiting on hold and data entry. Callers simply click or tap the option they want, and Fonolo's deep dialing technology connects them directly to the right agent.

GenieDB, London
GenieDB is a "layered database" that approaches scaling the web differently. GenieDB provides full replication and immediate consistency without breaking the laws of physics. It is an engineering solution to one of the oldest problems in computer science. GenieDB's product vision is to make its next-generation NoSQL technology easily accessible through SQL interfaces, providing the best of both SQL and NoSQL worlds.

GoodData, San Francisco
GoodData claims to be the first business intelligence company born in the cloud. Its platform encourages companies to take an agile approach to customer analytics by making it easy to access and analyze the data that defines customer relationships across marketing, selling and servicing. It may sound complex, but unlike a lot of business intelligence, GoodData claims it is free to start and simple to use.

Indicee, Vancouver, B.C.
Indicee provides a faster way to create reports for people who are frustrated with cutting and pasting data into spreadsheets. Users with no IT expertise can combine data and set up reports in minutes by accessing Indicee's online service. Others can then easily share and collaborate on the reports using the integrated social framework. With Indicee's online service, there's no software or hardware to install.

Kinamik, Barcelona
Kinamik is a venture-backed software company focused on data integrity. Its mission is to provide an easy answer to a tough question: How do I know the digital records I am looking at are correct? Kinamik's solution for this enormous market need already has had one patent issued, and several more have been filled. Kinamik's product has also won several international technology prizes.

Layerboom, Vancouver, B.C.
Layerboom is in the business of cloud creation and management. The company likes to call itself the "Barracuda Networks of Virtualization," offering what it describes as the "industry's first virtualization appliance." The appliance, called the "BoomBox" enables users to transform existing servers into a cloud environment for much less cost than standard providers.

Makara, Redwood City, Calif.
Makaa deploys and manages Java and PHP applications on public or private clouds. On the cloud of their choice, business application developers can launch more online services faster.  Without requiring changes to their applications, Makara helps businesses respond rapidly to their customers demand for personalization and access.

MaxiScale, Sunnyvale, Calif.
MaxiScale's cloud-scale file serving and storage platform is a breakthrough for Internet data centers and storage infrastructure that fundamentally changes the economics of deploying Web-scale applications. Its FLEX Software Platform addresses the unpredictable and expanding data requirements facing companies that deliver Internet applications via public and private clouds. MaxiScale's Peer Set architecture and single disk I/O small file operations allow data centers to linearly scale a single namespace to hundreds of petabytes, eliminate forklift upgrades and reduce disk spindle counts.

Neo Technology, Malm??é, Sweden
Many applications and databases have increasing difficulties handling sophisticated queries with high performance. Neo Technology is building the next generation of databases for the next generation of data. Neo is leading the Neo4j open source project. As one of the most mature NOSQL databases in the world, Neo4j has been in 24/7 production since 2003 and is successfully deployed in diverse sectors.

Northscale, Mountain View, Calif.
NorthScale is a provider of elastic data infrastructure software with products that enable customers to lower costs while simultaneously improving the scalability and performance of their web applications. NorthScale is in production behind some of the world's busiest web applications: it is the primary database for the popular FarmVille and Caf??« World applications at Zynga; and it provides a shared data management platform for NHN, Korea's largest web application operator with nearly 70 million unique users.
Puppet Labs, Portland, Ore.
Puppet Labs is the company behind Puppet, a leading open source datacenter automation solution. Puppet enables staff to manage their IT infrastructure through a model-driven architecture, automating the configuration of computing devices through a simple cross-platform interface. Puppet insulates IT staff from differences between platforms making IT more secure, efficient, and scalable. Puppet is broadly deployed at thousands of companies worldwide, including Google, the NYSE-Euronext, Twitter, Digg, Yelp, Juniper and JPMorgan Chase.

RiverMuse, Redwood City, Calif.
RiverMuse is the first open source MoM (Manager of Managers) platform for IT Operations Management that enables IT organizations to maintain the health of their increasingly complex and adaptive environments so they can optimize service levels, drive down costs, and respond more nimbly to the changing needs of the business.

SaaSure, San Francisco
SaaSure was started on the premise that businesses need an easier, more cost-effective way to manage their web applications. With the proliferation of online, subscription-based web applications like and Google Apps, our innovative products turn your various web applications into an intelligent, integrated Cloud Area Network.

SendGrid, Broomfield, Colo.
SendGrid is an email service that solves the problems faced by companies delivering email. These problems include email deliverability, scalability, metrics, and the time consuming tasks to implement email features such as unsubscribe links, anti-spam regulations, and corporate branding.

Sones, Erfurt, Germany
Sones is a ground-breaking database technology targeted at resolving the increasing challenge of unstructured data - such as images, videos, user and profile data. This is a cell-based, cross-linking storage concept that is a paradigm shift for the database industry, setting a new standard in regard to scalability and performance in data management.

VMTurbo, Valhalla, N.Y.
VMTurbo's virtual appliances use patented analytics to automate key virtualization management operational procedures. These include complex workload balancing, real time & continuous rightsizing, and virtual infrastructure performance & capacity management. VMTurbo's solution increases virtual infrastructure utilization by more than 50 percent, while eliminating the risk of virtual machine performance degradation and downtime. VMTurbo provides the only virtualization management solution that combines monitoring (Observe), analytics (Advise) and actions (Automate), for proactive, rather than reactive management.

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