Cloupia, a startup based in Santa Clara with a development center at Hyderabad, India, is another entrant in the crowded private cloud space. Founded by veterans from Cisco and other companies, they are trying to differentiate themselves with a rich set of features. The Cloupia Unified Service Platform is targeted towards enterprises, service providers and ISVs with complete lifecycle management capabilities. In short, Cloupia offers a solution that will help enterprises and service providers get their cloud infrastructure running real fast.
Their platform can be broken down into three levels. The top most level is the interface level where IT Admins, Users and Developers can access the underlying platform. IT Admins have a simplified, yet powerful, interface to manage the entire infrastructure including provisioning of VMs, reduction of VM sprawl, etc.. It is easy to automate the processes and integrate with the existing IT workflow. One of the things I was pretty impressed about their dashboard is the powerful set of reporting features which will come handy for enterprises. The chargeback mechanism (billing for service providers) is also integrated in their dashboard. The IT Admin portal is designed to take the load of the admins away so that they can better spend their time on strategic processes which will improve the IT overall. The user dashboard allows users to request resources, manage the VMs provisioned for them, etc.. Their dashboard is one of the comprehensive ones I have seen in the market.
There is a portal available for developers which is designed to cut down on the development time and costs. This portal along with the next layer in their platform, Application Delivery Platform, allows developers to use the existing languages, use code or applications and push it to any cloud they want completely overriding any possibility of a lock-in.
The third layer is the infrastructure control layer. This layer has three components each designed to tackle the three important component of the infrastructure, compute, storage and network. The Cloupia Unified Infrastructure Controller (CUIC) takes the complexity out of the infrastructure whether it is on-premise, private clouds or public clouds. It supports multiple hypervisor and multiple clouds offering a complete control over the entire virtual infrastructure of the enterprise, management and monitoring, etc.. Their Unified Storage Gateway encapsulates the complexity associated with managing the on-premise and cloud storage and offers an unified and easy access to the underlying storage by abstracting and integrating underlying protocols such as FTP, SFTP, SCP, WebDAV, REST. The unified network connector allows IT departments to extend their existing network security policies to the cloud and get the kind of (virtual) isolation they want inside the cloud.
Cloupia platform is a powerful platform with a feature rich dashboard. They are on par with some of the other players in the industry. In fact, they even have some features that are highly suitable for the enterprises looking to embrace cloud computing. I am pretty convinced about the technical capabilities of their platform. However, I am still not convinced about how they can differentiate themselves and move ahead of the flock in a highly crowded marketplace. Now that they have showcased their platform at the recently concluded Cisco Live event, people will take notice and they will gain traction. Still, it will be interesting to watch them navigate the marketplace crowded with established players and open source platforms. Their platform has the potential and it now rests on their execution.