This week, Ericsson acquired a majority stake in Apcera, a platform as a service vendor that enables organizations to control how applications are used in cloud computing environments. Apcera’s Continuum platform allows customers to monitor the usage of IT infrastructures, orchestrate application deployment and implement governance and security policies. The acquisition of Apcera promises to enhance the Ericsson platform by delivering cloud automation as well as security, governance and application management functionality that gives users more granular insight about the performance of their infrastructure and its constituent environment. Apcera’s technology takes aim at the rapidly emerging discipline of business processes dedicated to risk management, security and compliance by providing Ericsson customers with enhanced abilities to organize and delineate security and governance protocols as they relate to infrastructure components and applications. The acquisition constitutes a notable feather in Ericsson’s IaaS cap as it builds out its cloud portfolio to serve the needs of enterprise customers, many of whom are compelled to leverage audit, compliance and security protocols to satisfy the requirements of investors and state and federal regulatory agencies.
Cloud monitoring and analytics vendor Cloudyn today announced the finalization of $4M in funding in a capital raise led by Titanium Investments with additional participation from existing investor RDSeed. Cloudyn’s cloud monitoring solutions deliver actionable business intelligence that empowers cloud users to optimize the performance of their infrastructures. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and enable its cloud analytics platform to support more cloud infrastructure platforms. The uniqueness of Cloudyn’s platform consists in its ability to perform cloud monitoring across a variety of vendors and infrastructures. Although most cloud vendors provide a monitoring dashboard and user interface in conjunction with their IaaS platform, Cloudyn’s value proposition rests on its ability to provide cloud monitoring across multiple vendors and environments that include private, public and hybrid infrastructures. Currently supported cloud platforms include Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine and OpenStack as illustrated by the graphic below:
The screenshot above provides a comparison of OpenStack, GCE and AWS costs for a customer that has chosen to use all three vendors. As told to Cloud Computing Today in a phone interview with Cloudyn’s CEO Sharon Wagner, Microsoft Azure and VMware represent key priorities for integration into Cloudyn’s monitoring and optimization platform based on customer interest and feedback. To date, Cloudyn monitors 8% of customer expense on AWS in addition to year over year revenue growth in excess of 400%, and a doubling of revenue for six consecutive quarters. Today’s funding raise brings the total capital raised by Cloudyn to $5.3M. With an extra $4M in the bank, expect Cloudyn to expand its 2400+ customer base significantly, particularly if it manages to notably expand its range of supported IaaS platforms.
Note: Data in the above screenshot does not represent an actual comparison of OpenStack, AWS and GCE costs and should be understood as sample data only.
Last week, DataStax announced the finalization of $106M in Series E funding in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The funding raise featured participation from new investors ClearBridge Investments, Cross Creek Advisors, Wasatch Funds, PremjiInvest and Comcast Ventures. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Scale Venture Partners also contributed to the funding raise. DataStax has now raised a total of $190M, inclusive of a $45M capital raise in July 2013. The funding raise brings DataStax’s valuation to over $830M and positions it strongly to implement an IPO within the next two years.
DataStax delivers enterprise-grade distributed database platforms based on the open source project Apache Cassandra. Emil Eifrem, founder and CEO of Neo Technology, reflected on the significance of DataStax’s recent funding raise as follows:
The new investment in DataStax highlights the value of data and the operational tools for processing it in realtime. The old NoSQL umbrella term for alternative databases is now clearly fragmenting into a few distinct product categories: document, column-family/key-value and graphs. Significant investments in companies like DataStax ($106M), MongoDB ($150M–the largest round ever for a database company) and Couchbase ($60M) over the last year validates how important alternative databases are for most software today– and for all software tomorrow.
Here, Eifrem positions DataStax within the NoSQL category of “alternative databases” amongst the likes of MongoDB and Couchbase, both of which can also claim the distinction of significant capital raises over the last year. Eifrem notes how the investment in DataStax validates the importance of real-time data processing performed by “alternative databases” that fall into the categories of document, key-value or graph. Because DataStax delivers database technology that can run on low-cost hardware, it poses a significant competitive threat to Oracle, whose database management systems are associated with higher end hardware infrastructures. DataStax’s Chief Customer Officer Matt Pfeil noted that “roughly 80 percent of our opportunities are Oracle replacement” in an interview with Bloomberg that confirmed the market appetite for alternatives to relational database management systems. The bottom line here is that alternative databases are seeing increasing adoption in the enterprise and as such, represent the beginnings of a profound transformation in database management within the enterprise.
On Wednesday, PernixData announced the finalization of $35M in Series C funding in a round led by Menlo Ventures. The Series C funding raise also included the participation of individual investors in the form of Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, Jim Davidson, Managing Director at Silver Lake and Steve Luczo, CEO of Seagate Technology. PernixData’s revolutionary server-side flash storage technology allows customers to scale their storage infrastructure without adding hardware-based storage capacity. PernixData FVP delivers software-based scale-out storage capability based on the aggregation of RAM or flash for any virtualized application. PernixData’s disruptive scale-out technology enables IT administrators to decouple storage capacity from its underlying hardware infrastructure toward the end of scaling storage capacity without intrusive additions to storage hardware.
The announcement of PernixData’s Series C funding comes hot on the heels of the company’s July 31 news of quarter over quarter revenue growth of 42% in its first full fiscal year. To date, PernixData claims over 200 paying customers for its FVP product in more than 20 countries. With an extra $35M in the bank, PernixData lies poised to consolidate its impressive early traction in the use of serve side flash to improve storage scalability and performance. Expect PernixData to continue leading the revolution in the decoupling of storage capacity from hardware-based storage capacity as its flagship FVP product expands its market penetration and continues its maturation in collaboration with customer feedback. Existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, Lightspeed Ventures, Lane Bess, Mark Leslie and John Thompson also participated in today’s Series C round, which brings the total capital raised by PernixData to $62M.
Platform9 Emerges From Stealth With SaaS Interface For Creating Private Clouds And $4.5M In Series A Funding
Platform9, a Sunnyvale, CA-based company that helps organizations develop private clouds in minutes, emerged from stealth today. The company also announced the finalization of $4.5M in Series A funding from Redpoint Ventures. Platform9 delivers a SaaS platform that empowers users to spin up OpenStack-based infrastructures for purposes such as development, testing and production-grade application deployment. Customers can use Platform9’s SaaS interface to install an agent onto the servers selected for inclusion in the requisite private cloud environment. Platform9’s proprietary technology subsequently discovers and aggregates the designated infrastructure components to create a private cloud that can be accessed by users that have been granted requisite access privileges. Once the private cloud has been created, users can leverage dashboards such as the following to monitor their infrastructure:
Platform9 aims to enhance customer agility by providing select teams with the opportunity to provision and create infrastructures at will. Importantly, the platform features a set of constraints on the ability of users to create private clouds that correspond to user roles and responsibilities within the organization. In all, Platform9 attempts to bring the radical simplicity of the Amazon Web Services deployment model to the private cloud space within the enterprise by way of a platform that supports Docker, KVM and VMware vSphere technologies and additionally boasts all of the benefits specific to OpenStack’s interoperability and rich set of APIs. Founded by a team of veterans from VMware, the company plans to release its technology from Beta into general availability by the end of the year. Platform9’s focus on streamlining the deployment and management of private clouds amongst enterprise customers aims at a sweet spot within the cloud space that is likely to grow as organizations continue to choose to begin with private clouds before graduating to public cloud deployments.
PredictionIO today announces the finalization of $2.5M in funding in a capital raise whose investors include Azure Capital QuestVP, CrunchFund, Stanford StartX-Fund, Kima Ventures, IronFire, Sood Venture and XG Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and marketing and sales and operations for the company’s open source machine learning server for predictive analytics. PredictionIO aspires to fill the role in the predictive analytics space played by MySQL in the relational database space by delivering an open source platform that empowers data scientists to both leverage a pre-defined library of predictive algorithms as well as create new algorithms that they can either choose to contribute to the platform, or keep to themselves. Built using Scala, the PredictionIO platform supports JVM and Java-based code as well as backend Hadoop-based data. Typical use cases for PredictionIO’s technology include the production of personalized content and recommendation engines, as well as algorithms that predict the behavior of users and industries based on historical trends. Available through the Amazon Web Services marketplace or via download, Prediction IO already boasts an open source user community of over 4000 developers and undergirds predictive analytics in “hundreds” of applications across of variety of verticals. The platform fills a critical niche in the big data analytics space by delivering an open source platform as a service-like infrastructure for the development of predictive analytics. Importantly, PredictionIO empowers companies who cannot afford to hire quant-level data scientists to quickly develop and tweak predictive models using its guided, machine learning-based user interface. That said, much of the success of PredictionIO will depend on the richness and variety of its library of pre-configured predictive modeling algorithms, but its initial round of funding represents a promising start toward accelerating adoption and expanding the platform’s impressive list of existing libraries and relevance for various use cases.