Data Center Analytics Startup CloudPhysics Raises $2.5 Million From Mayfield Partners, VMware Co-Founders

CloudPhysics has raised $2.5 million from the Mayfield Fund and VMware Co-Founders Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum among other angel investors. The company will use the investment to build out an analytics platform for monitoring performance of a new emerging class of data center technology.

This is an interesting play. CloudPhysics’ two co-founders are former high-ranking VMware executives John Blumenthal and Irfan Ahmad. Both have been working as entrepreneurs in residence at the Mayfield Fund, developing CloudPhysics. Their pedigree is confirmed by the prestigious backers who have come forward as investors. This is in particular reference to Greene and Rosenblum, who are married and have had quite a run since starting VMware. Nicira, the network virtualization company, is Greene’s most recent investment to show great returns. The company sold last month to VMware for $1.26 billion.

Data performance of infrastructure environments is an emerging trend. Companies like SevOne are using P2P networking and big data clusters to help companies do real-time management of their infrastructures.

Yesterday I spoke to Mayfield Managing Director Robin Vasan. His description of the technology fits with a number of converging trends that we are seeing emerge as data centers transform with the advent of next generation storage technology.

A vast array of storage systems are now available to the enterprise IT department. Their arrival stems from the increasing demands to manage data at unprecedented volumes across complex virtualized infrastructures. The need for virtual storage is fast emerging as old, hard disk storage systems pale in comparison to the new flash variety from providers such as Nutanix and Fusion-io.

CloudPhysics will offer a way for enterprise customers to determine the performance of these new flash storage systems. The technology will run on VMware vSphere clusters.  The data is then sent to CloudPhysics for analysis.

It’s the resulting analysis that looks intriguing. CloudPhysics uses a “card” metaphor to show results:

Vasan said there are a wide variety of use cases for CloudPhysics. This stems from the built-in intelligence, similar in some respects to the IBM PureSystems technology.

CloudPhysics is a big data play that derives its value from the analytics it does on the legacy and next generation technology of the modern data center. The promise is to help companies transform their administrative approaches into data-driven practices.

We are entering the age of the dynamic data center. I give credit to the team at CloudPhysics for avoiding the various cloudwashing terms that we see so much of in the market. They have developed their own metaphors, which I wish more companies would do. But CloudPhysics seems like an approach fitted to VMware and not the entire market. I see nothing about it supporting Xen or Hyper-V. The future is of a heterogeneous data center environment. VMware dominates in corporate IT but new data center architectures are emerging that have a more varied approach. I like that CloudPhysics knows who it wants to please. But there is a big world out there, ripe for others to explore and build upon.