37fd7e1The 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Washington Technology Showcase and DealSource has come to an end after two exciting days, but we here at CGCS are just getting warmed up with great, conference-centric content!

Our editorial team recently spoke with Echo360 CEO and Technology Showcase participant Fred Singer, who discussed the rise of education technology across the nation. Today, we’re featuring our conversation with Dom Zippilli, Co-Founder and Director of Product Development at Luminal, a venture-backed software startup developing next-generation solutions for operating and maintaining cloud-based applications.

The first ever Washington Technology Showcase also featured presentations from a number of other innovative companies, such as All Trust Networks, APX Labs, Diamond Mind, DrFirst, Resonate, Fast Orientation, Haystax Technology, Higher Logic, Liquidity Services, Echo360, LemonFish, Tenable, VideoBlocks, and Zoomdata.

Here is what Mr. Zippilli had to say:

CGCS: Can you provide our readers some background on your company and its solutions? What products/services does the company sell? Who is your target customer?

Dom Zippilli: Luminal is a software startup developing Fugue, an operating system for cloud computing infrastructure. Fugue fully automates the creation, operations, and regeneration of infrastructure to simplify the operations and maintenance of complex distributed systems and pave the way for intrinsically secure computing. Fugue is immutable infrastructure, realized.

Luminal got its start by asking a simple question: How does nature achieve fidelity with complex biological systems? It does so by automating the mortality of short-lived system sub-components (cells) to ensure they stay true to their purpose and nothing else. In computing we have a similar challenge in that the longer a system component lives, the less it can be trusted. Configurations drift and unwanted changes occur. Malware can persist for months or years. Fugue addresses this by continuously and automatically replacing short-lived components with known-good versions without impacting performance.

Fugue is currently in beta on Amazon Web Services and is designed for customers managing dynamic, distributed applications in the cloud, whether commercial or government. It runs inside the customer’s security boundaries and creates and operates instances, load balancers, networks, security groups, and Virtual Private Clouds. Fugue can remove the need for human intervention in the runtime environment and doesn’t require trading away security for convenience or savings.

CGCS: What challenges do your customers face that your products and solutions help overcome?

Dom Zippilli: Cloud computing is great because it liberated us from the physical and financial constraints of the traditional datacenter. But the cloud has brought a whole new level of complexity as applications have become distributed and highly dynamic. What was ten servers can now be hundreds or thousands of virtual instances, scaling up and down to meet demand. Deployment frequency has gone from weeks to days, or sometimes hours. The tools and processes we used in the datacenter are insufficient to the task of managing this complexity and constant change.

We’re building Fugue because the cloud needs an infrastructure-level operating system. It automatically addresses configuration drift, infrastructure quality issues like noisy neighbors, and unauthorized changes to security group policies. It enables the adoption of immutable infrastructure, which dictates that you don’t change things, but rather replace them. It greatly simplifies infrastructure operations by fully automating the runtime environment.

Fugue allows customers to have a better and easier experience with infrastructure than ever before. You can simply write a short program in our easy-to-use DSL, Ludwig, and then run it to deploy, maintain, and operate your entire infrastructure stack, along with your application.

CGCS: What market trends are impacting the demand for your product/service?

Dom Zippilli: Public cloud adoption will only increase as the need for scalable on-demand computing infrastructure grows. Immutable infrastructure patterns are popular, but tooling to enable them is largely hand-rolled. Agile methodologies such as Continuous Deployment are a subset of the larger public cloud trend. Fugue is designed to ensure computing infrastructure is as agile and dynamic as the applications that run on it.

CGCS: What do you view as your largest business challenge of 2015 and beyond? How is the company positioning itself to overcome them?

Dom Zippilli: We’re growing our team quickly and we expect this to continue through 2015. We’re thrilled with the team we’ve brought together, but it’s no easy task. Finding and recruiting the best talent is and will be our biggest challenge over the next year. We’re leveraging every resource we have, including our personal and professional networks, online services, and, in some cases, we’re hiring professionals to help with the search.


CGCS: What drew you to participate in the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference? What do you think the company can get out of its participation? What can attendees gain from your participation?


Dom Zippilli: There’s so much innovation happening in the Mid-Atlantic region and much of that will be represented at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference. We’re excited to meet and learn from others in attendance and have the opportunity to share what we’re working on at Luminal.


Check back in the coming weeks for coverage of the 21st Mid-Atlantic Growth Conference, Washington Technology Showcase and DealSource, including video from the two Keynote presentations and the Technology Showcase.