Managing Big Infrastructure Needs New Tools: CloudHelix

I’m thrilled to announce that First Round has led the seed financing round for CloudHelix, which is helping web and network operators to easily and more fully understand and manage their infrastructure. This new, scalable platform allows for the collection, fast visualization and querying of network traffic and performance. Developed by veteran leaders in networking, site operations and content delivery networks, CloudHelix already counts some of the largest infrastructure operators in the world as customers.

Led by Avi Freedman, a top network pro with more than 20 years of experience (he was my first ISP in the Philadelphia area in 1993 and later ran Abovenet’s engineering and Akamai’s network groups), along with Co-founders Ian Applegate, Ian Pye, and Justin Biegel, the team has run large networks and service operations for decades. Dan Ellis, who recently joined as CTO, is also seasoned at running major, scalable networks. While some players in this space have created tools to monitor and manage their huge packet flows, the vast majority still run things manually — tuning routers, logging into multiple systems from multiple vendors, and getting incomplete information from peers with no easy ability to share.

Companies using CloudHelix’s single scalable system can easily collect routing, detailed traffic utilization, and performance data from all infrastructure elements. This data is also funneled into an open system with an SQL interface, allowing for ad hoc analysis and integration with external tools. It quickly performs detailed traffic forensics and makes dDoS attacks and performance issues visible. Over the next year, the platform will be extended to allow opt-in, community-based sharing of aggregated data in real time to further extend customers’ capabilities. No longer will they need to fight performance and network attack issues in isolation.

If this all sounds like rocket science, it is. While I had a very early machine on the ARPANET in 1973, I recently took the Stanford online course on networks. As it turns out, taking characters smoothly and reliably from Typepad to your screen is a massive, daunting task. It’s difficult for even net ops and dev ops engineers to obtain the visibility necessary to diagnose and fix problems. On top of that, customers see outages before site and network operators. CloudHelix is making that task simpler and faster, with setup and time to initial visibility taking mere minutes.

We’re excited to be joined in this investment by Data Collective Venture Capital, The Webb Investor Network, Tahoma Ventures and Orfin Ventures, as well as a who’s who of angels that really understand large networks. If you’re running one, you should know CloudHelix.