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Startup ClusterHQ isn’t really concerned with accumulating revenue right now. And yet, investors have just given the startup $12 million.

That’s because ClusterHQ is currently trying to become a leading startup in the nascent movement to package up application code inside of Linux containers — a supplement or alternative to longstanding virtual machine technology for running multiple applications on top of each physical server. Containers are perceived to be more lightweight than virtual machines, and several companies have begun to adopt the technology.

A startup called Docker is at the helm of the container movement. But not all application components can easily be run from containers and then moved around from one server to another. Databases in particular can be tricky for the container model, and that’s what ClusterHQ is focused on.

Chief executive Mark Davis wants to increase the adoption of an open-source tool called Flocker that ClusterHQ came out with last year. Commercialization would presumably be the next step. In the meantime, ClusterHQ is focusing on building lots of new features into Flocker, including the ability to relocate a container with a database from one server to another without any downtime.

Davis believes ClusterHQ is the only startup concerning itself with data management for containers. But that might not last long.

“I know other people are thinking about this problem,” Davis told VentureBeat in an interview. “It’s too big and obvious a problem for us to be the only ones who are working on it.”

Davis’ last startup, Virsto, got bought by VMware in 2013.

ClusterHQ started in 2008 and pivoted to focus on Docker last year. Its headquarters is Davis’ spare bedroom in Los Altos, California. Most of the startup’s employees work in the English city of Bristol.

Accel Partners led the new round. Canaan Partners and previous investors also participated. To date ClusterHQ has raised $15 million.


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