Portworx nearly doubled its cash stash, closing today on a $27 million Series C funding round that pushed the 4-year-old company’s total VC haul to $55.5 million. The cloud native storage provider also updated the security components of its flagship Portworx Enterprise platform.
The Series C was led by past investor Sapphire Ventures and Mubadala Investment Company. The round also included existing investors Mayfield Fund and GE Ventures, and new investors in Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and NetApp. The HPE investment followed it signing up last year as a Portworx customer.
The platform updates include new role-based access controls for Portworx’s PK-Security service that allow for users to set access ownership and access controls on a per-container data volume basis. Kubernetes currently does not allow for a user to authorize and authenticate access to data using traditional authentication systems.
Portworx also launched its PX-DR service that allows for disaster recovery and zero data loss between data centers located in a single metro area. It also provides an additional level of disaster recovery for geographically dispersed data centers with continuous incremental backups.
The latest platform updates follow on the heels of its major 2.0 release from last December. That update included the ability to migrate application data and Kubernetes pod configurations between clusters that supports cloud migration, backup and recovery, and blue-green deployments. It also allowed for the management of Kubernetes application data with embedded monitoring and metrics from the Portworx dashboard.
Kubernetes is designed for stateless applications. This means that it was not created to handle data storage. This is not a problem for cloud native web services like a web server or a front-end web user interface that do not depend on the local container storage for the workload.
However, stateful applications are services that save data to storage and use that data to run the application. These include databases and complex applications like big data and artificial intelligence (AI) use cases that involve large-scale data processing, data science, and machine learning (ML). Basically these are workloads that currently use platforms like Spark, Kafka, Hadoop, Cassandra, and TensorFlow.
This has led to a robust business for storage vendors developing stateful appendages that can plug into a Kubernetes-managed container deployment to handle storage needs.
Portworx, for instance, said it posted a 376 percent increase in bookings over the past year, and more than doubled its customer base. Company co-founder and CTO Gou Rao previously boasted to SDxCentral about Portworx’s position in the market.
“We believe that we have more production experience running stateful services like databases in production of any cloud native storage solution,” Rao said. “There are many companies that are rightly talking about making it possible to run mission-critical stateful services in containers. Portworx is the company that is doing it at scale for customers today.”