Nebula to Democratize Web-scale Cloud Computing

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Former NASA CTO launches start-up; assembles team from NASA, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.


Former NASA CTO launches start-up funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Highland Capital Partners; assembles team from NASA, Google, Amazon and Microsoft

PORTLAND, Ore.-- Wednesday July 27, 2011 -- Nebula, launched today by a team of engineers and entrepreneurs from industry tech giants and led by former NASA CTO Chris C. Kemp, announced plans for a turnkey OpenStack hardware appliance that will shift the fundamental economics of computing by allowing businesses to easily, securely and inexpensively deploy large private cloud computing infrastructures from thousands of inexpensive computers with minimal effort.

“Until today, this computing power has only been accessible to organizations like NASA and a small number of elite Silicon Valley companies,” said Kemp, CEO of Nebula. “We intend to bring it to the rest of the world.”

Seeded by Google’s first investors Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Ram Shriram, Nebula has secured venture financing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Highland Capital Partners.

“Nebula will disrupt and democratize cloud computing,” said John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “As original creators of OpenStack, this team has the unique expertise to deliver simplicity, scale, speed and low cost for enterprise cloud computing.”

From social network data feeds and output from next-generation gene sequencers to sensors spreading like wildfire throughout manufacturing supply chains, the amount of data being generated and processed by companies is growing at rates far exceeding processing and storage capacities. Analyzing these massive data sets for insights has ushered in a host of new innovations in the field of big data analytics.

Cloud computing is widely regarded as the infrastructure solution for big data analytics and a range of other computing needs. But the barriers to adoption have been high. Companies today choose between accepting the high costs and risks associated with public cloud computing services, buying yesterday’s most expensive technology and integrating it at their own expense, or attempting to hire an elite team of technologists to cobble together dozens of open source technologies and commodity hardware into a proprietary solution. Nebula levels the playing field by delivering a fully supported large-scale computing platform with a turnkey device that automatically configures a private cloud in minutes.

Nebula incorporates and builds on OpenStack, the open source, standards-based cloud platform being used at NASA and other large cloud service providers.

“Nebula embracing OpenStack today is similar to Sun embracing Berkeley UNIX in the 1980s,” said Andy Bechtolsheim. “Proprietary systems did not have a chance against open platforms. I see Nebula as the company that will bring OpenStack to the private enterprise cloud.” In addition to supporting standard commodity servers from today’s enterprise vendors, Nebula will support Facebook’s Open Compute platform, enabling enterprises to deploy highly efficient and inexpensive servers with a simplicity that will dramatically lower the adoption barrier to private cloud computing.

Nebula is rapidly expanding its operations and building its team, which includes co-founders Steve O’Hara and Devin Carlen, OpenStack pioneers, and top engineers and executives formerly with Google, NASA, Amazon, Disney, Dell, Anso Labs, Rackspace and Microsoft. Product trials with leading energy, finance, biotech and media companies are expected to begin in Q4 2011. To learn more about Nebula’s product, career and pilot opportunities, please visit

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