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Startup Cloudyn Helps IT Maximize Its Cloud ROI

The cloud is huge. Every IT organization is being asked about their cloud strategy. If a company has not moved to the cloud, then they are likely at least considering it.

What many overlook, however, is what happens once IT implements a cloud strategy – how can an IT department ensure that they are deriving maximum gain from their move to the cloud? To really maximize cloud ROI, IT needs to have visibility into how their organization is actually using the cloud.

And this is where an interesting new startup named Cloudyn comes into the picture. Cloudyn’s primary focus is to provide companies with unique, real-time insights into usage, performance and cost of their cloud – and by so doing fill in the “cloud information gap” for enterprise IT. Joining to discuss Cloudyn’s technology further is their CEO Sharon Wagner.

IT Specialist Thank you for sharing some insights Sharon. To start with, can you provide some brief background on Cloudyn, such as what year you were started and the background of the founders?

Sharon Cloudyn was founded in December 2011. We provide insights into usage, performance and cost, coupled with custom prescriptive actions for enhancing performance and reducing cloud spend. Today, we have more than 2,400 customers worldwide including Fortune 500 companies in aerospace, infrastructure, consumer online travel services, IT management consulting, manufacturing, and more.

I founded Cloudyn with two other industry professionals, both of whom are software industry veterans with extensive experience in cloud computing and network optimization. The following is a brief description of our roles and experience:

•  (Myself) Mr. Sharon Wagner – Co-founder and CEO – Prior to forming Cloudyn, I was part of CA Technologies (NASDAQ; CA) Cloud Connected business unit. Before that I worked with Oblicore, where I played a major role in Oblicore’s acquisition by CA.

•  Dr. Boris Goldberg – Co-founder and CTO – Boris has more than 25 years experience in configuration discovery and management as well as business service management solutions. Before co-founding Cloudyn, Boris served as Chief Architect for Evolven, a leading configuration management provider for enterprises.

•  Mr. Vittaly Tavor – Co-founder and VP products – A software industry veteran with more than 25 years experience in configuration management and real-time performance monitoring, Vittaly was VP R&D at Evolven before co-founding Cloudyn.

IT Specialist At a high level, can you provide Cloudyn’s overall perspective on the state of the cloud market? Are these suppositions correct and are there any other macro-trends you could highlight?

Sharon You are absolutely correct. Although we see AWS maintaining their leadership position, the gap is indeed closing as runner-up Azure continues to pick up momentum, as well as IBM, Google and others.

We also see more interest in private and hybrid clouds. Specifically with our clients, we see high adoption of hybrid clouds, which typically combines public cloud with VMWare, IBM SoftLayer and OpenStack.

In addition to that, in light of hybrid cloud adoption, we see many cloud vendors adding enterprise-level products and capabilities that will help them gain more momentum and success in the hybrid cloud space.

IT Specialist As Cloudyn focuses on assisting IT maximize the ROI from moving to the cloud, is it your view that moving to the cloud generally saves IT department’s money, or is this not always the case?

Sharon Cloudyn’s primary focus is to provide companies with the best insight into usage, performance and cost, along with custom alerts and recommendations for performance enhancement and reduced cloud spend - so, our main focus is working with clients that already have a significant cloud footprint (private or public).

Managed properly, shifting to the cloud can save IT a significant amount of money --  around 30%. However most clouds do not offer clear visibility into usage. And from there, it’s like a domino effect. Poor visibility into usage inevitably leads to a spike in costs, leaving IT managers scrambling to try to identify cost drivers or find out if there are any underutilized and wasted resources that could be put to use. Cloudyn’s solution solves these issues easily.

Our enterprise clients and clients that already run massive public cloud deployments indicated a “rule of thumb” of 250 virtual servers as the threshold for moving workloads from private to public cloud.

The idea of maximizing ROI came about with the launch of Cloudyn MSP last November. Since then it has been a real game changer for managed service providers, system integrators, resellers and other cloud players who were seeking new ways to remain relevant in 2013.  With this tool, MSPs are able to transform cloud management into a ROI-driven process by developing domain expertise, leveraging economies of scale, and purchasing instances in bulk and then redistributing them among their customers, whilst ensuring that margins remain optimal. In short, they can maximize their (and their customers) ROI by becoming a “cloud financial broker.”

IT Specialist What would you describe as Cloudyn’s core value-proposition for enterprise IT?

Sharon Cloudyn’s solution fits enterprise needs very well as it offers one pane of glass so enterprises can manage all their deployments in one place. This unique capability gives both IT managers and C-level executives in-depth cost and performance optimization tools for accurate chargeback/showback across multiple cost entities effortlessly. Specifically, this enterprise option gives:

  • Governance: One view across multiple business units/cost entities
  • Visibility: individual business unit/cost entity drill down capability
  • Accountability: Customized, role-based access and chargeback
  • Optimization: Cost savings across the enterprise

Our solution is unique in its ability to cover all cloud costs, including shared and hidden costs. These costs can be allocated, based on business rules, into projects, business units, or any other cost related breakdown.

IT Specialist Turning now to your products, as I gather, Cloudyn currently integrates with three major cloud platforms, AWS, Google and OpenStack, is this correct? Does the Cloudyn solution generally provide the same results and information for all three of these platforms, or is it different for each one?

Sharon Yes, we currently support AWS, GCE and OpenStack and generally offer the same results for all three platforms for business and data insights, governance and reporting, analytics and optimization. Stay tuned as we also have a solid roadmap to continue expanding our cloud support for both public and private clouds.  

IT Specialist What are the actual outputs that the Cloudyn solution will show IT specialists, for example what format does this information come in and what types of business and data insights and analytics are provided?

Sharon Attached you will find a few screenshots of reports. In a nutshell, our solution provides customers with detailed reports, timely alert functionality and actionable recommendations to maintain their deployment/s.

Our reporting system is fully customizable with advanced filtering capability so users can slice and dice their data any way they like according to multiple parameters for a true assessment of their cloud activities and their associated costs.

Reports can be viewed in a variety of ways - from tabular form to a wide range of graphs and pie chart options - for a clear view into deployment activities. Additionally, our UI allows downloading of reports in PDF or CSV format. Below are some sample screenshots of what Cloudyn’s product shows IT managers:


 

IT Specialist On the technology side, could you explain how your solution actually works? Is there an API that connects the Cloudyn software to the actual cloud solution the customer is using?

Sharon Cloudyn is a non-intrusive SaaS product. Customers need only to provide read-only credentials to Cloudyn. Once these are provided, Cloudyn uses the cloud providers’ API and billing files to access the users’ usage and cost data. Cloudyn uses its own intelligent cloud data analysis engine in addition to information received from the cloud vendor. It then analyzes usage data and trends using proprietary algorithms to deliver ongoing, accurate right-sizing recommendations and price model optimization. This image below can help readers visualize what I am talking about.

IT Specialist What role does the enterprise IT professional play in implementing and managing a Cloudyn solution – how easy is it to get started and then manage going forward?

Sharon Since Cloudyn is a SaaS solution, interested parties simply provide their read-only credentials and from there it is a fully automated process. There is no manual intervention in the process nor configuration or installation.

IT Specialist Turning now to the corporate level, can you tell us how much money has Cloudyn raised and who are your core investors?

Sharon VC backed, Cloudyn raised $5.3m in total since its inception. The R&D center is located in Israel, with business representatives on the east and west coast of U.S. The company has 20 employees in total and currently hiring engineering, product managers and support engineers.

IT Specialist Finally, for people who may be interested in testing the Cloudyn solution or beginning a dialogue with you, what is the best way for them to start working with you?

Sharon We offer a 20-day free trial to those interested in test-driving our solution. They can visit our website (www.cloudyn.com) and register for the trial in seconds or email us at info@cloudyn.com. Once registered, they can also email us to schedule a 1-on-1 demo.

IT Specialist Thank you for sharing your ideas, and best of luck going forward.

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