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9 hot technology startups to watch in 2012

Brad Reed | Jan. 6, 2012
Nine networking and IT startups that could hit the big-time in 2012.

If you're anything like the vast majority of people in the world, you don't want to spend time building up your cloud infrastructure 100% from scratch. That's why OpDemand has designed several different templates to help customers build their own cloud-based services and applications, including infrastructure services, databases, MySQL and Wordpress apps. Gabriel Monroy, OpDemand's co-founder and CTO, says that users should think of OpDemand as a provider that gives them more control over their underlying infrastructure than typical PaaS vendors.

"We're operating under the idea that although people don't want to worry about their underlying infrastructure, they don't want to give up control of it either," explains Monroy, who has a background in cloud consulting. "Lack of control is why platform as a service is a nonstarter for most companies."

OpDemand's Command & Control (C2) service initially is available only for users willing to run their software on Amazon Web Services.

Nithin Meppurathu, the founder of, recently used OpDemand to build his company a PHP LAMP stack in short order.

"I have better things to do with my time that learn the nuances of cloud-specific administration," he says. "Yet, I am not comfortable using PaaS because I want to control my relationship with Amazon and have the freedom to work with raw infrastructure when necessary."

OpDemand is currently in public beta, and available for free. It is slated for release in the first quarter.


Founded: 2011 CEO: Donald Fischer, a principal at Greylock Partners and a former Red Hat VP Headquarters: Menlo Park, Calif.Funding: $3 million in Series A funding from Greylock Partners

Let's say you've built a mobile application that's taken off like gangbusters and is being downloaded and used by thousands of new users each day. Your app's success has caught you by surprise and you quickly find that its performance isn't keeping up as more and more people use it. What can you do to fix it?

Typesafe CEO Donald Fischer thinks he has the answer, since his company's primary mission is to help developers create applications that can effectively scale in a world where machines now have multicore processors and where applications now have to run on thousands of computers and on public clouds. The Typesafe software stack uses the open-source Scala programming language at its core while using the Akka platform for its middleware framework that serves "a similar role to traditional Java middleware."

As for Scala, Fischer notes that Twitter has been one of the programming language's biggest success stories in terms of giving it the ability to scale. Twitter's migration to Scala for its back-end message queue from Ruby has been one of the main reasons that the microblogging site has improved performance under increased traffic.


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