Morph Labs, the company that helps enterprises and service providers build private clouds announced a $5.5 Million Series B funding. This funding round is led by Global Gateway Investment Group (G2iG) with new investor, Frontera Group LLC, joining existing investors CSK Venture Capital Co. Ltd. and AO Capital Partners Ltd.. After gaining lots of traction in Japan, Morph Labs is focussing on US market and this funding will help them go full throttle in these markets.

I had a chance to talk to Morph Labs few weeks back and came away impressed with what they have to offer. They have three different offerings from public clouds to DIY private clouds. Let me briefly highlight their offerings below
  • mCloud On-Demand: This is their public cloud offering which uses the same technology behind their private cloud products. This is an useful tool for small businesses and enterprises who want to tap into cloud’s elasticity without huge capital investments. The fact that it uses the same technology as their private cloud offering will help their customers implement hybrid clouds if they want to keep part of their data on-premise due to regulatory requirements and other business reasons
  • mCloud Server: mCloud Server is essentially private cloud in a box. Large enterprises can take this and implement a private cloud on their datacenter. This has everything including the hardware resources needed for implementing the private cloud. Since it involves hardware and any need for other datacenter requirements, it is highly capital intensive. It is more suitable for setting up private clouds from scratch.
  • mCloud Controller: This is more suitable for enterprises and service providers looking to convert their existing datacenter into a private cloud. It is powered by redundant 1U servers and it has all the tools needed for virtualizing the infrastructure and other cloud management tools. mCloud controller makes it very easy to convert existing datacenters into cloud.
The configuration tools in their package is Puppet and it helps propagate all the changes to VM configuration to any number of virtual machines. So managing the VMs is a snap. Monitoring is done using Nagios. Essentially, it relies on many of the open source tools which many enterprises and service providers are already familiar with.
Their management dashboard is very user-friendly and powerful. Like how it seamlessly works with Puppet on the VM management side, it plugs in with most of the software repositories like CVS, Subversion, GIT, Mercurial, Accurev, Bazaar, Perforce, and Darcs. It also seamlessly works with your own existing filesystem. Their platform makes it easy for application developers by supporting database failover. More importantly, the developers need not change their application for database replication.
It is a pretty solid platform to build private clouds. However, I am still not sure how this market is going to shape up. As I mentioned in my post about Cloupia, it is a crowded market and they have their work cut out in order to come out strong in this competitive marketplace.
I am pretty convinced about the technical capabilities of their platform. However, I am still not convinced about how they can differentiate themselves and move ahead of the flock in a highly crowded marketplace. Now that they have showcased their platform at the recently concluded Cisco Live event, people will take notice and they will gain traction. Still, it will be interesting to watch them navigate the marketplace crowded with established players and open source platforms. Their platform has the potential and it now rests on their execution.
It seems I am not alone in this skepticism. John Treadway of Cloudbzz recently voiced similar opinion and listed out companies in this space.
It seems like every day there’s a new company touting their infrastructure stack.  In recent weeks we’ve seen new offerings from Nimbula and Cloud.com.  I’m sure I’m missing some, but I show 20 solutions for building clouds below, and I am sure that more are on their way.  The market certainly can’t support so many participants!  Not for very long anyway.  This is the definition of a “red ocean” situation — lots of noise, and lots of blood in the water.

It will be really interesting to see how this market shapes up in the next two years. Morph Labs have already gained reasonable traction in the Asian markets and with their current push on US markets, they have a realistic chance to be an important player. The current funding round seems to indicate that the folks with big wallets seems to believe the same. An interesting space to watch in the coming 1-2 years.

Krishnan Subramanian

Krish dons several avatars including entrepreneur in exile, analyst cum researcher, technology evangelist, blogger, ex-physicist, social/political commentator, etc.. My main focus is research and analysis on various high impact topics in the fields of Open Source, Cloud Computing and the interface between them. I also evangelize Open Source and Cloud Computing in various media outlets, blogs and other public forums. I offer strategic advise to both Cloud Computing and Open Source providers and, also, help other companies take advantage of Open Source and Cloud Computing. In my opinion, Open Source commoditized software and Cloud Computing commoditized computing resources. A combination of these two developments offers a strong competitive advantage to companies of all sizes and shapes. Due to various factors, including fear, the adoption of both Open Source and Cloud Computing are relatively slow in the business sector. So, I take it upon myself to clear any confusion in this regard and educate, enrich and advise users/customers to take advantage of the benefits offered by these technologies. I am also a managing partner in two consulting companies based in India. I blog about Open Source topics at http://open.krishworld.com and Cloud Computing related topics at http://www.cloudave.com.

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