Cloud and hosting provider Rackspace is announcing today on its earnings call that it’s participating in an $800,000 seed round for a new startup called ScaleFT.
The startup is building tools that can help companies’ operations teams securely manage cloud infrastructure: a tool for providing multi-factor authentication for logging into servers, a service for tracking activity on servers, and an audit-friendly service for sharing “secrets” such as passwords.
“We basically want to help operations teams that log into servers find recurring problems through capturing the context of what goes on, so that they can automate the fixing of those problems,” said Jason Luce, who is leaving Rackspace after seven years there to be ScaleFT’s chief executive. “What happens when you’re able to do that … you end up with less problems. And less problems are what helps teams scale.”
Rackspace itself could use these services as it manages servers on behalf of its customers in its current managed cloud strategy, Luce said in an interview with VentureBeat. CoreOS, a startup that sells a server operating system and other products, is also looking forward to trying these services, Luce said.
The tools from ScaleFT could potentially help Rackspace’s operations people do their work more efficiently — and they could also come in handy for other companies.
“These things exist, but they only exist at the biggest sort of web companies,” Luce said. “There’s no commercial option.” Now the ScaleFT team is going to work to build these tools outside of Rackspace, but with a blessing from the highest-ranking Rackers and money from the company as well.
The team is currently working out of the CoreOS office in San Francisco’s Mission District. The funding will allow ScaleFT to bring aboard two or three more engineers before the end of 2015, Luce said.
The ScaleFT services will be available as on-premises or cloud-based software, said Luce, who has been involved with Rackspace acquisitions of companies like Slicehost and Jungle Disk.
Rackspace is the only institutional investor backing ScaleFT. Other investors in the seed round include Cloudkick cofounders Dan Di Spaltro and Alex Polvi. Polvi is cofounder and chief executive of CoreOS.