Amazon Continues Investments in Cloud-Based Ventures

Aug. 6.08 | About: Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)

Elastra Corp., a cloud computing startup with a focus on ease of deployment, Tuesday announced a second round of funding, including participation from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which continues its investment ramp-up in cloud-based ventures.

The Series B funding for the San Francisco, Calif.-based Elastra, totals $12 million. Other participants were Bay Partners and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, which took part in the first round of funding last year.

The cloud topic continues to heat up, with Tuesday's announcement that AT&T (NYSE:T) is jumping in. More from ZDNet's Larry Dignan. It's a no-brainer for telecos to be in on this, and it sets the stage for more tension between software vendors and service providers.

As for Elastra's Cloud Server, it provides point-and-click configuration, push-button deployment and automated management and dynamic monitoring of application infrastructure software and systems. The company's elastic computing markup language [ECML] and elastic deployment markup language [EDML] allow for extensibility and portability of applications across public and private clouds.

With this approach, businesses and IT organizations don't have to script, monitor and scale their application infrastructure by hand, nor are they locked into “cloud silos” from a single provider.

For Amazon, which has been providing cloud infrastructure services for over two years, this is the second foray into funding cloud ventures in the last three weeks. In July, Amazon chipped in when Engine Yard raised $15 million.

I saw the potential for Elastra's approach, when the company arrived on the scene last March.

As virtualized software has become the primary layer over now-buried hardware that architects and engineers must deal with, we should expect more tools and “bridging” technologies like Elastra to emerge to help grease the skids for what can (and should?) be deployed in clouds. The software then becomes agile services that can be provisioned and consumed via innovative and highly efficient business models and use-based metering schemes.

. . . the database-driven product can help bring applications rapidly to a pay-as-you-use model. Enterprises may be able to provide more applications as services, charging internal consumers as a managed service provider.

I said at the time that the segue to the cloud could come sooner than many people might think. It looks like that prediction was on the mark.