Startup Of The Week: Elastra - InformationWeek

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7/17/2008
01:30 PM
John Foley
John Foley
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Startup Of The Week: Elastra

Company's Cloud Server and markup languages give software architects control over applications in the cloud

Cloud computing may be an easier way of doing things, but software architects still need to exercise control over applications they deploy in "the cloud." Elastra has developed markup languages and a Cloud Server that can be used to design, deploy, and manage applications that run in Amazon.com's EC2 and other cloud services. --John Foley

ELASTRA


Kirill Sheynkman, founder, president, and CEO

IT needs to manage cloud apps, says Sheynkman

HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco

PRODUCT: Elastra Cloud Server, software for deploying and managing applications in public and private computing clouds

PRINCIPALS: Kirill Sheynkman, founder, president, and CEO

INVESTORS: Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, individual investors

EARLY CUSTOMERS: About 40 customers, including New York State


A NEW KIND OF MIDDLEWARE
In January, EnterpriseDB introduced EnterpriseDB Advanced Server Cloud Edition, a version of its database management system for Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service. EnterpriseDB is leveraging Elastra's technology to make that possible. Likewise, Elastra plans to cloud-enable the open source LAMP stack.

KEY PIECES
At the heart of Elastra's approach are two markup languages developed by the company. Its extensible Elastic Compute Markup Language describes the components of an application and related software and hardware requirements, while its Elastic Compute Deployment Language specifies how the application is to be deployed in IT infrastructure. Elastra's Cloud Server, in preview release now, consists of design tools, a repository, and deployment, monitoring, and accounting capabilities.

PRICE ELASTICITY
One of the touted advantages of cloud computing is flexible pricing, where you only pay for resources consumed. Elastra introduces the concept of "elastic compute units," which it compares to the wattage of a lightbulb. For example, a storage system might consume two units, a database one unit, and a Web server a half unit. This provides a mechanism for software and cloud service providers to offer usage-based and tiered pricing. And ECUs provide a revenue stream to Elastra.

BRAIN TRUST
CEO Sheynkman co-founded Stanford Technology Group and Plumtree Software. Three members of the management team were formerly with BEA Systems. Elastra has 17 employees.

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