PerfectScale, a Triangle-based SaaS startup, is looking to capitalize on a Kubernetes boom valued at $9.7 billion by 2027 with a tool set that continuously optimizes the use of the open-source platform.
CEO Amir Banet is no stranger to the Triangle startup world—he worked as Director of Product for Cary’s Samanage while it was acquired in a $350M deal by Austin-based SolarWinds—but after finding a pain-point in Kubernetes management, he left the “golden cage” of corporate life to bring his own startup, PerfectScale, to reality in April 2022.
Just months after official launch, PerfectScale closed a $2.5 million pre-seed round led by VC firm UpWest (which focuses on Israeli founders in the U.S.) and including a syndicate of 30 investors affiliated with the GIT1K club (an invite-only group of global IT and tech leaders) and a group of angel investors from Banet’s native Israel.
Banet attributes PerfectScale’s early success to perfecting product-market fit by conducting over 50 interviews with industry professionals. With 20 customers already and a remote team of 20+ that stretches from the Triangle to Israel to Ukraine, PerfectScale is growing fast.
But what is Kubernetes, what does that have to do with product management and how does PerfectScale fit into this picture? Wikipedia defines Kubernetes as “an open-source container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management.” It was originally developed by Google but is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
As for PerfectScale’s fit, Banet said that decades of context are crucial.
For over 20 years, when developers wanted to update an application they would have to republish the entire application in one big “box”—a “monolith,” in developer lingo. But over the past decade, those monoliths have been broken down into “microservices,” smaller boxes within an application.
This means that today, a software developer can fix small bugs or inefficiencies without risking the entire application, as they can update the relevant microservices independently from other microservices in the application. These microservices are hosted and run in containers. Kubernetes puts these containers into nodes, the servers that host the entire application.
“These nodes have the infrastructure that is running your applications,” Banet said. “The problem with microservices is that usually they are not only one system, they have multiple clusters. Each cluster is running its own kind of microservice. What we call the ‘distributed system’ becomes much harder to actually control and to manage. It is super complex, because we are talking here about an ephemeral kind of a system, constantly changing.”
If this all sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Even though this Kubernetes break-down rolls off of Banet’s tongue as easy as 2+2, he and his co-founder Michael Sklyar recognized that the information overload created by microservice management would challenge any company’s in-house DevOps team or site reliability engineers (SRE).
With Banet’s 20-year product-management chops and Sklyar’s research and development background, the duo looked to bring Kubernetes scaling to the masses. Enter a new tool set, one that looked at large-scale trends instead of specific nodes, a tool set made to scale: PerfectScale.
“Someone who is managing a distributed system that is constantly changing doesn’t need all the information on a specific path,” Banet said. “They need to understand the picture of the herd, how to make sure that the herd is heading in the right direction, how to prioritize work properly, how to make repeatable actions driven by data, and how to get in alignment with all the relevant stakeholders, because there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen. These are the challenges that we saw in the marketplace.”
With “blood and sweat,” the PerfectScale team translated years of Kubernetes experience into a “cloud babysitting” algorithm tailored precisely for Kubernetes users. PerfectScale reduces waste with a five-goal solution, which include analyzing performance and usage, functioning as a collaboration platform, predicting future workload fluctuation, optimizing a balance between resilience and cost and automating sizing and tune-up of infrastructure or containers.
The company’s first product, a right-sizing software called PodFit, is showing good results—it has cut waste costs by up to 50%, reduced SLA breaches and saved DevOps teams time that can be focused on other development. This reduction in waste can even lead to positive environmental impact, said Director of Marketing Brendan Cooper.
“There are significant benefits that can happen to the environment when your applications have that smaller footprint in the cloud,” Cooper said. “For many of the customers that we speak to, particularly in Europe, where there is heavy regulation about reducing carbon footprints, and even in the United States, we have a really strong story about how our product can help more accurately predict what that footprint will be for their Kubernetes landscape, and how they can reduce it.”
Even though his move to the Triangle tech scene was slightly out of his hands—Banet’s wife chose the area for its great schools after he told her the family needed to move from Silicon Valley to the East Coast—Banet said the tech-rich area is the perfect place to scale PerfectScale into a widely used Kubernetes pioneer.
“Our vision is to help every company that has Kubernetes to govern, to right-size, and to scale Kubernetes in the most efficient and easiest way,” Banet said. “It is a very noisy and problematic area if you try to do it without an ongoing solution, and there really is no tool set that gives you all of these out-of-the-box solutions. We are going to be the leader in this space because we are building an application that I hope is something that the users find very appealing. So far, the response that we get from users is astonishing.”