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, 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.
Rackware today announced the finalization of $2.3M in funding that brings the total capital raised by the Santa Clara-based cloud management company to $7M. Today’s funding round was led by existing investors Kickstart Seed Fund and Osage Venture Partners. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and expand Rackware’s sales and marketing operations, including increased expansion to Europe, Middle East and Africa. The company’s Rackware Management Module allows customers to move physical workloads from datacenters into the cloud, or alternatively to move workloads between cloud vendors. Additionally, the platform delivers autoscaling functionality for on premise infrastructures that empowers customers to extend their datacenters to the cloud as needed. The current roster of cloud platforms supported by Rackware includes Amazon Web Services, NTT, IBM’s SoftLayer, CenturyLink, OpenStack, SunGard, CloudSigma, Rackspace and VMware. Rackware’s platform delivers an automated, push button approach to the migration of workloads to and between cloud platforms in ways designed to enhance IT infrastructure mobility and elasticity. As cloud adoption accelerates, particularly amongst enterprises that find themselves forced to confront the challenge of migrating legacy applications to the cloud, technologies such as Rackware’s are likely to encounter increased demand as organizations require and demand automated solutions for migrating workloads to and between cloud vendors.
On Monday, MapR Technologies announced the finalization of $110M in funding based on $80M in equity financing and $30M in debt financing. Google Capital led the equity funding in collaboration with Qualcomm Incorporated, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, NEA and Redpoint Ventures while MapR’s debt funding was financed by Silicon Valley Bank. The funding will be used to spearhead MapR’s explosive growth in the Hadoop distribution and analytics space as illustrated by a threefold increase in bookings in Q1 of 2014 as compared to 2013. Gene Frantz, General Partner at Google Capital, commented on Google Capital’s participation in the June 30 funding raise as follows:
MapR helps companies around the world deploy Hadoop rapidly and reliably, generating significant business results. We led this round of funding because we believe MapR has a great solution for enterprise customers, and they’ve built a strong and growing business.
Monday’s announcement comes soon after MapR’s news of its support for Apache Hadoop 2.x and YARN in addition to all five components of Apache Spark, the open source technology used for big data applications that specialize in interactive analytics, real-time analytics, machine learning and stream processing. The additional $110M in funding strongly positions MapR with respect to competitors Cloudera and Hortonworks given that Cloudera recently raised $900M and Hortonworks finalized $100M in funding. The news of MapR’s $110M funding also coincides with a recent statement from Hortonworks certifying the compatibility of YARN with Apache Spark as part of a larger announcement about the integration of Spark into the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) alongside its Hadoop security acquisition XA Secure and Apache Ambari for the provisioning and management of Hadoop clusters. With a fresh round of capital in the bank and backing from Google, the creators of MapReduce, MapR signals that the battle for Hadoop market share features a three horse race that is almost certain to intensify as vendors compete to streamline and simplify the operationalization of Big Data. In the meantime, Big Data-related venture capital continues to flow like water bursting out of a fire hydrant as the Big Data space tackles problems related to big data analytics, streaming big data and Hadoop security.
Cloud management and data center infrastructure automation vendor Egenera recently announced the launch of Virtul Machine Instance (VMI) technology that enables the provisioning of physical and virtual servers in addition to its subsequent management. Egenera’s newly released VMI instances technology is enabled by its integration with the open source XenServer platform and allows Egenera customers to use its PAN Manager product to provision and manage XenServer-based virtual machines. The launch of Egenera’s VMI instances technology as part of its PAN Manager platform positions it to offer cloud management services to a more varied ecosystem of infrastructures as illustrated by the “XenServer VM” component of the graphic below:
Egenera’s PAN Cloud Director already supports the management of cloud infrastructures that leverage VMware’s vSphere and Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor. In addition, the PAN Cloud Director enables customers to manage Amazon Machine Instances-based machines deployed on the Amazon Web Services Elastic Cloud Compute platform. As told to Cloud Computing Today in a phone interview with Egenera’s VP of Marketing, John Humphreys, Egenera plans to extend the purview of the PAN Cloud Director platform to cloud infrastructures based on the KVM hypervisor as well as Windows Azure and Verizon Terremark. Last week’s VMI instances announcement builds upon a recent capital raise of $16M led by Comvest Partners that Egenera intends to use to accelerate its sales and marketing and product development initiatives. As hybrid cloud infrastructures increasingly become the de facto cloud deployment model, technologies such as Egenera’s PAN Cloud Manager and PAN Cloud Director are likely to transition from being “useful” to “necessary” for purposes of automating and streamlining IT infrastructure management spanning varied cloud and on premise infrastructures that leverage a range of virtualization platforms.