Cloud Management startup Scalr dips its toes in France


File:Scalr Logo.png
Scalr, a rapidly growing and profitable startup in the cloud management space, is looking to expand in France and elsewhere in Europe. As their founders and many of their employees are, in fact French or hail from other European countries, expanding outside the States is really more of a ‘coming home’ experience for them.
Scalr was originally started in 2008 as a personal open source project by French, Danish and American Sebastian Stadil.  After the project was positively received by users and the tech press, most notably Tech Crunch and CNET, Stadil decided to partner with Ukraine based Igor Savchenko (their CTO) and transition Scalr from a project to a viable business.  The objective of Scalr was, and still continues to be, to deliver open source cloud management software for both the public and private cloud that allows system administrators to optimize and automate the management of their services in the cloud.  The main feature of their offer is scaling, which enables administrators to scale up or down their server capacity based on demand any particular period in time and ensure that any information on servers taken off-line is still accessible.  Scalr supports various cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services and Rackspace on the public cloud side (with Google Compute Engine coming soon) and CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and Nimbula on the private cloud side. Here’s a great little video that lays out what they do:
Scalr views their principal competitor in this space to be the (heavily funded) Rightscale.  However, as Scalr is open source, offers both low and high touch solutions for customers (including consulting services), and has a more affordable and flexible pricing model (ranging from $199 for 5 servers to $2,400 for 80+ servers), they have been able to effectively compete and win vs Rightscale on some notable deals.
Scalr has now grown considerably since it’s founding with thousands of customers, ranging from startups to large companies (i.e. Samsung, Accenture and Walt Disney). They’re currently based in San Francisco, but as Savchenko is in the Ukraine, they have their developers and engineers there.  However, they’re now at the stage in their development where they are actively looking for opportunities outside the States.  France is a natural fit for them, firstly because their founder as well as a few of their employees are French.  In addition, as their Silicon Valley/SF based, they anticipate that they will continue to face challenges in hiring and retaining developer / engineer resources due to the shortage and increasingly high cost of this type of talent. So, eventually looking to a country like France that Stadil knows has solid engineering talent makes a lot of sense.
Before doing a full-out launch in France, Scalr’s management decided to task their Head of Marketing Michel Galibert with exploring the opportunity here, starting with identifying potential resellers and partners in France’s cloud computing space.  Galibert is also taking a closer look at Numergy and Cloudwatt to see if they might eventually be good source of partnership opportunities for startups/SMEs such as Scalr.  Although there has be a lot of debate in France around this, Gailbert is encouraged by Cloudwatt’s recent announcement of a couple partnerships with French SMEs, most notably OpenStack champion eNovance.
If you’re a potential partner/reseller or customer, are a Scalr fan, and/or are simply interested in learning more about Scalr, make sure to get in contact with Michel Galibert (