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Start-Up ClusterHQ Shutting Down

"It's often the pioneers who end up with arrows in their backs," said CEO Mark Davis.

ClusterHQMark Davis, chairman and CEO of ClusterHQ, posted this article on December 22, 2016 on company’s web site:


When Flocker 0.1 was launched in early August 2014, shortly after the inaugural DockerCon, we were about the only people talking about stateful containers.

ClusterHQ were the first to say that ‘container data management’ was essential for containers to reach their full flowering (if it can be said that containers might flower). We were the first vendor in this space to deliver production-hardened code that solved real problems for DevOps.

Nowadays, seems like everybody is talking about stateful containers. Who will ever forget that intense 4 1/2 minutes on containerized databases in the 2nd Trump-Clinton debate? Yeah, we were definitely on to something. We were proud to be first.

Unfortunately, it’s often the pioneers who end up with arrows in their backs. And sometimes, archery injuries are self-inflicted.

For a confluence of reasons, the ClusterHQ board of directors, of which I am chairman, have decided it best to immediately shut down company operations.

We are proud of many accomplishments, not least of which is leaving behind an outstanding body of open source software which is actively used by many in the container ecosystem.

Along the way to today, ClusterHQ, and its antecedent instantiations, have benefited from many friends, fans, and hard-working supporters. I called these ‘Friends of ClusterHQ’ by the sobriquet ‘FoCkers’. To all the employees, customers, users, investors, advisors, partners, competitors, consultants, analysts, and vendors who helped us – there are thousands of you, and you know who you are – please accept our enduring, deeply felt gratitude.

I’ve been part of big successes as well as failures. While the former are more pleasurable, the latter must be relished as a valuable part of life, especially in Silicon Valley. The big successes are literally impossible without the many failures. Take a moment to think about that.

Philosophical and evolutionary economic ruminations aside, it is deeply disappointing to be at this juncture. It hurts.

All human endeavors are risky. Start-ups are especially so, with failure their most likely end. Still, we hope and strive for better. Here’s to meeting again soon, on another mission of hoping and striving.


ClusterHQ, with headquarters in SF, CA, and office Los Altos, CA was involved in the container DevOps ecosystem.

The company announced Flocker 0.1, the container solution for reliably running databases, key-value stores and queues inside Docker containers in August 2014.

Firm's flagship product, FlockerHub, launched in November 2016, is like GitHub for data. Just like you can use GitHub to store, share and organize your code, you can use FlockerHub to store, share and organize your Docker data volumes.

The company, founded in 2008, raised $1 million in seed round in 2013, and then $12 million in 2015 in a series A round led by led by Accel Partners London, with participation from Canaan Partners and existing investors Eden Ventures, Episode1, DN Capital, EC1Capital and Firestartr.

Mark Davis, CEO since 2014, succeeding founding CEO Luke Marsden who continued as CTO and head of product, was formerly founder and former CEO of software-defined storage vendor Virsto Software and led the company through three rounds of venture capital funding prior to its acquisition by VMware in 2013. He previously served as CEO of Creekpath Systems through its acquisition by Opsware (now HPE), and held VP positions at several start-ups, including Evolve Software where he was a key player in an IPO and ConvergeNet Technologies where he was instrumental in its $340 million acquisition by Dell. Before beginning his career in venture-backed start-ups, he was a marketing executive at StorageTek, Sun Microsystems and Oracle.