San Diego Cloud Computing Startup Names Former AT&T CTO as CEO

9/13/12Follow @bvbigelow

LonoCloud, a San Diego-based startup that has developed a supra-platform for cloud computing, has named Hossein Eslambolchi, a former chief technology officer at AT&T, as CEO.

Eslambolchi, who was consulting with the founders, holds more than 1,000 granted and pending patents worldwide and is known for his expertise in IP network design and reliability, and related areas of Internet architecture. He also led AT&T Research Labs and served as a president of AT&T Research.

Eslambolchi succeeds Neil Senturia, the San Diego investor and entrepreneur, who initially served as CEO and assembled a $1.5 million funding round from angel investors. Senturia has assumed the role of executive chairman, and has continued to work full-time on strategy, finance, and business development for the company.

LonoCloud was founded last year around cloud computing technology conceived by Ingolf Krueger, an associate professor in computer science and engineering at UC San Diego. Krueger oversees the “Service-Oriented Software and Systems Engineering Laboratory” at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering, and specializes in the design and integration of large-scale software and systems engineering needed to create flexible, scalable next-generation computer systems.

LonoCloud President Tom Caldwell tells me he joined the company last summer from Cisco, where he was director of engineering. The company also recruited Marcus Kaltenbach from Google, where he was developing business-critical corporate applications on Google’s cloud infrastructure, and Greg Ricchiuti, who was vice president of corporate integration and business development at San Diego-based NextWave Wireless.

In an e-mail, Caldwell writes that he worked with Senturia and Ricchiuti in the late 1990s at Atcom/Info, a San Diego startup that was eventually acquired by Cisco as CAIS Internet.

“So we are back at it again with even a stronger bench of executives,” Caldwell writes. “Both our engineering team and the resulting software is the best I have seen in my career. Ingolf and Markus actually are college friends and both earned their Ph.D.s from UT Austin. Markus studied under the famous computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra at UT Austin.

“We first added Hossein as an advisor, then chief technical advisor, and now as CEO. He is an impressive person to work with and his rich leadership background and experience will propel our new venture LonoCloud into the mainstream of cloud computing.

“Having Ingolf and Markus as two experienced computer scientists leading our engineering team has produced an impressive next generation cloud federation.”

In a phone interview, Caldwell says LonoCloud’s technology will enable both private data centers and open-source cloud service providers to join together, creating a federation of cloud service providers with a host of provisions for scalability, fault tolerance, performance management, and information privacy and security. As he puts it, “Basically we will license our software and enable a channel of cloud solution providers to build ‘bullet-proof’ clouds.”

Senturia said in a phone interview that one reason he stepped aside was because the company needed a CEO with a deep understanding of Internet architecture. As an investor, he added, “I bet on the jockey, and the team is amazing; and I bet on the problem, and it’s a huge problem.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • ck209

    LONO!! what the heck is that? Either way, disregarding the looney name..it will be interesting to see which direction this company moves in. Overall, out of all of the cloud companies right now, I think 4sync is the best, they offer 15gb of free space compared to 5gb (dropbox, googledrive,etc)