Cisco, Google Ventures, VMware Invest in Puppet Labs

With the $8.5 million investment in Series C financing, Puppet Labs has now raised a total of $15.75 million.

Cisco Systems, Google Ventures and VMware were among the companies that have invested $8.5 million in the latest round of funding for Puppet Labs, which makes IT automation software for system administrators.

Puppet Labs on Nov. 29 announced the closing of the Series C financing, with Cisco, Google and VMware joining existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, True Ventures and Radar Partners. With the $8.5 million investment, Puppet Labs has now raised a total of $15.75 million.

The funding caps off what the company called a "pivotal year"-Puppet Labs now boasts more than 250 customers, including Zynga, Twitter, NYSE, Disney, Citrix, Oracle/Sun, Constant Contact,, Shopzilla, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Stanford University. In January, Puppet Labs expanded beyond its open-source roots and announced Puppet Enterprise, the first commercial version of Puppet, an IT automation solution for system administrators.

In September, Puppet Labs announced Puppet Enterprise 2.0 at its annual user conference, PuppetConf. Puppet Enterprise 2.0, which has been the key driver in the company's growth, has opened new markets for Puppet Labs in making the provisioning, configuring and managing of virtualized and cloud infrastructure easier for system administrators.

Whether their organizations are using Amazon EC2 instances, physical servers or private cloud VMware virtual machines, system administrators can use Puppet Enterprise 2.0 to create new infrastructure and to start managing it. The platform builds on Puppet's model-driven approach, which allows systems administrators to specify their infrastructure by resource and clone these resources across nodes.

"Global companies need efficient solutions to manage their on-premise and cloud infrastructures," Karim Faris, a partner at Google Ventures, said in a statement. "The Puppet Labs team has demonstrated the market traction and leadership to capitalize on this tremendous opportunity, and we're looking forward to working with them to grow the business."

In October, The Wall Street Journal noted that the demand for IT professionals with "Puppet skills" had tripled over the previous 12 months. This year has also seen the company's community grow beyond North America and Europe, with user groups and meet-ups sprouting in such places as China, India and Japan. Puppet Labs has also continued to grow its partner ecosystem such that it now offers integrations with VMware, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, OpenStack, Eucalyptus, RightScale, Zenoss, and others.

"The participation of these new investors in this latest round reinforces our lead in providing powerful IT automation tools for system administrators, whether deploying applications on-premise or in the cloud," Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies said in a statement. "Together, we are well-positioned to enable IT organizations to fully capitalize on the tectonic shifts of virtualization and cloud computing in their delivery of business results."