While at VMworld 2013, I found myself walking the exhibit hall from one end to the other in search of something new and fresh in the VMware ecosystem. And that's where I came across a company called CloudPhysics.
CloudPhysics, a Mountain View, Calif., startup founded by former VMware employees, rose more than a few eyebrows at the event. The company, which recently closed a $10 million series-B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, also counts former VMware co-founders Mendel Rosenblum and Diane Greene among its early individual investors.
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CloudPhysics was founded in 2011 with the mission to continuously deliver insights to IT teams for actively managing the dynamics of their infrastructures. To achieve that mission, the company has created a SaaS-based offering which automatically uncovers hidden operational hazards before problems emerge and identifies efficiency improvements in storage, compute and networking within VMware workloads.
While visiting the company's booth, Krishna Raj Raja, a former VMware engineer who is now a founding team member at CloudPhysics, explained to me how the company's platform takes a new and interesting approach to IT infrastructure monitoring.
CloudPhysics is aggregating more than 80 billion anonymous data points a day from virtualized environments being monitored around the world. The cloud-based service collects information on virtualized system configurations and accumulates that knowledge to help guide new deployments. By analyzing the data, CloudPhysics can identify effective configurations of virtual server, storage, and networking resources.
Raja says his company specialized in collecting metadata from the data center, so it could analyze and provide insight, intelligence, and prescriptive advice about the data center after studying the data that was collected.
Beyond simple monitoring and reporting found in other tools, CloudPhysics takes things a step further by applying big data analytics to the data being collected, so it can also identify potentially problematic configurations before a problem occurs. CloudPhysics monitoring can also provide a health check on the environment and warn of bugs, firmware or hardware incompatibilities, guest tool mismatch, and other problems.
Along the way, the company has also built up a knowledgebase that CEO and co-founder John Blumenthal claims can lead to "Google-like operations excellence" for virtualized enterprise data centers. The intelligence delivered out of CloudPhysics can help admins avoid many of the data center problems caused by human error.
To make things easier and more intuitive, the CloudPhysics user interface is composed of something called "cards," each of which is a highly focused app that solves a particular IT operations problem.