Headquarters: Redwood City Founded: 2015 Funding: Series A round of $8.5 million, from Mayfield and one undisclosed investor Why it's worth watching: It's one thing to be able to spin up a container, but it's a whole other thing to manage clusters of them, as Portworx wants to do.
Think of Portworx as a sort of vSphere for containers, its founders say. The company's container management platform gives IT operations professionals an out-of-the-box way to spin up and manage groups of containers.
The first thing the software does is it assess the infrastructure that is available to it. Then, when operations folks want to launch applications or code in a container, Portworx will do the heavy lifting: It will provision the containers, get the necessary storage, and manage the IP addresses and other networking features of the containers.
The product is a ways away from being generally available. Later this summer Portworx will release a hosted "playground" version of the software, but there is no timeframe for when a 1.0 release will be generally available. Its management team previously started storage optimization company Ocarina Networks, which Dell bought in 2010.
Headquarters: Cupertino Founded: 2014 Funding: $10M in funding from Mayfield and Nexus Venture Partners Why it's worth watching: The founders of Rancher - Sheng Liang and Shannon Williams - were part of the team that helped create Cloud.com which was later sold to Citrix and is now the CloudStack product and open source cloud management product. Rancher is attempting to do for containers what CloudStack does for clouds be a platform for managing them.
At this point Rancher is best known for RancherOS, a lightweight operating system optimized for running containers. The company's big plans are for its Rancher infrastructure management platform, which is in beta. It's meant to run on any virtualized or physical machine and works with applications to understand what needs they have for storage, networking and compute resources. It then allocates the appropriate infrastructure for those apps and spins up the containers to run them. Rancher currently works with Docker containers, but the company is open to supporting other container runtimes, such as CoreOS's.
Headquarters: Seattle Founded: 2013 Funding: $10.1 M from Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, Divergent Ventures and Founders Co-Op Why it's worth watching: The team at Shippable wants to make it easier for developers to use containers for building applications. Containers are the perfect medium for writing, testing and launching code, they say.
Founded by a team that used to work at Microsoft and Cloud Foundry, Shippable is a hosted service that allows developers to write code and have it be immediately tested to ensure it works and is bug-free.
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