Rook Cloud Storage Project Backer Upbound Raises $9M for Multi-Cloud

COPENHAGEN, Denmark—Upbound, the primary sponsor of the open-source Rook cloud storage orchestration project, announced that it raised $9 million in a Series A round of funding led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) on May 2.

Upbound announced its new funding at the KubeCon and CloudNativeCon EU 2018 conference here, where the company has multiple talks on Rook. The Rook project formally joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) on Jan. 29 as a new cloud storage effort.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Upbound CEO Bassam Tabbara explains what Rook is all about and what Upbound is looking to build to help enable the multi-cloud world.

Upbound isn't Tabbara's first startup. Back in November 2007 he was the co-founder and CTO of decentralized P2P storage network vendor Symform, which Quantum acquired in 2014.

"Rook is a storage orchestrator," he said. "Rook extends Kubernetes for stateful workloads."

Tabbara said Rook enables organizations to run different types of storage as part of Kubernetes. Rook complements the Container Storage Interface (CSI) that is part of Kubernetes. Tabbara explained that CSI deals with the consumption of volume storage, while Rook solves a different problem.

"Rook is on the provider side of storage," he said. "So it's the storage systems that are providing volumes for CSI to consume."

Upbound Focuses on Multi-Cloud

With Upbound, Tabbara isn't looking to provide an enterprise implementation of Rook; rather, his focus is on further enabling multi-cloud deployment.

"We're looking at the problem of multi-cloud—essentially how to run, scale and optimize services across clusters, across clouds and hybrid deployments, or across cloud vendors," he said.

The concept of multi-cloud is all about enabling organizations to be able to build and deploy applications to any combination of different cloud providers. It's an area where Kubernetes has already begun to establish itself, since it is already supported by Amazon, Google and Microsoft's public clouds.

"The cloud market is no longer a single horse race. Amazon is seeing competition from Google and Microsoft, so an increasing number of organizations are managing multiple cluster across different environments," Tabbara said.

Watch the full video interview with Upbound CEO Bassam Tabbara above.

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