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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Quali Talks CloudShell VE and More Ahead of #VMworld 2017

interview-quali-cloudshellve 

Quali is a venture-funded startup based in Santa Clara, California, with a focus on enterprise software for cloud and DevOps automation.  The company's flagship software product, CloudShell, delivers on-demand, self-service IT environments accelerating strategic IT initiatives across any cloud - public, private or hybrid.

VMblog recently interviewed Quali CMO Shashi Kiran ahead of the VMworld conference that Quali will be participating in.  In this Q&A, Kiran talks about new products from Quali, including the new CloudShell VE and he explains the benefits of these on-demand, self-service virtualized sandbox environments, and how they are being applied across various business use cases today.

VMblog:  How do you describe cloud sandboxes and what do your customers use them for?

Kiran:  You can think of cloud sandboxes as on-demand, self-service environments that originate as blueprints. These blueprints are templates for environments that can be quickly customized and offered up by IT or infrastructure administrators to developers and testers via self-service catalogs to vastly speed up IT initiatives. Sandboxes give dev/test teams holistic access to real-world production-like environments. Users can model, orchestrate and deploy physical and virtual infrastructure, applications, data, test and performance tools, and service APIs to understand how their software applications will perform in the real world. Customers use Quali to increase productivity, cut down time to market with automation and to empower their dev/test teams to move faster with reduced risk.

VMblog:  What types of companies make up your customer base?

Kiran:  We have a global customer footprint with over 300+ customers. Traditionally, these have been the public cloud providers, telcos, large enterprises and technology vendors. These include several of the Global 100 and the Fortune 500. Increasingly, we're penetrating the mid-tier enterprise. Lately we have seen good traction with financial services and healthcare customers that are aggressively embracing cloud, automation and DevOps.

VMblog:  Can you elaborate on your top use cases?

Kiran:  We have a few different use cases, all of which focus on serving up on-demand, self-service IT environments, albeit for different IT initiatives. Our top use case involves taking the IT lab, which is the epicenter of dev/test innovation and allowing for it to be converted into a cloud and accessed as a resource pool. Variants of this include being used for cyber ranges, i.e. on-demand security stacks built for cyber security and cyber testing, and also as environments that focus on SDN/NFV, demos, POCs, training, certification, etc.

A second use case pertains to private, hybrid cloud rollouts where we can build the current and target cloud environment to accelerate cloud adoption. 

Thirdly, we function as part of the DevOps lifecycle where we non-disruptively integrate with existing DevOps tools and we can help with continuous testing to accelerate the dev, test and staging phases, automating environment availability for each phase and increasing quality in the process.

Lastly, we help large companies build sandboxes for developer communities that have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Cisco and Huawei are the public references for us, but we have other such customers as well.

VMblog:  We understand you are announcing new product innovations at VMworld.  Could you elaborate?

Kiran:  Yes, we are announcing a flavor of CloudShell. We're calling this CloudShell VE (or Virtual Edition) and it is specifically tailored towards virtualized environments that don't necessitate integration with physical infrastructure. This complements our flagship CloudShell Pro offering which is geared towards offering a "full-stack" on-demand environment including integration with physical infrastructure. We expect CloudShell VE to get increased acceptance in purely virtualized environments.

VMblog:  Is CloudShell VE available on public clouds?

Kiran:  Yes, CloudShell VE is much the same as CloudShell Pro, which is architected to be deployed on private or public clouds. We have new customers now running this on VMware vCenter-based deployments, as well as public clouds like AWS and Azure.

VMblog:  So, is CloudShell VE available for immediate deployment?  Could you comment on the pricing?

Kiran:  CloudShell VE is very attractively priced for spinning up dynamic, on-demand environments quickly. For deployment on a single cloud, a starter pack with five concurrent licenses is priced at $1,500 per month. This includes a free three-month trial for the business intelligence package, as well as online training.

VMblog:  Would it be possible for customers to trial CloudShell VE?

Kiran:  Yes. As part of this launch, we are also announcing a trial version of CloudShell VE to qualified prospects that want to roll-up their sleeves and kick the tires on this product. While the trial is really meant to be a self-service activity, and the workflow is automated, we are still qualifying the requests for trial that come in to ensure there is a good use-case mapping and a frictionless experience. We expect that prospects and customers exposed to the trial will greatly understand the value of CloudShell VE.

VMblog:  Where can our readers find more information about CloudShell VE and sign-up for the trial?

Kiran:  We would encourage your readers to look up www.quali.com. Attendees of VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas and Jenkins World in San Francisco can visit the Quali booth and see CloudShell VE in action.

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Shashi Kiran 

Shashi Kiran is the CMO at Quali, a venture-funded startup. He has 20-plus years of experience in high-tech marketing. Previously he was the global head of marketing for Cisco's data center and cloud portfolio, overseeing a multi-billion-dollar business. He has worked at early stage venture-funded startups and frequently advises and mentors startups in the areas of cloud, security, software and collaboration applications. He is currently based in San Jose, California, and can be reached via Linkedin at www.linkedin.com/in/skiran.

Published Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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