Q&A With Nodable’s CEO Dave Rosenberg

Chris Mayer

We talk to the new cloud management system start-up, dubbed ‘Twitter for machines’

Red Hat’s Stephen O’Grady referred to Nodeable as ‘Twitter for machines’. We were intrigued by this description and were keen to learn more behind this innovative San Francisco start-up for analysing and managing cloud-based data. After launching a private beta last month we talked to Nodeable’s CEO Dave Rosenberg, formerly of MuleSoft to talk about his new endeavour and also the future for cloud data management as they prepare to deploy their public data.

Where did the idea for Nodeable come from?

The initial idea was born from the frustration of attempting to use a variety of cloud/system management tools while analysing a number of different use cases while Neil Levine (Nodeable VP of Product) and I were working together at Canonical.

The short version is that we struggled to make the existing tools match the new world of cloud services, which are quite fleeting. It didn’t make sense to script and automate resources that were transient, and none of the tools were designed in a multi-tenant fashion, meaning we didn’t have a breadth of deployment options.

And, the majority of the available tools are ugly and hard to use. We wanted to simplify the management tools and take advantage of the modern compute power the cloud offers.

How long has the company been running?

We started working on the company idea in January 2011 and started writing code in April 2011.

You describe it as ‘Twitter for machines’- was it a desire for simpler and more interactive cloud infrastructure that drove this idea forward?

Twitter for machines was really just an easy way to explain the idea that we have built a real-time communication and information application. It was absolutely the case that we wanted to convey that cloud systems should be simpler to interact with and the Twitter metaphor though not totally analogous is easy for people to understand.

Care to elaborate on the technical side of Nodeable?

Nodeable’s front-end is HTML5, CSS and Node.js. The middle is Mule, Nginx and jClouds and the back-end is currently MongoDB though we are in the process of moving to Cassandra.

We run at a managed hosting facility and on AWS EC2. We use Puppet to manage all of the configurations and scaling scenarios.

Can you tell us more about the private beta?

We opted to start with a private beta in order to load test and to ensure that we have an optimal user experience. We started with six companies and will have about fifty up and running in December.

How do you see the cloud data management market at the moment? Do you feel there is room for further competitors/innovation?

There is huge opportunity both in terms of revenue and innovation in the cloud management market. As cloud goes more mainstream, large enterprises will demand tooling and reliability, which is largely untapped. I would also argue that we haven’t seen much in the way of innovation just yet. Compute power itself as driven by AWS is highly innovative but most of the ecosystem is just applying the same enterprise approach to cloud as it has to every other technology.

How do you see the next few years going for Nodeable and the whole market in general? 

The cloud market is really nascent. Analysts expect cloud to be worth more than $200 billion in the next ten years, which is obviously tremendous growth.

From the Nodeable perspective, we think we can define and provide a layer in the new cloud stack – one that takes advantage of the “digital exhaust” we get from systems and adds intelligence to data. The gathering and analysis of this data leads into a systematic approach to managing these services based both on deterministic responses and predictive analytics.

We believe this intelligence is something that every cloud user needs as it leads to reduced management costs and higher immediate value from cloud deployments.

What are your plans for the future?

After the private beta we’ll be adding a series of new cloud connections for the public beta and GA releases.

After that, world domination.

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