When it comes to cloud computing, most Fortune 500 companies will embrace a hybrid approach: with server hardware, software applications, storage capacity and networking services spread between their own data centers and multiple service providers as appropriate.
Radical new virtualization technology from stealthy startup Bracket Computing makes those boundaries seamless, so computing workloads can be moved around more easily and processed wherever it makes the most sense from a cost or resource perspective.
“When you have a million servers at your disposal, you have the appearance of an infinite resource,” says Bracket CEO Tom Gillis, part of the founding team at security firm Ironport Systems, which was acquired for $830 million by Cisco Systems (CSCO) in 2007. “Our question to ourselves was: can we build a layer that could present applications with highly reliable and secure performance?”
Founded in 2011, Bracket officially launches this morning with more than $85 million from strategic corporate investors GE (GE) and Qualcomm (QCOM), along with Andreessen Horowitz, Norwest Venture Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures, ARTIS Ventures, and Allegis Capital.
Called the Computing Cell, Bracket’s technology isolates applications along with their associated data and other services needed to run them. Each cell can “float” across multiple cloud services, allowing businesses to keep tighter controls on service levels or, perhaps, on costs. Bracket also orchestrates the contracts with cloud service providers. “This isn’t theoretical, we’re in production with a small set of customers, most of them are Fortune 500,” Gillis says.
One large media company, for example, uses Bracket to smooth out the performance of its customer-facing relationship management applications when visitor traffic peaks, something that happens sporadically depending on events scheduled in a particular time period. The alternative? Sign expensive contracts for cloud computing capacity that mainly sits unused until these usage peaks occur.
An early customer who advised Bracket’s direction was The Blackstone Group. Notes Josh Scherzer, senior vice president of technology at the global investment firm: “We think that companies will want to leverage the flexibility of the public cloud in addition to their private cloud systems, and we worked with Bracket on technology that provides the security and controls that companies will require to do just that. We feel this dynamic hybrid public-private architecture will help companies facilitate movement of their systems into the public cloud.”
Bracket’s press release skips mentioning which “hyperscale” cloud services technology supports at launch, but Gillis says beta tests involved Google Compute Engine and Amazon Web Services. “It will span the major providers.”
This item first appeared in the Oct. 22 edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the business of technology. Sign up here.