Startup Diamanti is announcing general availability of its container appliances and an $18 million Series B round to support them.
The company claims some big-name customers such as NBCUniversal and ShoreTel, but only now is its D10 appliance coming out of its year-long beta and into full production. This will give the San Jose, California-based startup its first chance to see if its 1U appliances really work in full-scale production environments.
Diamanti isn’t a container startup per se; the D10 is supplied with the Docker container runtime and Kubernetes orchestration. What Diamanti provides is a ready-made appliance that hosts the containers, and more importantly, handles the networking and storage requirements for them.
The idea is that the D10 can drop into an enterprise’s existing network. That way, the container environment becomes a pocket of the enterprise’s business, and the network around it doesn’t need to be redesigned.
All of this is being done in the name of making containers simpler to implement in production. “Every story that we’ve seen about successful adaptation of containers [in production] has come about with significant amounts of customization,” says Mark Balch, the startup’s vice president of marketing.
Diamanti’s story bears some similarity to the prebuilt-cloud products available from the likes of Platform9 and ZeroStack. Both of those startups play off the thesis that building a private cloud out of open source pieces such as OpenStack is harder than it sounds, so they figuratively shrink-wrap the cloud into a form that’s easier to deploy.
Diamanti adds an additional twist that’s container-specific, though.
Containers, being ephemeral, rely on virtualized networking and storage. A hypervisor can handle that virtualization, but Diamanti opted to create its own I/O controller instead.
Rather than building network overlays, for example, Diamanti creates network segments out of the Ethernet and VLANs that are already in the network. It does this by handing each container a virtual network interface card (NIC) — giving each container a unique address, essentially. One complication with container networking is that multiple containers can run on one operating system and therefore share the same IP address — which is a problem for traditional networks, which expect one application to run at each location.
Similarly, Diamanti assigns storage without creating network overlays. The lack of an overlay boosts performance; the company is able to achieve “100 microseconds storage latency, versus the 100 milliseconds or even 10 milliseconds that you see from a software overlay,” Balch says.
Diamanti was founded in 2013 by three former Cisco engineers who worked on the company’s Unified Computing System (UCS) products: CEO Jeff Chou, CTO Gopal Sharma, and VP of Engineering Amitava Guha.
The company raised its Series A funding in 2014 and is announcing its Series B today, which was led by Northgate Capital and included CRV, DFJ, Translink, and GSR Ventures. Diamanti has raised more than $30 million total.