The BizSpark startup of the day is Manjrasoft, based in Australia. Below you will find an interview with Dr. Rajkumar Buyya, Founder and CEO of Manjrasoft. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I am the founder and CEO of Manjrasoft Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia. Like any CEO of a startup company, I am actively involved in leading and managing several things such as research and development, business development and marketing, managing sales and finance, and creating and managing IP. Our flagship product Aneka Cloud Application Platform (CAP) for Cloud computing, developed under my leadership, has gained rapid acceptance and is being used by several commercial enterprises and academic institutions in many countries around the world.
What did you do before creating your company?
I have completed B.E and M.E in Computer Science and Engineering from Mysore and Bangalore Universities in India in 1992 and 1995 respectively; and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science and Software Engineering from Monash University, Australia in 2002. In my professional career, I have contributed to the creation of high-performance computing and communication system software for PARAM supercomputers developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), India.
Since 2002, I have been working for the University of Melbourne, Australia and currently serve as Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering; and Director of the Cloud Computing and Distributed Systems (CLOUDS) Laboratory. I have over 16 years of industrial and academic R&D experience in creating innovative software systems for Internet, Supercomputer, and Cloud computing applications. Software technologies for Grid and Cloud computing developed under my leadership have gained rapid acceptance and are in use at several academic institutions and commercial enterprises in 40 countries around the world.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Great - it’s terrific to have this partner network recognition for Manjrasoft. Recently we also received 2010 Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific "New Product Innovation Award” for our Aneka Cloud Management Platform. All these recognitions are a clear acknowledgement of Manjrasoft as a developer of innovate solutions for Cloud computing addressing the most complex challenges that application software development companies face in the Cloud environment while helping them adapt and achieve profitability.
What is your company’s mission?
In simple words, Manjrasoft’s mission is to develop “Solutions for Solving Problems Faster on Clouds”. That is, to transform Cloud computing by simplifying the development and deployment of elastic applications.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Since its launch in 2008, Manjrasoft is focused on the creation of innovative software technologies for simplifying the development and deployment of applications on enterprise or public Clouds. We developed a software system, called Aneka, which plays the role of Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) for Cloud Computing. Aneka supports various programming models and tools for rapid creation of applications and their seamless deployment on private or public Clouds. We recently enhanced Aneka technology to support integrated use of both private and public Clouds such as Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure wherein customers can seamlessly lease “extra” capability from public Clouds whenever their private Cloud is unable to meet their computing power requirements.
We sell our Aneka software technology to enterprises and research organizations and enable their creation of Cloud applications and their deployment on in-house Clouds. We partner with industry leaders such as Microsoft, HP, and Amazon to develop converged infrastructure. We integrate with Cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) providers to ensure the availability of Aneka platform on a PAYG-basis. This enables our customers to run their applications either on private or public Clouds. Thus proven flexibility and agility required for easy development and deployment of elastic and scalable applications on Clouds using multiple programming models at substantially lower cost of implementation and operation.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I have been working on the development of software systems for utility-oriented Internet computing systems such as Grids and Clouds for over 10 years. Development of applications and management of resources continues to be challenging in these utility-oriented computing systems. Existing technologies were primarily supporting a single programming model for application development and their deployment on a single platform i.e., either Windows or Unix-class operating environments. To overcome this bottleneck, we created an innovative software platform, Aneka, which supports multiple programming models for rapid creation of applications and their deployment over multiple computing environments in a seamless manner.
In domain of resource-intensive or high-performance computing applications, traditional application programming models such as MPI have largely remained inaccessible to many of today’s developers due to their complexity. We set out to build APIs that are object-oriented, simple and yet powerful enough to build applications rapidly and deploy them on in-house Data Centers or public Clouds. Our goal was simple, to empower developers of today using languages such as C#, C++, Java, Python, and Perl with the capacity to utilize vast computing power of Clouds or in-house networked computers for solving problems faster. While parallel programming APIs for multi-core systems exist, none is available for multi-computing that is comparable to what Aneka provides, i.e. programming support for Tasks, Threads, MapReduce and the ability to wrap legacy application components.
We did not however want to stop there. We wanted Aneka to provide a number of services that allow users to control, auto-scale, reserve, monitor and bill users for the resources used by the applications they write.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Recently, the company has received a Series A investment of $750,000 seed funding injection from $60 million investment fund managed by UniSeed, which is an Australian based private institutional investor. What’s exciting is that we’re now generating proceeds and our product Aneka has been making significant impact through integration with a number of enterprise businesses applications for clients such as China Southern Railways, educational & research organizations such as the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), India and several other Government institutes. We are certainly interested in talking to new investors who can provide us with a way to accelerate our business potential and growth. We are currently looking at an additional investment of over $3 million required for expanding our product portfolio and establishing offices in emerging economies such as India and China.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have 4 developers working on core Aneka product development. This is backed by a team of over 15 researchers from CLOUDS Lab at the University of Melbourne who results influence on some of our innovations. and delivery management. Karthik Sukumar is the Product Manager of the company, and he manages product delivery, customer, and vendor management. Business development and sales is managed by our consultants in China and India.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Yes, we’re are looking for a CEO candidate with proven experience in successful management of startup companies along with capital raising and attracting customers from Fortune 500 companies. We are also looking for consultants who can partner with us in growing business on revenue sharing basis.
We’re also looking for competent C# developers with a good understanding of Cloud Computing, design and Azure development later in 2011 to join our team in Melbourne and become a part of our success; I foresee the next round of recruitment during mid of 2011.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Aneka is a market-oriented Cloud development and management platform with rapid application development and workload distribution capabilities with support for multiple programming models. We built Aneka as an integrated Cloud Application Platform using .NET framework because of its robustness, as well as the seamless integration between all of the parts of our SDK and API’s.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
In this new age of IT industry where value creation and service delivery determine the market leaders and eventually impact who succeeds, Manjrasoft has delivered the most comprehensive solutions in helping the IT software development industry around the world to embrace technology trends, product differentiation, increased profitability and dramatically improve the course of software development on Clouds.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
Initial investment and operational cost is one of the important factors that drive developers for using open source. BizSpark has solved this problem completely, so that my decision alternative resolution could be made based on a technical stand point. I am glad that we have free access to all the Microsoft’s MSDN support and tools combined with the Bizspark partner networking initiative.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
The era of Cloud computing is an excellent time for young entrepreneurs to build solutions and application services and offer them to customers world-wide with minimal investment. If you have an idea for solving problems of Gen Y consumers, you need to move quickly and customers are waiting!
Who’s your role model?
There are a lot of people that come to mind but for instance I am a big fan of Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi;
Albert Einstein ("If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?")
Mahatma Gandhi ("Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I don't have it in the beginning.”)
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Manjrasoft is here to work with you and it wants to continue to be one of the world leaders in producing innovative solutions for Cloud computing. Download Aneka software and build a killer application for Cloud computing!