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Ex-VMware engineers chuck $4.5m and OpenStack at AWS

But virty giant's magic code misses the first cloud cut

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A pod of former VMware engineers armed with OpenStack and $4.5m in venture cash have thrown their hats into the ring against Amazon’s AWS.

The virty giant’s ex-coders have removed their company, Platform9, from startup mode, announcing they’d landed the money from Redpoint Ventures.

Manning Platform9 are Sirish Raghuram, Madhura Maskasky, Roopak Parikh and Bich Le who are chief executive, head of product, head of engineering and chief architect respectively.

Platform9’s shtick is you get a layer of software to run your disparate servers running OpenStack through a layer of management – all delivered "as a service".

The angle for Patform9, which started up last year, is that by using OpenStack and various hypervisors of your choice you get the benefit of an AWS-like public cloud while keeping ownership of your resources and data.

“You can think of us as the Salesforce.com of private cloud management,” Raghuram offered in a statement.

Try to come up with a list of software-as-a-service startups that haven’t encouraged us to think of them as the "Salesforce of something" and it's a short list.

"We believe that just like SaaS revolutionized the world of enterprise applications, it can do the same for enterprise data centres,” he said.

Plaform9’s goal is to manage VMware’s vSphere, the open-source KVM hypervisor and Docker, the open-source tool, to automate apps in software containers.

At present, however, the service is only available on KVM – a surprise given the VMware heritage on board – and it’s only available in beta mode.

Also in the works is full support for OpenStack: currently it can run Nova for computing, Glance for machine images and the Keystone identity service, but is still working on support for Swift data storage, Cinder block storage and Neutron networking. ®

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