In 2010, it was becoming pretty obvious to Sundar Kannan and Munirathnam Srikanth that there would be a growing number of cloud service providers. And as more cloud services came online, the marketplace would become rife with inefficiency. At that time Kannan was a director of business development for Microsoft Azure, but he soon would jettison that job to become CEO of ComputeNext.
Kannan and Srikanth, who would become the CTO of the startup, decided to build a global, federated marketplace for cloud services which became ComputeNext. By September 2010 they had started the Seattle-based company, and by June 2011, they got busy with product development. ComputeNext launched at our Structure 2012 conference, and was one of the Launchpad finalists.
Kannan argues that while Amazon has done a great job as a leader, “in promoting cloud consumption and solving business problems, but they do not have a compelling reason to meet diverse needs of all the customers.”
“In the AWS marketplace we are able to choose a number of applications and configure and deploy them in the cloud but the IaaS provider is AWS. In ComputeNext’s marketplace, you not only have a choice of applications but also in the IaaS providers,” he said. That element of choice is one of the main reasons why Kannan feels confident about his company’s future.
The company has raised about $2 million in funding, and has attracted many partners such as ScaleXtreme, a server automation software provider, NewVEM, a cloud analytics provider, and Cloudability, which offers cloud resource management, for its cloud marketplace.
Today, it seems everyone who has been offering platforms-as-a-service (think Google App Engine), is moving into selling infrastructure-as-a-service (think AWS) and vice-versa. Kannan sees his company becoming an uber-aggregator of IaaS offerings and then selling those to platform-as-a-service providers. The company will be offering its API to PaaS providers and other companies, he said.