Monday, April 14, 2008

Cassatt: The Green Data Center As A Step To Utility Computing

image ComputerWorld did a nice video interview with Bill Coleman, CEO of Cassatt Corporation, on the positioning of Cassatt as a "Green Data Center" software company as opposed to a "Utility Computing" software company. You should watch it. Some selected points raised by Bill include:

  • Cassatt is trying to build the company around what people are willing to buy today.
  • Cassatt is still a Utility Computing company. The Policy Management that we have built and is needed to do Active Power Management is the same as that needed to build a Utility Compute environment.
  • Cassatt has 25 Patents Pending (23 utility and 2 method patents - I hold one of the utility patents).
  • Inflection point in Utility Computing, going beyond Active Power Management, is 2009-2011.
  • This is a platform because it is the Policy Management Framework by which end user customers define their success in using IT.
  • The Web 2.0 stuff will be built out and there will be a huge bust - just like every decade there is a bust at the end of it.
  • During the whole next decade, utility computing will be proved, and we will have a huge consolidation of industries providing utility vanilla services.
  • What I want to be is the arms supplier. I want to pay all the utilities to take my software and run their systems, and I want to sell to the end users a policy management framework by which they succeed.

Back in 2003, Bill Coleman, Dave McAllister, and I wrote the Cassatt Business Plan that led to the Series A funding by Warburg Pincus. At that time, we wrote a 10-year business plan, which was pretty much unheard of - especially during the funding doldrums of 2002-2004. Cassatt was always set up as an unusual Silicon Valley startup, in that we knew it would take 10 years for the Utility Computing marketplace to play out. Most VC-funded startups need to get to an exit well before that time, else things get messy for the VC fund (as they start to shut it down). Warburg Pincus brought the long-term perspective to the table. Very unusual, and highly respected.

The next 5 years should be very interesting as Utility Computing slams with Platform As A Service (PaaS) slams with highly scalable/reliable systems. What Cassatt has built is not particularly "sexy", but Bill is right that there is a huge need for a Platform to facilitate all the complexity and heterogeneity. In essence, a Utility OS.

Disclaimer: I am Co-Founder, Founding EVP/CTO, and a shareholder of Cassatt Corporation.

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