Cloud-design guru Randy Bias has stepped down as CEO of the company he co-founded, Cloudscaling, but will remain on as CTO. Bias, who has helped many service providers build their infrastructures, both at Cloudscaling and as an executive at GoGrid during its formative years, wrote on this blog today that Michael Grant is coming on board as CEO so that Bias can focus on technical innovation, his forte. As I wrote last week, this type of leadership change can signal that a company is on the precipice of major success, but needs a business-savvy leader to sell it to the mainstream.
It seems like this might be the case at Cloudscaling, which provides consulting and design services for organizations looking to build their own cloud architectures. Since launching in late 2009, Cloudscaling has helped three providers launch clouds, and has provided consulting services for VMware and Engine Yard on some of their cloud efforts. It also helped Internap build its OpenStack-based cloud-storage offering, which became available in January. Further, Bias himself has become an outspoken, respected and occasionally controversial member of the cloud community, which certainly doesn’t hurt draw attention to a startup company.
Although large vendors such as IBM and HP have their own cloud consultancy businesses, there aren’t a lot of third parties providing this type of service for large-scale cloud deployments. But it’s an important business — despite vendors claims to that effect, clouds aren’t always as easy as plug-and-play, especially if organizations want to achieve efficiency levels on par with those experienced by Amazon Web Services and other leading cloud providers. The open source OpenStack platform also provides a potentially rich source of income for Cloudscaling — as its Internap win illustrates — because although the open-source cloud computing software is attracting lots of attention, it doesn’t have any formal support mechanism (although Rackspace has suggested it will get into that racket).
New Cloudscaling CEO Grant has held various product management and marketing roles with Apple, Sun Microsystems and Documentum, as well as a stint as executive in residence at Red Rock Ventures.
Image courtesy of Flickr user thisisbossi.
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