Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Mesosphere’s Investors Bet on Multicloud 

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Demand for capabilities like machine learning and distributed databases are attracting investors looking to cash in on the shift to micro- and other exascale services running on hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Mesosphere, the five-year-old datacenter pioneer built upon the Apache Mesos cluster manager, provided more evidence this week that its datacenter operating system approach is maturing, announcing a $125 million funding round. The San Francisco-based company said Monday (May 7) the funds would be used to advance its approach that abstracts the datacenter as a pool of computing resources to run distributed systems at scale.

The Series D funding round was led by T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ: TROW) and Koch Disruptive Technologies, a recently launched subsidiary of the conglomerate Koch Industries. Other new investors include Qatar Investment Authority.

Those funders are betting Mesosphere’s “as-a-service” approach will appeal to potential customers embracing multi-cloud strategies to avoid vendor lock-in. The services also are gaining ground for running application container and other cloud-native tools like the Kubernetes cluster orchestrators as well as machine learning platforms like Apache Kafka stream processing, Apache Spark cluster computing, Cassandra databases and the TensorFlow machine learning framework.

Mesosphere reports that is DC/OS platform designed to automate application delivery and data workloads across hybrid cloud infrastructure is being used in production by more than 125 companies. Deployments span datacenters and multi-cloud frameworks, the company added.

In one use case, Mesosphere said T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) parent company Deutsche Telekom (ETR: DTE)is running Apache Spark on its DC/OSto optimize mobile connections based on machine learning models. The tool seeks to unclog cellular networks by ensuring that customers are using available Wi-Fi networks whenever possible to reduce network traffic and preserve capacity.

Last September, Mesosphere added Kubernetes, the de facto standard container orchestrator, to its flagship datacenter operating system platform. Running Kubernetes on top of its DC/OS is designed to enable users to connect to data services from containers running on Kubernetes—and vice versa, the company said. The automation of data services required for most containerized applications mimics in the datacenter or across hybrid cloud infrastructure the container engines provided by large public cloud providers.

These and other deployments have helped Mesosphere nearly triple its revenue over the past year. “This investment will help us to arm the enterprise with leading edge technology, like containers, machine learning and [Internet of Things] applications,” said Florian Leibert, CEO and co-founder at Mesosphere.

Early investors in the Apache Mesos pioneer include Andreessen Horwitz, Khosla Venture and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

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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