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Data centre OS startup firm lands $36 million in funding

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December 8, 2014

Mesosphere, a small startup company that builds a data centre operating system owes its existence to a former PHD student. The firm today has landed $36 million in funding.

Mesosphere obtained its new funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures with backing from others including Andreessen Horowitz.

This is a second shot from Andreessen Horowitz for the fast-moving Mesosphere, based on a 2009 idea from U.C. Berkeley PHD student Benjamin Hindman and that went industrial in 2010.

Former NetScape co-founder Marc Andreessen’s VC firm put $10 million into Mesosphere in June of this year.

Generally, Andreessen’s venture capital company has a reputation for fuelling a startup, participating in funding rounds of up to $120 million for realtime-messaging startup Slack in October, for example.

While all of this is happening, Khosla Ventures belongs to Sun Microsystems' co-founder Vinod Khosla.

There’s a second shot from from Fuel Capital, as well, the fund of ex-Microsoft senior vice president Brad Silverberg, who led development and marketing on Windows 3.0 and Windows 95 and worked on versions of Internet Explorer.

This new funding brings Mesosphere’s total to approximately $50 million, but there was no word on where or how the new dollars would be spent.

News of the funding came the day Mesosphere released DCOS, its incarnation of its programmable data-centre vision.

It's a simple set of software and services to co-ordinate resources using multiple servers and platforms.

DCOS is a distributed systems kernel using a set of core system services including Marathon, Chronos, DNS and HDFS for set up, discovery and storage.

Various platforms supported by DCOS include Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google GCE, VMware and OpenStack. It also comes with an API and SDK.

As important as Mesos’ knitting together different VMs, operating systems and apps is the API and tools. These allow code-writers to program to the data centre as opposed to building for the different component systems.

Mesosphere is an evolution in the history of operating systems, the first since Google’s Android with a world-class engineering, product and design team.

Mesosphere DCOS is the first operating system to successfully package the new model of ‘pooled resources’ bringing better abstractions and automation to processes that otherwise require too much human oversight and simply do not scale well, the company says.

To be sure, Mesosphere's genesis has been break-neck as of late. Founded last year, the company is building a commercial version of Mesos, an open-source cluster management system.

Hindman contemplated creating Mesos while studying at U.C. Berkeley in 2009. He was hired to install it at Twitter in 2010 where it has become a cornerstone.

In the meantime, it has also become an open-source Apache project dubbed Apache Mesos. We'll keep you posted.

Source: Mesosphere.

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