Red Hat Invests in OpenStack Cloud Database as a Service Vendor Tesora

The CEO of Tesora, whose new round of funding totals $5.8 million, explains where containers will play a role in the future of cloud databases.


Cloud database-as-a-service (DBaaS) vendor Tesora today announced that it has completed a new round of funding, bringing in $5.8 million. The new round included the participation of Red Hat, Rho Canada Ventures, and existing investors General Catalyst and Point Judith Capital. Total funding to date for Tesora now stands at $14.5 million.

Ken Rugg, founder and CEO of Tesora, told eWEEK that the new funding will be used to help fund development efforts as well grow sales and marketing activities. Tesora is one of the leading contributors to the OpenStack Trove DBaaS project and also offers the Tesora commercial enterprise product.

"We invested in Tesora because we are not only committed to upstream innovation around OpenStack, but also to the augmentation of the project's existing capabilities," Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of OpenStack at Red Hat, told eWEEK. "A contributor to the OpenStack Trove upstream, Tesora also seeks to deliver a commercial model, based on Trove, with advanced capabilities for DBaaS, which we believe is a very important piece of OpenStack sought after by customers."

Although Red Hat is investing in Tesora, Rugg made it clear that his company will continue to work with a number of OpenStack vendors that are Red Hat competitors.

"We partner with everyone, but it's good to see the investment from Red Hat as validation for our business," he said.

Despite its investment, Red Hat is not getting a full seat on Tesora's board of directors, but rather is getting Board Observer status in order to maintain a fair playing field.

Rugg stressed that Tesora was very careful in structuring an agreement with Red Hat. "We didn't want to give [Red Hat] unfair access to any eventual outcome in terms of partnership, as we do partner with Mirantis, IBM, HP and all the other OpenStack players," he said. "It would have been a conflict to actually have Red Hat on the board, but as an observer, in cases where the discussion doesn't go into places where there would be a conflict, they are participating in that way."

From a customer perspective, Tesora has many Red Hat users in its customer base for several reasons, Rugg said. Red Hat has its commercial OpenStack Platform as well as the RDO community distribution of OpenStack, both of which are popular and widely deployed.

"When I look at the folks we're working with and the ones in our pipeline, Red Hat does stand out as the one we see the most," he said. "It's not half the accounts that are Red Hat, but they are probably the biggest single partner that we see the most."

From a technology standpoint, development is ongoing in the OpenStack community for the Liberty release, which is scheduled to debut on Oct. 15. A number of important improvements will debut in Trove as part of OpenStack Liberty, according to Rugg.

Among the Liberty improvements for Trove are log management enhancements and enhanced Reddis and MongoDB database support. Another key piece is improved metering and monitoring support for Trove through some integrations with the OpenStack Ceilometer metering project.

Another area that Trove developers are talking about is container support. Rugg explained that containers aren't quite as impactful for databases as they are for some other types of application classes.

"The footprint of a database is pretty significant. If you reduce the operating system overhead going from a virtual machine to container for an Oracle database, you save only 1 percent," Rugg said.

That said, he added that there is interest in containers for database deployment, including deployment for lighter-weight MySQL Web scale databases.

"Containers are definitely something we're spending time on and trying to sort out where we fit in," Rugg said. "While at the same time we're not just trying to do containers for containers sake, we're trying to deliver value to the people using Trove."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.