As we move into an increasingly multi-cloud world, there is a portability problem moving applications between clouds. Gravitational wants to fix that, and today it announced a $25 million Series A.
The round was led by Kleiner Perkins with help from S28 Capital and Y Combinator. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $31 million, according to the company.
Ev Kontsevoy, Gravitational co-founder and CEO, says his company is solving a couple of big problems around cloud portability. “There are just differences between all these different cloud providers because applications have dependencies. The application might depend on the cloud provider’s capabilities, and they use all this different middleware software that the cloud providers are bundling today with the infrastructure,” Kontsevoy explained. Those dependencies make it difficult to move an application to another cloud without additional coding.
He says that the other problem is related to on-going management of an application after you deploy it in the cloud, and that requires a large operations team. The problem with that is that there is a shortage of talent to fill these positions.
To solve these problems, Gravitational looked to Kubernetes. The company believes customers should build software using Kubernetes, open-source software and standards, and instead of building in the cloud dependencies up front, make their programs completely vanilla.
“Start with your application and don’t worry about clouds at all, don’t even have a cloud account in the beginning. Make sure your application runs on top of Kubernetes, package all of your software dependencies into Kubernetes, use open-source software and open standards as much as you possibly can,” he explained.
He says that Kubernetes gives you the ability to build software with very little administration, and then you can use Gravitational’s Gravity tool to package that solution into a single file, which you can then deploy on any cloud, private data center or even make available as download like you could with software back in the 1990s.
He sees organizations moving to container-driven software using Kubernetes, and as they do this, he believes they can break this dependency on the individual cloud providers using his company’s tools.
It’s certainly compelling if it works as described. Gravitational has 20 employees and around 100 paying customers. The company offers a couple of tools, Gravity and Gravitational Teleport as open source. It was a member of the Y Combinator 2015 cohort.