Cloudscaling CEO Leaves, Search Begins For New Chief Of Cloud Systems Startup

In a blog post today, Cloudscaling Co-Founder and CTO Randy Bias said CEO Michael Grant is leaving the company with a replacement being sought for the cloud systems company. Bias will serve as interim CEO, replacing Grant who joined Cloudscaling in February, 2011.

Bias emphasized in the post the company’s ties to OpenStack and the need for a new leader to reach into the enterprise market.

The company raised $10 million in May from Trinity Ventures, Juniper Networks, and Seagate Technologies. Its focus on building a strong networking backbone and its software-designed approach puts the company in a position as one of the innovators in the cloud space.

But it is just so early in a market that is still waiting to mature. There is little we actually know about what software defined networking actually means. At its most abstract, data is spreading but for companies to keep up, they need the network to extend but without adding a sprawling array of big hardware boxes. Instead they need software to virtualize the network so it can spread far and wide.

That’s where Contrail Systems fits in. That’s the networking virtualization company that Juniper acquired and which serves as the network virtualization layer that can fit into the Cloudscaling scale-out environment.

Cloudscaling has made a big bet on OpenStack. That has given Bias a platform to build out private clouds. But he does face a problem. And that’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), the public cloud leader. Last week, Bias wrote an open letter to OpenStack, calling for the acceptance of AWS as a default API for the open-cloud effort.

Speculation is a natural reaction here, especially with Grant leaving and the aggressive call for OpenStack to align with AWS. It shows, even with its success in funding and alliances, Cloudscaling is right on the edge, just like every other startup with Series A funding, a large potential market, and investors to convince that the company can scale at a rate that gives them the returns they demand.