Google-backed CliQr launches cloud management service

CliQr offers a way to run the same workload across Amazon, Rackspace or other cloud services

CliQr Technologies, a startup backed by Google Ventures, has an unveiled a service called CloudCenter designed to allow organizations move applications across different cloud providers with a minimum amount of work.

"What we see is IT departments having to do massive, complex integrations to a single cloud architecture" said Gaurav Manglik, co-founder and CEO of CliQr Technologies. "Applications should be completely unhooked from infrastructure, so they interoperate with any cloud, and be able to move between clouds."

CliQr bills CloudCenter as a cloud-application management platform. An organization can package its application into a CliQr container that is then uploaded to a CliQr repository. From there, it can be deployed on either the Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute, a VMware- or an OpenStack-based cloud. More cloud options will be offered in the future.

By running their applications on CliQr, organizations will be able to move their workloads around more easily, avoiding lock-in and price gouging, Manglik said. They may also see performance improvements, due to the efficient way in which CliQr has engineered its platform to work with each cloud provider for specific types of workloads, Manglik said.

The service, should it work as advertised, could provide cloud users with a tool to more easily switch among different cloud providers to save cost and maintain high availability.

Last week, Rackspace president Lew Moorman warned attendees at the GigaOm Structure conference about the dangers of being locked into one cloud provider, such as Amazon. Lock-in may limit cloud technology innovation and keep prices artificially high, he said.

CloudCenter is a platform-as-a-service for managing cloud applications. Users don't have to worry about the underlying OS. It can work with either Windows or Linux applications. All an application's required related files, such as Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) or other libraries, are packaged so they can be run on a platform developed by CliQr called the CloudCenter Orchestrator. Orchestrator allows the user's software to run across different cloud providers without modification. The company also offers a series of templates for common cloud uses such as multistep workflows, cluster computing, high-volume batch programming, parallel programming and big data jobs.

The users manage their cloud applications through a console, called the CloudCenter Manager, which is available as a service from CliQr. The console controls the application's deployment, provisioning, storage management, performance metrics, license management and security reports. Billing is still handled directly with the provider, however.

Formerly called Osmosix, CliQr is based in Mountain View, California. Google Ventures and Foundation Capital have both provided venture capital to the company. The founders have previously worked at companies such as VMware, Oracle and McAfee.

CliQr already has a number of customers using the service. Medical equipment provider RefleXion Medical deployed the service to run an application on both Amazon and Rackspace clouds. RefleXion was able to package its application for the cloud within a single day and was able to cut the time of running the application to less than 24 hours in the cloud, much less than the four weeks it required to run the program on in-house equipment.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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