Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Platform9 Raises Cash, Eyes Hybrid Cloud Deployments 

Platform9, the open-source tool vendor specializing in hybrid cloud services, announced a third round of funding this week as cloud frameworks such as OpenStack and Kubernetes gain traction among enterprises.

The Series C funding round that raised $22 million was led by Canvas Ventures and included new investor Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) along with existing investors Redpoint Ventures and Menlo Ventures. Platform9 has so far raised $36.5 million.

Founded in 2013 by a group of VMware (NYSE: VMW) veterans that include Madhura Maskasky and Bich Le, Platform9 said it would use the cash infusion to scale its cloud delivery model that leverages cloud frameworks such Fission, Kubernetes and OpenStack to simplify hybrid cloud deployments. The startup based in Sunnyvale, Calif., uses those and other open-source tools to help manage disparate infrastructure, including legacy, virtualized datacenters to public cloud deployments, according to Sirish Raghuram, the company's CEO.

Along with the steady shift to hybrid clouds, Platform9's business model also addresses deployment challenges poised by frameworks such as OpenStack. The company is a leading promoter of Omni, a collection of open-source extensions for OpenStack that provide standard APIs for managing hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure.

Platform9 is also catching the wave of popularity generated by the Google-backed Kubernetes container orchestration platform. Platform9 claims to be among the first cloud vendors to offer Kubernetes as a service for managing a range of cloud infrastructure.

It has also released a hybrid cloud product based on Fission, billed as the "fast server-less framework" for Kubernetes and considered by developers to be an ideal platform for combining server-less functions and conventional micro-services.

Platform9 currently manages more than 200 enterprise clouds for customers that include Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), Blue Cross Blue Shield and Sony's (NYSE: SNE) Playstation unit.

Along with HPE, Platform9 said it is working enterprise vendor partners that include Dell/EMC, Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), NetApp and Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX) along with unnamed public cloud providers.

Platform9's hybrid cloud play makes sense as enterprises struggle with their migration to the cloud. Several recent market surveys revealed growing frustration with the complexity and costs associated with cloud migrations. For example, a cloud survey released earlier this month by Forrester Consulting found that a majority of those polled said cloud migration costs and complexity exceeded expectations. Some organizations said the transition resulted in a "productivity hit."

Meanwhile, datacenter tracker Uptime Institute recently reported that hybrid IT deployments have remained steady over the last several years.

Platform9 emerged from stealth mode in August 2014 and unveiled its "Managed OpenStack" platform in early 2015. The OpenStack manager is designed to quickly convert existing servers into an Amazon Web Services-like private cloud. The service also provides management of Docker containers and guests running atop the KVM hypervisor from Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), Canonical, and SUSE Linux and the ESXi hypervisor from VMware.

The name Platform9 is a Harry Potter reference.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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