Ravello Raises $26M To Let Users Roam From Cloud to Cloud

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There’s been a lot of activity lately in the area of enabling cross-cloud activity, and Ravello Systems has just closed a Series B to do just that. The round brings Ravello Systems’ funding to $26 million in total. Ravello is now backed by Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Ravello’s Cloud Application Hypervisor allows enterprises to take any application and run it in any cloud without any modifications. The company also announced public beta of its service for developers.

Formerly from Red Hat, the company founders were the original team behind the now-standard KVM Hypervisor.

“The leadership team behind Ravello has a track record of developing innovative technologies in the virtualization infrastructure space and backing it up with solid execution,” said Adam Fisher, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. “Their previous virtualization initiative, KVM has been a tremendous success in the market with record breaking virtualization performance and scalability. This time around, HVX is another ground-breaking technology and if any team can deliver, it’s these guys.”

“We have developed a Cloud Application Hypervisor that encapsulates multi-VM applications along with their entire environment including the VMs, networking, storage etc. so that enterprises can run any application in any cloud without making any changes,” said Benny Schnaider, president and chairman of the board, Ravello Systems.

The cloud application hypervisor consists of three core technology components:

  • a new, high-performance nested hypervisor, HVX, the engine behind Ravello’s ability to normalize application environments across any cloud without any changes;
  • an IO overlay that consists of software defined networking and storage, enabling any networking topology on top of any cloud; and
  • an application framework that enables a monolithic definition of an end-to-end mutli-VM application including all of its infrastructure.

Ravello makes it possible to move a multi-VM application from on-premise VMWare infrastructure and move it to AWS, or vice versa, without any changes to the application. It sounds simple enough, but there’s a lot of complexity in moving something from one type of cloud to another. This capability is applicable in disaster recovery, bursting to the cloud, and simply switching providers without the lock-in worries that continue to plague potential cloud customers, or moving from off-premise to on-premise in general.

“Enterprises cannot use the public cloud the way that they would like to which is to be able to rent capacity on demand and simply spill-over bursty workloads,” said Rami Tamir, CEO, Ravello Systems. “That’s not possible today because the public cloud environment is completely different from the enterprises’ internal data center. The industry needs a solution to normalize the application environment across the private and public cloud, so that enterprises can truly begin using the public cloud.”

A Team With History and Expertise

Founded in 2011 by Tamir and Schnaider, Ravello’s executive team brings deep expertise in virtualization, cloud, networking and storage technologies, and is the same team behind Qumranet. That company developed the KVM Hypervisor (acquired by Red Hat in 2008), and it’s now the standard virtualization technology in Linux. Also joining the team is Navin R. Thadani (SVP, Products), also formerly of Red Hat.

“Ravello’s technology has broad applications in terms of hybrid cloud computing and true application mobility,” said Vab Goel, partner, Northwest Venture Partners. “An end-to-end solution in this space will go a long way in getting real enterprises to adopt the public cloud.”

“The rest of the market is focused on solving the enterprise public cloud adoption problem with ‘management only’ solutions – which is like managing complexity with more complexity,” said Shmil Levy, partner, Sequoia Capital. “Ravello Systems is the first company to tackle the problem head-on from an infrastructure perspective. It’s very much like what VMware did back in the early 2000s to the enterprise data center.”

Public Beta – Revello’s Cloud Application Hypervisor

Ravello Systems announced the public beta of its service, designed to enable developers to harness the public cloud to develop and test applications. By easily enabling cloud usage, developers overcome internal data center capacity constraints and leverage the unlimited resources of the public cloud to develop and test their applications.

“Traditional cloud management vendors have been positioning the cloud as a journey. That’s because with existing cloud management tools, it is,” said Navin R. Thadani, SVP Products at Ravello Systems. “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.”

There can be cost savings gained by using cloud over traditional approaches. Through eliminating contention of resources, ensuring developers always have access to replicas of production instances so that they can collaborate, work in parallel and be much more efficient. “Enterprises looking for a more cost-effective way to develop and test their applications are increasingly looking to the public cloud as the answer. Yet, they’re held back by the difficulty of making that transition between private data center and public cloud because of differences in infrastructure and, often, significant changes to their code,” said Donnie Berkholz, analyst, RedMonk. “Ravello’s novel approach to providing a consistent environment has the potential to enable more businesses to benefit from the agility of the public cloud without all of its costs.”

“Our organization runs production deployments on-premise, but we lack capacity internally for application development and testing,” said Sreesan P.D., Systems Engineer, Ideamine Technologies. “So we tried using the cloud to develop our multi-tier application, but had to make extensive changes and ended up with two completely different environments. With Ravello, we get exactly the same environment in the cloud, and can now develop and test our application on replicas of our production – all with the unlimited resources of the cloud.”

Ven Shanmugam, senior manager of corporate strategy at Rackspace, noted, “Enterprise customers look for innovative ways to use the cloud for development and test and then deploy their applications back on premise. Ravello Systems enables customers to leverage the Rackspace Open Cloud for their development. We are excited to have Ravello Systems as part of our Cloud Tools Marketplace and to further accelerate enterprise adoption of our open cloud services.”

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About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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