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Andreessen-Backed Cloud Launcher Makara Debuts

Makara, a cloud computing startup backed by Marc Andreessen, is the latest entry in a growing field of providers offering technology to quickly deploy and manage apps on cloud platforms, and migrate them between clouds

Last June we introduced you to webappVM, a startup backed by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz hoping to  help speed enterprise adoption of cloud computing. The company officially launched last night as Makara, becoming the latest entry in a growing field of providers offering technology to quickly deploy apps and migrate them between cloud platforms (see Cloud Computing Brokers: A Resource Guide).

Makara offers an application management tool for virtual environments that sits on top of the hypervisor and under the application stack, making it flexible and easy to port across cloud and virtual environments. CEO Isaac Roth and CTO Tobias Kunze Briseno compare their approach to a "capsule" that encloses the application, allowing developers to provision apps across clusters or even move between cloud providers.

Makara says its Cloud Application Platform supports Java, Flex, PHP, JBoss and Tomcat applications, and can run on Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, Terremark vCloud Express, VMware ESX, VMware Workstation, VirtualBox and Xen.

"By moving application management to the platform layer, managing applications becomes less complex and more cost-effective,” said Issac Roth, CEO of Makara. “Even moving between cloud environments is easy with Makara’s Cloud Application Platform because all the application code, configuration, and dependencies are stored in the Makara application capsule.”

Makara is offering a free developer version that can run on up to two nodes, as well as an "on-demand" version with hourly billing. Pricing for the Enterprise Version ranges from $2,250 to $3,000 per node, based on volume. The company is based in Redwood City, Calif. and funded by Shasta Ventures and Sierra Ventures in addition to  Andreessen and Horowitz.

"The widespread adoption of cloud computing is hitting a wall in terms of ROI because companies are not able to effectively manage applications, both inside and outside the enterprise, in a cloud environment," said Tim Guleri, Managing Director of Sierra Ventures. "No one’s going to run mission-critical apps without management, not in the data center and definitely not in the cloud. Makara’s Cloud Application Platform provides that missing link, enabling developers to deploy their apps and make them work with full management capabilities. Makara will get the cloud past the ROI hurdle.”

In this video, Roth and Briseno provide an overview of Makara and its technology:

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