Sonoa appliance knits APIs and Cloud together

Enterprise IT looks at the emergence of cloud computing with mixed emotions. On the one hand, financial tough times breed layoffs, consolidation, and outsourcing away from IT’s control. On the other, a new breed of cloud-aware managers look to rationalize the metrics, security, and regulation challenges a distributed model brings. In the middle are companies such as Sonoa Systems, who just announced the closing of a $10 million Series C round of funding, led by Third Point Ventures with current investors Norwest Venture Partners, Bay Partners and SAP Ventures.

Sonoa sits in the middle of the API party, with a $50,000 box that proxies and manages a company’s cloud computing services. The ServiceNet appliance, or a virtual VMWare image for those who have their own hardware at $30K, lets IT manage customers of a company’s APIs with a single policy management system located at the edge of the enterprise. The product provides a library of out-of-the-box policies for content-based metering, profile-based access control, credential mediation, protocol interoperability, and governance, security, compliance, and audit tools.

This allows IT granular visibility into traffic spikes, provides tools to shape API access to specific partners at mandated SLAs, and removes development bottlenecks with a single declarative 15 minute installation of policies that work across multiple APIs. A policy could enforce rate limiting based on customer relationships, set rules to cache credentials to save repeated SQL queries for static data, and manage load balancing requirements.

By year’s end, Sonoa will provide a Cloud version on a subscription model, bringing API consolidation to small businesses or those medium-sized companies with pilot projects with a defined lifetime. It’s an early but significant sign of how robust the cloud computing model is becoming, as IT now has the opportunity to embrace that which they fear and reassert control as APIs become the heart of our economic engine.