31. Nebula

Cloud command-and-control system for multiple servers

Chris Kemp, co-founder of Nebula.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Chris Kemp, co-founder of Nebula.

Founders: Chris Kemp, Steve O'Hara
CEO: Gordon Stitt
Date launched: 2011
Funding:
$28.5 million
Industries disrupted:
Enterprise Technology, Software, Tech Hardware
Disrupting: Amazon, Google, Microsoft
Competition: Egnyte, Nutanix, Pure Storage

Enterprise cloud computing may sound like a bit of a contradiction—after all, enterprise suggests internal locked-down systems, and the cloud is, well, the opposite. But that's exactly how Nebula bills itself. The Palo Alto, California-based company was started by Chris Kemp, a former chief information officer at NASA, to give companies the same cloud-computing power as giants such as Amazon and Google.

With nearly $30 million in venture funding from a platinum list of backers—including the trio of billionaires who made the first investment in Google and Comcast Ventures—the company introduced its first product, called Nebula One. The size of a 4-inch-tall pizza box, this piece of hardware essentially enables a company to tie together dozens of their traditional servers and consolidate their power for computing, storage and networking into one machine controlled by a single person and a mouse. This is possible because the technology is based on OpenStack (open source cloud-computing technology).

Read More FULL LIST: 2014 CNBC DISRUPTOR 50

Nebula charges companies $100,000 for Nebula One, a fraction of what systems have cost to date. The company says customers include financial services companies, government agencies, such as the Palo Alto Research Center, and a large undisclosed biotech firm.

On the company's disruptive impact:

"We will deliver the Web-scale, cloud-computing infrastructure that’s been enjoyed by a small number of elite Internet companies to every business in America." -Chris Kemp, Co-founder and chief strategy officer

Tech

Latest Special Reports

  • Innovative female entrepreneur examining prototype

    In an era of rapid technological advances and demographic change, how do legacy companies adapt, innovate and evolve? CNBC Evolve features iconic global companies and executives who are embracing change and transforming for the future.

  • working together

    CNBC Upstart 100 is a new original list of the bright young startups poised to become the great companies of tomorrow.

  • A look at 50 private companies set to reshape the business landscape.