Volterra raises $50M in funding to tackle distributed cloud services

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Volterra debuts its distributed cloud platform for integrating multi-cloud and edge environments. (Pixabay)

Volterra has emerged from two years in stealth mode to announce it has raised $50 million in funding, as well as the launch of its distributed cloud platform.

To raise the $50 million, Santa Clara, California-based Volterra combined its Series A and B rounds, which included venture capital firms Khosla Ventures and Mayfield, as well as new investments from M12 (Microsoft’s venture arm), Itochu Technology Ventures and Samsung NEXT.

With increased amounts of data and applications located outside of corporate data centers, enterprises and service providers are deploying their infrastructure and applications across multiple cloud providers and edge locations.  According to research by Gartner, more than 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of the data center or cloud by 2022. That percentage could rise to 75%, 80% or even 90% by 2025, according to Gartner.

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To address the challenges that result from widely distributed applications and diverse infrastructure, Volterra has developed a software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud-native based distributed cloud platform for integrating multi-cloud and edge environments.

Volterra has integrated a range of services that have normally been siloed among various point products and network or cloud providers. The platform consists of Volterra's VoltStack, VoltMesh and Volterra Console, which were also announced on Monday.

VoltStack deploys and manages distributed applications across multiple clouds or edge sites using industry standard Kubernetes APIs, while VoltMesh delivers performance networking and zero-trust security between multiple clouds and edge sites. Volterra Console​ is a management console for deploying and operating distributed applications at a global scale with centralized control and visibility.

Volterra has racked up more than 30 global customers, including Softbank, which is using Volterra's computing environment across its 5G network.

Now that Volterra has its distributed cloud platform announced, Ankur Singla, the company's CEO and founder, said the rest of the funding would be used for its go-to-market efforts, which includes direct, channel and service provider sales, in the U.S. Asia Pacific (with a major focus on Japan), and Europe, and global marketing. In an email to FierceTelecom, Singla said he doesn't anticipate needing another funding round until late 2020 or sometime in 2021.

As far as how the competition stacks up, Singla said there are many competitors that solve point problems, but VMware is Volterra's main competitor. VMware has a breadth of offerings that it can use to solve the challenges of distributed applications, Singla said. VMware can connect between cloud through its recent acquisition of Avi Networks and with its integrated NSX offering. It can connect from the edge to the cloud via VeloCloud or across different clouds such as VMware in Amazon Web Services, CloudSimple in Azure and Google Cloud.

"But in reality, this is nowhere near a consistent, universally secure or 'single cloud' model for managing or providing infrastructure for distributed apps," Singla said. "And this is much more difficult, slower and more costly to deploy and operate. We have also built a grounds-up multi-tenant SaaS solution whereas they are mostly a software vendor with a veneer of hosted services.

"Volterra offers a truly consistent set of distributed cloud services that operate the same way, with the same capabilities, across all the main public clouds, edge sites and enterprise data centers/private clouds -- and all managed from a single SaaS console (Volterra Console)."

With the move to cloud-based computing and SaaS services, there has been a lot of hype around cloud-native applications and services.

"Cloud-native is the current version of 'cloud in 2009' or 'software-defined in 2014," Singla said. "The industry is experiencing a lot of 'cloud-native-washing' versus actual services that run in full SaaS operating mode in cloud environments.

"At Volterra, we don’t cloud-wash.  We’re only two years old, and have built VoltMesh, VoltStack and Volterra Console from the ground up using microservices while enabling cloud operational principles for our customers. In addition, all of our software is 100% microservices and built from the ground up as a multi-tenant SaaS-offering."

RELATED: CNCF, LF Networking flip switch on cloud-native test bed

Volterra participates in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) open source group and LF Edge, and plans to offer some components of its software that's used by Volterra's user community as open-source software. But Singla said the company's business model wasn't centered on monetizing support of open-source components. 

"We are working on interesting capabilities to enable developers to rapidly build high performance and resilient distributed apps using microservices and Golang," Singla said of Volterra's roadmap. "In addition, we are working on a set of templates, designs and best practices to help our partners and customers to build solutions that are easily replicable."

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