Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMblog's Expert Interviews: Jon Mittelhauser Talks Containers, SDN and Cloud Management


In the past year, Jon Mittelhauser, CloudBolt CEO, said he has seen a marked increase in the number of enterprises that want to take advantage of SDN and container technologies. Recently, the company added support for VMware NSX, Docker and Kubernetes and three additional cloud platforms, IBM SoftLayer, HP Helion, Oracle Cloud, and CenturyLink Cloud to its all-in-one cloud delivery platform.

I recently caught up with Jon to find out more about the new platform release.

VMblog:  First, can you tell us more about the CloudBolt cloud delivery platform?

Jon Mittelhauser:  CloudBolt provides IT with a central management system that gives IT admins command and control, chargeback/showback, and reporting across multi-cloud environments. It also gives IT admins the ability to provide self-service IT provisioning across those clouds-even for non-technical users.

CloudBolt is an abstraction layer that sits above an organization's public and private cloud. We interface with all the common public and private cloud technologies including VMware, OpenStack, AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine. We also integrate with existing on-premises automation and orchestration systems, old and new, including HP Operations Orchestration, vRealize Orchestrator, Puppet and Chef. Because we are a service framework, customers are also able to easily integrate their CloudBolt deployment with other API-based services they use within their enterprise such as InfoBlox, ServiceNow or HipChat.

Because we are providing that abstraction layer, we make it easy for non-technical users to manage their own provisioning and applications without understanding the complexity of the underlying cloud. We also give IT the flexibility to move across past, present, and future technologies-from VMware, OpenStack, and AWS to technologies like Docker and microservices technologies without exposing the end user to that complexity.

VMblog:  There's been a lot of buzz around container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes.  Are you seeing increased interest in these technologies from your customers?

Mittelhauser:  Yes, a lot of our customers are excited about the possibility of using containers because of the benefits they provide over full virtual machines. They are looking for ways to more easily test and explore these new technologies to figure out best use cases for containers.   

VMblog:  What are some of the biggest challenges that enterprise IT face as they consider container technologies?  And how does CloudBolt help?

Mittelhauser:  Containers are new and somewhat bleeding edge. The technology is changing fast, while most enterprises take a conservative approach to new technologies. That's where CloudBolt comes in.  It allows enterprise IT to manage both old and new simultaneously so they can run an existing infrastructure using VMware and full VMs on public cloud, but can also have groups experimenting with containers and get that unified management. As they decide to move more and more applications to container based technologies, CloudBolt makes the transition transparent to end users. We provide the flexibility to match bleeding edge container technologies with legacy, proven technology while abstracting the underlying technology away from the end user -- that is really the benefit.

VMblog:  What about SDN?  What are you seeing in terms of adoption of SDN and how does CloudBolt take advantage of SDN?

Mittelhauser:  We have seen broad adoption of SDN amongst our customers, so support for SDN was definitely a requested feature.

CloudBolt started out deploying basic virtual machines and using application orchestration technologies like Puppet and Chef to deploy applications on top of those single servers. What we've seen is that our customers want to move up the application stack and provide a full set of servers and networks to end users. With SDN, our customers can deploy that collection (we call it a blueprint) and wrap it all up within particular networking and SDN rules so that some servers are living on a private network and some are publicly accessible. This allows more complex services to be deployed to end users -- specifically a whole stack of servers configured with networking as opposed to single server, single application.

VMblog:  You also added support for IBM SoftLayer, HP Helion, Oracle Cloud, and CenturyLink Cloud.  Why did you add support for these cloud platforms?  And how many cloud platforms do you support now?

Mittelhauser:  Different clouds have different strengths and weaknesses so we are continually adding new cloud support to provide our customers with greater choice.

Today, we see most organizations are running complex multi-cloud environment, each cloud with their own interfaces and APIs and with a wide range of applications. Our customers are trying to unify the management of their multi-cloud and application environments and provide self-service to end users. They are looking to increase agility, simplify IT administrator tasks, gain greater control over their IT environment, eliminate VM sprawl, and gain insight into their IT costs to reduce cost inefficiencies.

With our latest platform release, CloudBolt supports 13 Cloud platforms. With the addition of IBM SoftLayer, HP Helion, Oracle Cloud, and CenturyLink Cloud to the CloudBolt platform, enterprise IT customers have a wider range of locations where they can configure and publish capacity through the CloudBolt Service Catalog, including new locations in Canada, India, Italy, and Mexico. This new version also expands CloudBolt's existing support for standards-based cloud technologies like OpenStack.


Thanks again to Jon Mittelhauser, CEO of CloudBolt, for taking time out to speak with and answer a few questions.

Published Thursday, October 29, 2015 6:35 AM by David Marshall
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