Today, many Fortune 500 companies are enlisting a hybrid cloud approach that uses a patchwork of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services to allow workloads to move between clouds to meet the ever-evolving demands of computing needs and cost expectations. In turn, these companies benefit from greater flexibility and more data deployment options.
However, Tom Gillis, founder of startup Bracket Computing, quickly realized that this approach, with server hardware, software applications, storage capacity, and networking services spread across data centers and multiple service providers, invites operational complexity and introduces an opportunity for error. Gillis decided there was an unmet need for a new virtualization technology; one that could secure multiple cloud environments by creating a container for infrastructure so that an enterprise could move data out on the public cloud, while still maintaining the control it wanted.
On his mission to create a virtualization technology that could provide one set of infrastructure across multiple clouds, Gillis was met with a technical challenge: when sticking a hypervisor on top of a hypervisor at the cloud, the technology was incredibly slow and performance was being cut in half. To overcome this challenge, a lot of trial and error, fine-tuning and tweaking was needed to get the technology—Bracket Computing Cell—to a point that Gillis refers to as “lightning fast.”
Gillis says that his most valuable strategy throughout this mission to ultimately transform how data centers are built, was bringing the mindset of patience and extensive testing of the solution to the forefront of his priorities. In hindsight, Gillis says this is a tactic any IT professional or entrepreneur can stand to benefit from.
“We spent three years developing our technology in stealth mode, working very closely with a handful of very large customers that believed in our architecture and vision, and helped us test and reiterate the technology over and over again,” Gillis says. “Four years later, our product looks very different from its original design, but we now finally feel ready for more broad deployment and production,” he adds.
Another challenge that Gillis encountered throughout his journey was attracting investor interest to support his big ideas. He decided to devote time to gaining a deep understanding of what his own business horizon was and then seek investors who shared that horizon.
Gillis is confident that his virtualization technology could benefit IT professionals by providing one single set of security policies that will expand across private and public clouds, in part since encryption technology is deployed within the Computing Cell. This solution, while providing a single, virtual infrastructure with consistent controls, will not only minimize exposure outside of the enterprise, but can also free up IT departments to focus on innovating and taking on other challenging issues.
“It has most certainly been a work in progress,” Gillis says of the Computing Cell, but adds that it’s very rewarding to know that broader deployment is just around the corner.
Renee Morad is a freelance writer and editor based in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Discovery News, Business Insider, Ozy.com, NPR, MainStreet.com, and other outlets. If you have a story you would like profiled, contact her at [email protected]
The IT Innovators series of articles is underwritten by Microsoft, and is editorially independent.