Heptio Closes $8.5 Million in Funding to Help Enterprises Run Kubernetes

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Although it is just a couple of years old, Kubernetes is the most widely deployed technology for container orchestration, according to Gartner. Setting up and running an instance of the container orchestration framework can be challenging for enterprises, however, without supporting tools and resources, and to meet that need, Kubernetes enterprise support startup Heptio announced an $8.5 million investment round on Thursday.

The company aims to help enterprises leverage Kubernetes’ potential to accelerate software development, increase infrastructure efficiency, and reduce the complexity of management at scale.

Heptio was founded by two Google veterans who were among the founders of the Kubernetes project, according to the announcement, Heptio CEO Craig McLuckie and CTO Joe Beda. McLuckie previously served as chairman of the board for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which he worked with the Linux Foundation to start, and also worked on Google Compute Engine with Beda, who founded it and was lead engineer.

Kubernetes is the most active project on Github, with over a thousand contributors, the company says.

“We believe that Kubernetes is a seed technology that enables businesses to transform their approach to IT, significantly reducing infrastructure costs and simplifying operations,” said McLuckie. “While the technology is incredibly powerful, we have seen developers struggle to get up and running quickly. Heptio’s early focus is on making Kubernetes more accessible to developers running apps on-premises or in the public cloud. In the future we plan to work closely with the open ecosystem to advance the platform, and deliver the features enterprises need to run Kubernetes at scale.”

The funding round was led by Accel, with Madrona Venture Group participating. Madrona led a $2.9 million investment round for DevOps infrastructure management startup CloudCoreo last month.

McLuckie told GeekWire that the company’s first product will be a simple distribution of Kubernetes and support resources.

Azure extended its support for Kubernetes last week, and OnApp launched container servers which provide a framework for Kubernetes deployments in October, but McLuckie told GeekWire that most companies want their Kubernetes deployments “decoupled” from specific operating systems, cloud providers, and platforms.

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