All posts in “containers”

BoxLock secures your booty against porch pirates

This clever – if expensive – product is called the BoxLock and it is a keyless padlock that lets your package delivery person scan and drop off your packages into a locked box. The system essentially watches for a shipping event and then waits for the right barcode before opening. Once the delivery person scans the package, the lock opens, the delivery person sticks the package in a box or shed (not included) and locks it back up. You then go and grab your package at your leisure.

The lock costs $129.

The company appeared on everyone’s favorite show, Shark Tank, where they demonstrated the system with a fake door and fake UPS dude.

The internal battery lasts 30 days on one charge and it connects to your phone and house via Wi-Fi. While the system does require a box – it’s called BoxLock, after all, not LockBox – it’s a clever solution to those pesky porch pirates who endlessly steal my YorkieLoversBox deliveries.

Twistlock snares $33 million Series C investment to secure cloud native environments

As the world shifts to a cloud native approach, the way you secure applications as they get deployed is changing too. Twistlock, a company built from the ground up to secure cloud native environments, announced a $33 million Series C round today led by Iconiq Capital.

Previous investors YL Ventures, TenEleven, Rally Ventures, Polaris Partners and Dell Technologies Capital also participated in the round. The company reports it has received a total of $63 million in venture investment to date.

Twistlock is solving a hard problem around securing containers and serverless, which are by their nature ephemeral. They can live for fractions of seconds making it hard track problems when they happen. According to company CEO and co-founder Ben Bernstein, his company came out of the gate building a security product designed to protect a cloud-native environment with the understanding that while containers and serverless computing may be ephemeral, they are still exploitable.

“It’s not about how long they live, but about the fact that the way they live is more predictable than a traditional computer, which could be running for a very long time and might have humans actually using it,” Bernstein said.

Screenshot: Twistlock

As companies move to a cloud native environment using Dockerized containers and managing them with Kubernetes and other tools, they create a highly automated system to deal with the deployment volume. While automation simplifies deployment, it can also leave companies vulnerable to host of issues. For example, if a malicious actor were to get control of the process via a code injection attack, they could cause a lot of problems without anyone knowing about it.

Twistlock is built to help prevent that, while also helping customers recognize when an exploit happens and performing forensic analysis to figure out how it happened.

It’s is not a traditional Software as a Service as we’ve come to think of it. Instead, it is a service that gets installed on whatever public or private cloud that the customer is using. So far, they count just over 200 customers including Walgreens and Aetna and a slew of other companies you would definitely recognize, but they couldn’t name publicly.

The company, which was founded in 2015, is based in Portland, Oregon with their R&D arm in Israel. They currently have 80 employees. Bernstein said from a competitive standpoint, the traditional security vendors are having trouble reacting to cloud native, and while he sees some startups working at it, he believes his company has the most mature offering, at least for now.

“We don’t have a lot of competition right now, but as we start progressing we will see more,” he said. He plans to use the money they receive today to help expand their marketing and sales arm to continue growing their customer base, but also engineering to stay ahead of that competition as the cloud-native security market continues to develop.

Hasura snares $1.6M seed for developer-focused Kubernetes solution

Kubernetes has gained in popularity quickly over the last 18 months, but like many highly technical solutions it requires a level of expertise many companies are lacking. A Bangalore/San Francisco startup called Hasura hopes to simplify all of that with a managed Kubernetes solution built with developers in mind.

Today, the company announced a $1.6 million seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from GREE Ventures.

Kubernetes is a tool that helps companies running containers juggle or orchestrate them. This level of organization is required because the number of containers can grow quickly. If you think of a conductor telling the musicians when to come in and when to leave, Kubernetes plays a similar role for the container system. (For a more complete explanation of containers, see this article.)

The company has focused on getting developers up to speed with the latest technologies quickly. “Our focus from the beginning has been making the application development super fast. How we do that is placing our APIs on top of a PostGres database to deploy any kind of code,” Tanmai Gopal, Hasura CEO and co-founder explained.

Gopal says the idea is to be more than a managed Kubernetes provider by giving developers the tooling they need to get going without having to build the underlying code for every application. “We are going to be the last mile. We’re not just managing the Kubernetes cluster for you. You should have Kubernetes to have control [over your containerized applications], but you also need developer tooling to build on top of it faster,” he said. “We want to automate the unnecessary code writing kind of grunt work. We started off by saying, ‘let’s automate this piece so you don’t have to write this code again’,” he added.

Once they wrote that piece, they realized that this is relevant because this approach enables cloud native in way that wasn’t possible before. “We suddenly realized we were in the right place at the right time, and part of it was luck,” Gopal admitted. It was also skill in providing a set of tools developers could use to build on top of Kubernetes.

Sameer Brij Verma, managing director at lead investor Nexus Venture Partners sees Kubernetes quickly becoming a foundational technology for developers and Hasura is providing a way to get up and running with little expertise. “Using Hasura’s platform, developers can now create cloud-native, portable and “elastic” applications within a few minutes without knowing anything about Kubernetes in the beginning,” Verma said in a statement.

The company launched last year and is split between Bangalore, India and San Francisco.