Click here to close now.


API Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, AppDynamics Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Exclusive Q&A with Cloud Computing CEO Michael Crandell

RightScale's head honcho on Achieving Profitability in the Rapidly Advancing Cloud Market

"We are in an ideal position to accelerate our business to continue our leadership in this rapidly advancing cloud market," says RightScale CEO Michael Crandell, in this Exclusive Q&A with the editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal, Alan Williamson. "We decided the timing was right to create a war chest that would take us to profitability," Crandell added. Earlier this month RightScale snagged $13M in a Series B round of venture funding.

Here's the interview in full:

Cloud Computing Journal: $13M is quite a chunk of change to raise in this climate. Was this about what you required? Was it more or less than you asked for?

Michael Crandell: We raised exactly what we set out to raise. This year we've seen a lot of interest from investors, and so we decided the timing was right to create a war chest that would take us to profitability. At the same time, we've gotten the best VCs we could hope for: Danny Rimer of Index Ventures and Kevin Harvey of Benchmark add tremendous value on our Board. Now, we are in an ideal position to accelerate our business to continue our leadership in this rapidly advancing cloud market.

Cloud Computing Journal:
Where are you going to be spending that money?

MC: We'll use the funds to accelerate product and market development of our core management platform, including support for new clouds, continuing to build our ISV and developer communities, and expanding into additional geographic markets.

Cloud Computing Journal:
RightScale has built up its business from Amazon EC2 customers, what plans have you to broaden this to other cloud providers? Are the other cloud providers ready for prime time?

MC: In September, we announced support for GoGrid and Flexiscale clouds, and an ongoing cooperation with Rackspace as they roll out their cloud offerings. Amazon remains in the lead in terms of functionality, scale, and adoption. But clearly we're moving to a multi-cloud market, and helping customers take advantage of the freedom and choice that provides is a key target for RightScale.

Cloud Computing Journal:
For many people, they see Amazon as the only cloud provider. Is it healthy for any one company to dominate the industry so much at the start?

MC: Amazon has done a brilliant job pioneering this space, and seen impressive growth. They have almost single-handedly commercialized the notion of pay-as-you-go, on demand, virtually infinite outsourced IT infrastructure. In that sense, their leadership has established the de factor standard and that's been very healthy for customers. As the market continues to evolve rapidly, other cloud players are entering and differentiating their offerings -- which adds the critical capability for businesses to avoid single-source vendor dependency. Compared to other innovations in tech history, cloud computing is unfolding very rapidly and in an open and healthy way.

Cloud Computing Journal: At the moment RightScale doesn't provide a one-stop service; I have to pay you and Amazon. Are there plans to give me as a customer one billing point?

MC: We're working on that. Stay tuned.

Cloud Computing Journal:
For all the hype and pomp of cloud computing, what do you see as the biggest myth that is circulating just now?

MC: Some seem to think that cloud computing eliminates the need for good system design and management: everything will happen "automagically"! There are real advantages to be gained from cloud deployments in terms of automation, simplification of system administration, and reliability and performance -- but achieving these still depends on well-designed solutions. That's central to what we provide at RightScale: automated management utilizing best-practices in multi-cloud design that maintain transparency and IT control for the customer.

Cloud Computing Journal:
Many analysts see the private cloud as the area that will make the real money from cloud computing? What are your plans to support the private cloud?

MC: We think the public cloud is going to continue it's explosive growth. We hear frequently from customers about running out of data center space, data center power, data center budget, and data center patience (i.e., long internal IT lead times). There is tremendous pressure to leverage the cost and agility advantages of outsourcing IT infrastructure using flexible cloud resources. That said, there will clearly be private clouds in the picture too, and in that area our strategy is to focus on the nexus of the two -- hybrid clouds -- and provide an easy way for corporate developers to utilize both public and private cloud resources when appropriate.

Cloud Computing Journal:
We recently ran our Cloud Bootcamp, where we had your own Thorsten von Eicken come along and take us through some of what you do. What are you finding are the top questions being asked by people new to the cloud space?

MC: People come to us already convinced that moving to the cloud is a compelling prospect -- but they have questions on how best to do it, what the "gotchas" are, and what they should expect. Basically, they're looking for guidance and a fast on-ramp to deploying in the cloud, and a system they can use to support the lifecycle of development and deployment, which is exactly what we provide.

Cloud Computing Journal: Take us 12 months into the future. When I login to my RightScale dashboard, what will I expect to see and what will I be able to do?

MC: You'll see more automation control, more clouds supported, more pre-packaged solutions from ISV partners. You'll also see an active, growing community of developers sharing information about using RightScale as a cloud management platform. All this will give you, the customer, the advantage of getting onto the cloud fast, building your application on best-practice solutions for resiliency and performance, reducing your system administration overhead, all the while maintaining transparency & control to customize any layer of the stack as needed.

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, or e-mail him at cloud(at)

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting will feature upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special IoT documentary which will be filmed on the expo floor November 3 to 5, 2015 in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to BBC in UK and the largest in Asia with many award winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley. The program will be aired during the highest viewership season of the year that it will have a high impact in the industry through this documentary in Japan. The film...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, will look at different existing uses of peer-to-peer data sharing and how it can become useful in a live session to...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Luxoft Holding, Inc., a leading provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Luxoft’s software development services consist of core and mission-critical custom software development and support, product engineering and testing, and technology consulting.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief Architect at CTS, will explore the synergy of Big Data and IoT. First he will take a closer look at the Internet of Things and Big Data individually, in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. Then he will explore the relationship between IoT and Big Data. Specifically, he will drill down to how the 4Vs aspects intersect with IoT: Volume, Variety, Velocity and Value. In turn, Tony will analyze how the key components of IoT influence Big Data: Device, Connectivity, Context, and Intelligence. He will dive deep to the matrix...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Building actually breathes - immediately flagging overheating in a closet or over cooling in unoccupied ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Scott Guthrie's keynote presentation "Journey to the intelligent cloud" is a must view video. This is from AzureCon 2015, September 29, 2015 I have reproduced some screen shots in case you are unable to view this long video for one reason or another. One of the highlights is 3 datacenters coming on line in India.
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...