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Startup Of The Week: RightScale

IT pros need full-featured management tools to get cloud computing right. RightScale’s platform can be used to deploy and manage virtual servers in Amazon’s EC2 and other cloud services.
As cloud computing moves from early adopters to the mainstream, it's becoming clear that IT pros need full-featured management tools to get it right. RightScale's platform can be used to deploy and manage virtual servers in Amazon's EC2 and other cloud services. Founded in 2006, RightScale just closed $13 million in second-round funding.
--John Foley

RIGHTSCALE


RightScale is Crandell's third startup

RightScale is Crandell's third startup
HEADQUARTERS: Santa Barbara, Calif.

PRODUCT: RightScale Platform, a management system and dashboard for cloud computing services

PRINCIPALS: Michael Crandell, co-founder, CEO; Thorsten von Eicken, co-founder, CTO; Rafael Saavedra, co-founder, VP of engineering

INVESTORS: Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures

EARLY CUSTOMERS: Animoto, Dada Entertainment, MindTouch


MULTIPLE CLOUDS
RightScale got its start specializing in the management of virtualized IT resources in Amazon Web Services, giving customers more fine-grained control than they could get from Amazon. Amazon plans to expand its own cloud management capabilities in 2009. Meantime, RightScale is broadening its reach to Eucalyptus, FlexiScale, GoGrid, and Rackspace clouds.

THE PLATFORM
RightScale's dashboard interface lets developers and IT administrators launch servers using templates (for Apache, MySQL, Rails, or Mephisto servers, for example), using scripting to do so, then monitor and manage those resources. When used with Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, Simple Storage Service, or Simple Queue Service, server instances can be configured with Amazon's optional availability zones and elastic IP addresses. Other capabilities include multiserver deployments, auto-scaling, and batch processing.

BACKGROUND
Von Eicken and Saavedra worked together at ExpertCity, which developed the GoToMyPC service and was acquired by Citrix. Von Eicken was a colleague of Amazon CTO Werner Vogels at Cornell University.

OUR TAKE
As one of the first vendors to provide a cloud management platform, RightScale has more experience than most in this market. Its platform has been used to launch nearly 250,000 virtual servers. As Amazon beefs up its own functions, users will have to decide whether to use Amazon's improved tools for day-to-day management or those from a specialist like RightScale. For IT pros that want the option of managing resources across clouds from various service providers, RightScale should be evaluated.

TIMELINE
Timeline Chart

Editor's Choice
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Michael Gibbs, Founder, Go Cloud Architects
Jack Berkowitz, Chief Data Officer, ADP
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author