On Tuesday, the Portland-based outfit announced Series C funding round of $8.5 million, including investments from Cisco, VMware, and Google. Mountain View tells Wired that its investment is in no way strategic, but Puppet founder Luke Kaines indicates that both VMware and Cisco will advise his company.
“VMWare and Cisco both sell directly to our IT customers and sysadmins,” Kaines says. “It’s crucial to have partners which understand that building software for the end-user is the most important.”
Kaines actually built Puppet Labs with Google in mind. Back in 2005, web giants such as Google and Amazon were using software that did automated IT tasks in their data centers, but these tools were completely proprietary. Kaines sought to bring this sort of IT automation to the masses, building an open source platform as well as an for-pay offering designed specifically for enterprises. “Our open source product solves most problems of every enterprise,” he says. “And our commercial product solves every problem of most enterprises.”
The implication is that the open source product will require a little coding to completely suite an enterprise’s needs, while the commercial product — Puppet Enterprise 2.0, announced in September — is ready right out of the proverbial box. Kaines points out that online giants like Zynga and Twitter use Puppet for their production environments.
According to Kaines, Puppet needed additional funding because it couldn’t keep up with the market demands, especially when it came to Puppet Enterprise 2.0.
Kaines says that Google now uses Puppet for its internal IT systems — the infrastructure that supports employee desktops and laptops — but he adds that Google is still quite secretive about the infrastructure underpins its search engine, Gmail, and other public web services.
A spokeman for Google Ventures — the company’s investment arm — tells Wired.com that its Puppet Labs investment is merely that. “Some of the early press reported that the Puppet Labs funding deal is strategic,” he said. “That’s incorrect. It’s strictly a venture deal and not strategic in any way.”