CloudBolt Software administers your IT, no matter where it runs

Repeat after me: cloud computing is a huge, transformative thing, but not every company runs everything in the cloud. Most still have their own servers and client-server applications running, as well as god-knows-what in the cloud.

gigaom-structure-launchpad_badgeSo a tool that makes it easy for IT people to spin up jobs in their own server room or on Amazon(s amzn) Web Services could be a very big deal. That’s what CloudBolt Software promises. And it’s also why Gigaom selected CloudBolt as one of seven Structure Launchpad finalists for this year’s event, which takes place next month in San Francisco.

“We take an agnostic approach to customers’ IT infrastructure,” Justin Nemmers, CloudBolt’s EVP of marketing, said in an interview. The product works via connectors with popular configuration management tools including Puppet (see disclosure) and Chef, as well as management products from Hewlett Packard (HP Server Automation and Operations Orchestration) and VMware(s vmw) ( VMware vCenter Orchestrator.).

The company, which is based in Rockville, Maryland and has a development office in Portland, Oregon, has 11 employees — several of whom come from Red Hat(s rhat) and Hewlett-Packard(s hpq) via Loudcloud/Opsware. CloudBolt CEO John Menkart, for example, spent ten years at Opsware, then HP, before joining CloudBolt in 2012. He’s the sort of exec who “gets” the enterprise IT mindset, which should serve CloudBolt well.

CloudBolt’s ambitious goal is to help companies not just provision their IT — VMs, storage, etc. — and manage access to those assets, but also — and this is hugely important — to understand the costs associated with implementing and using said assets. Charge back remains a huge problem for most companies, Nemmers said.

The actual CloudBolt C2 deliverable is a downloadable OVF virtual appliance and a back-end MySQL database. “Our product is basically a web application with a connector that reaches into the APIs of the resources to be managed,” Nemmers added. The company built an abstraction layer that allows it to devise new connectors to cloud platforms, configuration managers, outside orchestration tools, bare metal hardware etc.

And customers can also build connections to nearly any API using CloudBolt’s Orchestration Hooks component.

While CloudBolt gets lumped into the overall cloud management category that includes services like RightScale, it most often competes with such products as VMware’s vCloud Automation, Nemmers noted.

Make sure to catch all seven Launchpad  finalists make their pitches at Structure in San Francisco next month.

CloudBolt  team members (from left) Thomas Hamlin, Chris Mitchell, Bernard Sanders, Reina Abolofia in Portland office.

CloudBolt team members (from left): Thomas Hamlin, Chris Mitchell, Bernard Sanders, and Reina Abolofia, in Portland office.

Disclosure: Puppet Labs is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.

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