Virtualization Giant VMware Partners With And Puts $30M Into Data Center Automation Company Puppet Labs

Puppet Labs, a data center automation company, is announcing today that virtualization giant (and previous investor) VMware has invested $30 million in the company. This brings the company’s total funding to $46 million. Puppet Labs’ other investors include True Ventures, Cisco, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Radar Partners. The company declined to reveal the valuation in the round, but we hear it was a “healthy increase” from the last round in 2011.

Puppet Labs provides systems management and datacenter automation software for the enterprise and the cloud. Puppet Labs’ flagship product, Puppet is an open source data center automation and configuration management framework that provides system administrators with an easy to use platform for transparent and flexible systems management.

The company also offers Puppet Enterprise, a commercial version of Puppet that makes the provisioning, configuring, and managing of virtualized and cloud infrastructure easier for system administrators. Customers include Zynga, Twitter, NYSE, Disney, Citrix, Oracle/Sun, Constant Contact,, Shopzilla, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Stanford University. Puppet Labs also acquired the Mcollective, a framework to build server orchestration or parallel job execution systems.

Considering that VMware offers data center virtualization services, the relationship between the enterprise giant and Puppet Labs makes sense. In addition to the funding, the companies agreed to a strategic partnership for delivering IT management solutions that will enable customers to reap the benefits of virtualization and cloud in heterogeneous, multi-vendor IT environments. The company will be working jointly with VMware to deliver, market and sell its solutions, as well as VMware’s offerings.

Puppet Labs’ CEO and founder Luke Kanies says that clients are already using products like Puppet Enterprise with VMware’s vSphere® API. Additionally customers use the integration of VMware vFabric Application Director with Puppet to provision private cloud services. As part of the strategic partnership, going forward VMware and Puppet Labs will collaborate on additional product integrations, including VMware vCloud Automation Center, VMware vCenter Operations Manager, and VMware vCenter Configuration Manager.

“Puppet Labs is at the forefront of IT automation, and is a catalyst in the DevOps movement – accelerating service delivery and business agility” said Ramin Sayar, Vice President and General Manager, Virtualization & Cloud Management, VMware. “This strategic investment and partnership will further accelerate the software-defined data center, and will allow a more extensive automation and orchestration solution across infrastructure and application elements for VMware-based private and public clouds, physical infrastructures, OpenStack and Amazon Web Services.”

Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs, says that the company has seen 3 and a half million downloads of its software in the past year. He explains that the time is right for Puppet Labs’ offering to bring SaaS into the data center. “There’s a demand for speed and IT teams need to ship products in hours or weeks, and we’re making sure customers have the technology in place to satisfy these needs,” he explains.

He adds that Puppet Labs is putting the new funding into product development as well as sales and marketing efforts.