Blue Box Raises $3.5 Million For Cloud And Hosting Service With An OpenStack Flavor

Blue Box has raised $3.5 million for its OpenStack-infused cloud and hosting service designed for companies that have major traffic volumes and big apps and rely on a high level of uptime.

This is a first round for Blue Box, which started in Seattle nine years ago. Voyager Capital led the investment. The company has 600 clients that include MTV, VH1 and Pivotal Tracker.

Blue Box will use OpenStack as a foundation to unify its automation and orchestration technology. It is a white glove service for companies that wish to outsource operations requiring specific expertise in managing the complexities of a programmed infrastructure. Blue Box also leverages Cloud Foundry, the platform as a service (PaaS), and Opscode, which enables companies to automate their infrastructures.

Companies are beginning to get a bit more comfortable with moving operations to services like Blue Box. What they need: a service that doesn’t require a wholesale investment in one provider. In other words, a world that Oracle controls with its cloud-in-a-box options.

But what about the developers? Forward-looking companies will begin investing more in building developer communities and want some form of self-service infrastructure to host apps that fit their own ways of doing business. That’s what differentiates Amazon Web Services (AWS) from a provider like IBM, which has some self-service capabilities but nothing like what a public cloud service offers.

OpenStack will provide the capability for self-service. For Blue Box, that’s as much of a strategic move as anything else. OpenStack is the open infrastructure for building cloud environments. It holds promise as a way for companies to develop a cloud in the manner that fits their needs. For Blue Box that means offering a high level of service, automated infrastructure and open APIs for developers to deploy their own apps.

Blue Box has a lot of competition and that has to be its biggest challenge in the market, as it goes up against Dell, Rackspace, HP, AWS and a host of others.

But I like the combination that the company has put together. A customer gets to focus on what it does best with help from Blue Box to further differentiate.