July 10, 2013, 2:24 PM — ENovance, a French company that builds and manages cloud deployments for customers and will also build clouds for service providers, is coming to America.
ENovance is the latest services company to receive a decent investment – it landed $7 million and has plans to expand its Montreal office as its base for North America. Mirantis, which also helps customers build OpenStack clouds, secured a $10 million investment earlier this year.
Since eNovance has been mostly focused on France, you’d be forgiven for not being familiar with it. My first run-in with the company was when I noticed it was the seventh biggest contributor to Grizzly, based on commits. That’s impressive for a no-name.
Company executives had some interesting perspectives to share. Even though eNovance is a big OpenStack supporter and contributor, it will help customers deploy on Amazon Web Services or any other cloud service. In fact, AWS sometimes refers customers to eNovance, said Philippe Theriault, chief commercial officer for North America for eNovance.
When eNovance is asked to choose the best cloud for the customer, it will pick AWS in complex situations, Nicolas Marshall, co-founder and CTO of eNovance said. “If you need a very complex set of features, probably Amazon will have the features that you need and for some cases OpenStack would not be able to provide that,” he said.
AWS is just more advanced than OpenStack and offers many more features, he said.
However, that’s not always a good thing, given the proprietary nature of the AWS cloud, he said. “If you’re using too many features, you may be in jail in the Amazon cloud,” he said. Some of his customers will use AWS but use non-AWS tools so that they aren’t locked in. For instance, customers might use their own load balancers rather than Amazon’s, he said. “People can be a bit afraid of all the features,” he said.
That said, the reason that companies like eNovance exist, to a degree, is because OpenStack isn’t complete enough. In addition to designing and managing deployments for businesses, eNovance also builds clouds for telcos or other service providers that wish to offer cloud services to their customers. It also builds private clouds for companies.
Theriault told me that he used to work at a service provider where he chose to build its cloud using CloudStack. “I knew at the time that I was betting on the wrong horse, that OpenStack will win the race,” he said. But he chose the Citrix distribution of CloudStack which was a more complete product than he could get from OpenStack.
He compared eNovance’s offering to the Citrix CloudStack distribution. For a telco, for example, eNovance can offer an OpenStack implementation with a suite of tools that the telco will need, like billing and invoicing features and an enhanced dashboard.
ENovance also said that it will use its new funding to try to attract new talent. “The way we’ll use those funds is to continue to develop internally but also to attract worldwide the best OpenStack talents to join our organization,” Theriault said.
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