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Rafay, a Kubernetes operations management platform, raises $25M

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Rafay Systems, a platform for software container management, has raised $25 million in series B funding round led by ForgePoint Capital, with participation from Ridge Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, and Moment Ventures. The funds will be used to hire engineers and expand Rafay’s sales and marketing teams, as well as growing its customer success operations, the company said in a press release.

As businesses adopt containers that package code so apps run across computing environments, Kubernetes remains among the most popular container orchestration systems. Its widespread deployment has spawned the discipline of Kubernetes operations, or “KOps,” a framework used to set up Kubernetes clusters easily and swiftly.

Haseeb Budhani and Hemanth Kavuluru launched Rafay in 2017 to meet the growing demand for Kubernetes operations solutions. The cofounders sought to create a platform that unifies lifecycle management for Kubernetes infrastructure and apps, bringing together capabilities for automation, security, visibility, and governance for customers in the financial, health care, telecom, and technology sectors.

“With Rafay, developers, DevOps, operations and security teams can work together to deploy modern applications … faster while reducing downtime … and eliminating security and compliance risks,” CEO Budhani told VentureBeat via email. “Application modernization initiatives deserve a modern approach to Kubernetes operations … By leveraging [our] Kubernetes operations platform, developers and DevOps teams can triage infrastructure and application issues faster than ever before, significantly reducing mean time to resolution.”

Operationalizing Kubernetes

Gartner predicts that by 2022 more than 75% of organizations will be running containerized apps in production, up from fewer than 30% in 2020. But the operational cost, complexity, and resources required to manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes infrastructure and these new modern applications running on it are still growing.

Rafay aims to address this by offering visibility, management, and automation across disparate Kubernetes processes and systems. Using its platform, customers can deploy containerized apps across multiple computing environments, whether they’re running in datacenters, public clouds, or on-premises hardware.

Rafay ships with a cluster management service that enables blueprinting support, logs and metrics collection, and storage and secrets management for managed Kubernetes services, including Amazon EKS and Microsoft Azure AKS. The platform’s GitOps capabilities support infrastructure orchestration and app deployment through pipelines, while its zero-trust access service allows developers and automation systems controlled, audited access to Kubernetes infrastructure. Beyond this, Rafay offers cluster policy management via an open framework focused on security and governance. And it features a backup and restore service that provides disaster recovery and migration of the Kubernetes control plane and app data with dedicated dashboards for visibility and monitoring.

“Kubernetes has become the de facto choice for containerization and application modernization, but organizations’ Kubernetes journeys have been bottlenecked because of the complexity involved in enterprise-grade deployments, making a comprehensive management platform a necessity,” ForgePoint Capital venture partner Leo Casusol said in a press release. “The Rafay team has built a highly innovative and differentiated platform that solves gating problems for organizations adopting and scaling Kubernetes deployments.”

Rafay, whose over 40 customers include Verizon, SonicWall, and Appzen, has raised $33 million in capital to date. Annual recurring revenue grew 800% last year, and the company plans to grow its 60-person workforce to 100 by 2022.

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