Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Friday, November 17, 2017
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GigaSpaces Orchestrates Cloud Spin-Off 

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In a bid to sharpen its focus on the booming market for cloud management, in-memory computing specialist GigaSpaces Technologies is spinning off its Cloudify unit into a new company that will concentrate on delivering cloud applications as well as network functions virtualization (NFV).

New York-based GigaSpaces said the planned spinoff has been in the works since last year based on the growth of its enterprise cloud offerings along with the unit's entrance into the carrier network orchestration market. The new company will retain its engineering team and work from existing offices in New York, San Jose and Tel Aviv, Israel.

GigaSpaces core in-memory computing business for analytics is morphing into a separate business that is fundamentally different from its cloud offerings. Hence, the company cited the "ideal timing" of the Cloudify spinoff that will "also enable greater clarity and focus for our current and possibly future investors," noted GigaSpaces CEO Zeev Bikowsky.

The company said its data analytics and Cloudify units were already largely operating as separate business units; the "structural" spinoff announced on Thursday (July 27) is still subject to regulatory and tax approvals.

Cloudify was launched as an open source cloud orchestration platform in 2014 with the goal of connecting hybrid clouds at the networking layer. Hence, GigaSpaces asserts that the convergence—some would say hyper-convergence of datacenter and other technologies—positions Cloudify to deliver orchestration of both applications and networks in increasingly popular multi-cloud deployments.

Cloudify currently supports private clouds based on OpenStack and VMware (NYSE: VMW) along with public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google Compute Platform (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT).

It also support emerging cloud micro-services such as application container orchestration Kubernetes.

GigaSpaces also differentiates the cloud spinoff through its NFV platform that is said to be gaining traction among telecom and other carriers using it to manage virtual networks.

Meanwhile, GigaSpaces points to Cloudify's steady annual growth along with numerous deals with large carriers and other companies during the first half of 2017. The latest version of the Cloudify platform released in April is touted as transforming it from a DevOps tool to an application and network management platform. Along with multi-tenant and security features, Cloudify 4.0 also adds support for container orchestration via integrations with Docker Swarm, Mesos and Kubernetes.

The cloud spinoff separately launched what it calls an "orchestration-first approach" to NFV that offers the ability to integrate NFV with existing networks. Cloudify cited market research indicating that more than half of network carriers are seeking NFV integration capabilities as they expand cloud offerings.

The approach is said to address carriers' current inability to run switches, routers, firewalls and other equipment on virtual networks. To address that requirement, Cloudify launched a cloud native virtual networking program.

Meanwhile, GigaSpaces announced support earlier this month for the latest version of Apache Spark as it seeks to boost streaming performance to bring the gap between real-time analytics and application delivery.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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