Diane Greene is back: Nimbula leaves the stealth mode and enters the IaaS cloud computing market

Posted by virtualization.info Staff   |   Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010   |  

Yes, it’s true: virtualization.info already used the “Diane is back” theme in February, when the founder and former CEO of VMware sort of reappeared on the virtualization market as an investor of the startup Nicira.
But Nicira still is in stealth mode at this point and the Greene’s role in there will probably be all but operational.

She may be more active in another startup that emerges today from the stealth mode: Nimbula (formerly Benguela).
Greene will be a board member, advising an interesting team of former Amazon and VMware employees.

The company has been founded in 2008 by Chris Pinkham (CEO) and Willem van Biljon.
Pinkham is the former Vice President of Engineering at Amazon.com, where he spent five years, and one of the founders of Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2). van Biljon was an Amazon Director, leading the EC2 development team, but in his career he founded Mosaic Software and managed it for over 11 years.

With these two guys there are Martin Buhr (Vice President of Sales and Business Development), the former Business Development Director for Amazon Web Services (AWS, the home of EC2) in EMEA, Reza Malekzadeh (Vice President of Marketing), the former Senior Director of Marketing at VMware, and Amber Rowland, the former Group Manager of Exec and Global Communications.
Malekzadeh left VMware in May 2009, Rowland left in Q4 2009.

During a briefing with virtualization.info, Pinkham refused to disclose how many other ex-VMware employees are at Nimbula, or how many are moving there, but the impression is that the startup is really looking for the successful team that built what we could call today VMware 1.0.

Nimbula has already secure $5.75M in its first round of investments, led by Sequoia Capital and VMware.

The startup has been able to attract talents and interest from the virtualization market leader as its mission is to offer an EC2-like platform for private cloud computing.

Its flagship product, Director, is able to deploy a virtual infrastructure on bare metal, and deliver on top of it all those services that are critical in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud platforms: workload management, monitoring, metering & billing, authentication (with support for LDAP and Active Directory), federation.
Director is also in charge of controlling the network and storage layers, and it offers APIs that can be accessed by the CLI, web based clients and JSON Rest calls.


It is designed to scale well beyond the limits of most virtual infrastructures available today on the market, to connect to public cloud platforms (like EC2, of course) and to support multiple hypervisors. At the moment, anyway, the product only supports Xen and KVM. The company plans to support VMware too but not in its first release.

Nimbula Director also has a strong focus on multi-tenancy and security, through what the company calls the authority framework. This includes granular control over who consumes what, enhanced logging for compliance, policy-driven provisioning and topology-independent security rules.


The product is currently available in beta for a really small number of selected customers.
The company plans to officially launch in H2 2010.

Nimbula has been included in the virtualization.info Virtualization Industry Radar.

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