Puppet Labs Gets $5M for Data Center Software

Puppet Labs has raised a $5 million second round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which brings the total funding for the open source configuration-management software provider to more than $7 million. Existing investors True Ventures (please see disclosure below) and Radar Partners, which participated in the Series A round, also contributed to this round. The company also announced the latest version of the Puppet software — version 2.6.

Puppet Labs is at the intersection of several trends occurring in the data center right now. Its open source Puppet software helps system administrators configure and manage the servers inside their data centers, a task growing more complex as computing demand increases. It is also attempting to build a business around open source software, which is becoming more common as startups like Cloudera, Karmasphere, Linaro and Riptano emerge to bring custom code built for webscale startups and cloud operations to the enterprise for private clouds and big data analysis.

Puppet is similar to the Chef software that Opscode is building on its hosted platform, only Puppet isn’t delivered today as a service. Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies said that one day he will deliver Puppet as a hosted platform, but for now he’s focused on ensuring that it’s built into every server sold today as the baseline management and automation platform.

The company’s current model is selling services associated with running Puppet in a data center environment, but Kanies says he eventually will start offering features tied to the open source Puppet code for specific types of users and faster deployment. He also plans to eventually offer the hosted platform, which would put Puppet Labs in direct competition with Opscode. However, Kanies said he believes the enterprise market is more comfortable with having its automation and configuration software on servers for the time being, and he sees a large market opportunity there serving folks trying to build out a private cloud.

Disclosure: Puppet Labs is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

Related GigaOM Pro research (sub req’d): For Open Cloud Computing Look Inside Your Data Center