Former Microsoft Open-source Chief Joins Cloud Startup

Former Microsoft open-source chief Sam Ramji has joined cloud-computing startup Sonoa Systems, taking over product strategy and business development at the Santa Clara, California-based company.

In his last job at Microsoft, Ramji was responsible for fostering more interoperability and collaboration with the open-source community as head of its Platform Strategy Group. Last month he also took a position as interim president of the CodePlex Foundation, an open-source group formed out of his work at Microsoft. However, when the foundation and Ramji's role in it were unveiled, he said he was leaving Microsoft Sept. 25 to join a cloud-computing startup, though he did not specify which one.

Sonoa offers technology called ServiceNet that helps companies manage their cloud-based services by setting policies for them, acting as a proxy server between service providers and the consumers of those services. It also provides visibility, management and governance to make cloud services and the APIs (application programming interfaces) that connect to them as robust, policy-compliant and scalable as on-premise applications, according to the company's Web site.

In addition to ServiceNet, Sonoa also has released an analytics tool for API developers called Apigee as a free way to monitor and manage how their services are being accessed in the cloud. In an e-mail, a company spokesman compared the tool to Google Analytics.

Sonoa's customers include MTV and Guardian Insurance. Sonoa's CEO is a former BEA Systems executive, Chet Kapoor.

Microsoft has not named anyone to take Ramji's role but said when the CodePlex Foundation was unveiled that the Platform Strategy Group will remain intact and will continue to promote collaboration with and participation in open-source projects.

The foundation also was formed by Microsoft to inspire other proprietary software companies to participate more in the open-source community, though eventually it is meant to be run as an independent group.

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