Why we're watching it: An IT management technology start-up to watch for 2010, holds the promise of making cloud computing easier to use and more accessible overall, but especially to companies with lightly staffed IT organizations that want to support cloud computing initiatives.
Elastra has gained recognition for its ability to simplify the processes of creating, managing and allocating shared resources. In an April 2009 report, Forrester identified Elastra as one of several "cloud-in-a-box" solutions that help enterprises build on existing resources and provide a quick path to an internal cloud. In particular, the report points out Elastra's ability to combine architecture and life-cycle management with cloud automation tools that help with design and deployment, monitoring, consumption-based metering and management of commercial software licenses.
Elastra offers a version of ECS that supports private clouds based on VMware vCenter or Citrix Xen virtualization environments, and has made available packages for supporting applications for use in the Amazon cloud and, in a trial version released in March, VMware vSphere 4.
Who heads the company: CEO Kirill Sheynkman, a longtime entrepreneur who, prior to launching Elastra, founded Standard Technology Group, a relational OLAP engine maker acquired by Informix/IBM.
How the company got into cloud computing: Sheynkman and others founded the company specifically to address an emerging need in the cloud market.
GoodDataHeadquarters: San FranciscoWhat it offers: GoodData On Demand, a cloud-based platform for business intelligence (BI) applicationsHow much it costs: Monthly fees range from $500 per project for a 250MB data warehouse to $2,500 per project for a 20GB data warehouse.
Why we're watching the company: BI is a hot technology – a business imperative for companies that want to be agile and compete effectively. But BI projects can be notoriously tricky to do well and they don't come cheap, either. Upfront licensing, consultative and ongoing costs can be limiting, if not prohibitive factors for many companies.
Enter BI in the cloud. Available on demand, BI as a service can be far less expensive yet much quicker to implement and easier to use than complex, legacy BI applications. BI in the cloud means no software to buy, licenses to maintain or related infrastructure to support.