PerfectScale: A Kubernetes-focused Management, Optimization & Automation Platform
The company takes a holistic, end-to-end approach to Kubernetes optimization balancing cost and performance, embracing observability and FinOps principles, and opening the door to full automation.
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Last Updated: November 28, 2023
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PerfectScale is a Kubernetes-focused management, optimization, and automation platform with a heavy emphasis on cost optimization. (Note: The company describes itself as a Kubernetes-focused Optimization and Governance platform.) The company's platform collects metrics across an organization's Kubernetes stack, provides continuous analysis to identify issues and optimization opportunities, provides a "risk score" to help organization's prioritize actions and recommends specific configuration changes, and then enables automated deployment of remediation actions and trend reporting.
The Value Prop
Our assessment of the company's core value proposition.
Founded in 2021, the company is part of two emerging trends that are of particular importance to enterprise IT leaders: the shift to cloud-native architectures and the need to simultaneously manage cost and performance as you do.
The company's primary differentiators for the enterprise are linked to these two trends. As enterprises are increasingly migrating production workloads to the cloud, they are often re-platforming them using cloud-native architectures — specifically using Kubernetes to orchestrate containers.
However, as workloads are migrated to these architectures, they become much more difficult to monitor, manage, and optimize due to their dynamic and ephemeral nature. At the same time, this shift also represents a second migration: from fixed CapEx investments to much less predictable OpEx spend.
This need to manage cloud spend and optimize it against operational and performant workload requirements is an often unanticipated element facing enterprise IT leaders as they move more workloads into the cloud.
While the company, interestingly, does not hold itself out directly as either an Observability or FinOps player, its holistic end-to-end approach to Kubernetes management and optimization encompasses both of those functions, albeit exclusively to Kubernetes environments.
As enterprise leaders increasingly move critical workloads into Kubernetes, PerfectScale is worthy of consideration to help mitigate the risks and challenges of balancing performance and cost that these migrations often involve.
The key features the company holds out as differentiating, plus our analysis of those features.
Deep Kubernetes Focus
The company is presently focused exclusively on Kubernetes optimization. This focus represents both a positive and a limitation. The limitation comes in the form that it will necessarily represent an additive tool as it will only address an organization’s Kubernetes stack, requiring that an organization leverage other tools to address other environments. Still, the greatest challenge we are hearing in terms of Kubernetes optimization, particularly when attempting to balance performance and cost, is that other tools (and vendors) lack a deep enough understanding of Kubernetes to do it effectively. In this regard, the company's present Kubernetes focus is a definite differentatitor and enabler of value.
Holistic End-to-End Management and Optimization
The company takes a holistic end-to-end approach to Kubernetes management, starting with its lightweight approach to metric collection to fully automated remediation activities at the end of the process. At the same time, the company’s modular approach enables organizations to leverage only those elements that are beneficial to it. For instance, some current clients are not using its observability or automated remediation capabilities. Still, its holistic end-to-end approach provides greater visibility and a more total approach than merely focusing on a single element of the optimization process.
Perhaps the most interesting and controversial differentiating feature is the company's use of automated optimization. While fully optional, the company's platform has the ability to automatically (or manually via operator push-button) execute its recommended configuration changes. While long being the holy grail, operations teams are notoriously wary of relying on any form of fully automated actions, so it will be interesting to see how this develops and is received in the market.
Performance & Cost Balancing
While not fully differentiated, the company's focus on enabling organizations to balance optimization in terms of both cost and performance, specifically in the context of its Kubernetes focus, is significant. Moreover, the company's approach seems to take both a conservative and deeply technically-rooted approach to optimization, often recommending configurations that represent less cost savings on the surface, but are better balanced in terms of performance implications.
If you are comparing this vendor to others, how is it positioned and what are its ideal use cases?
On the one hand, the company is taking a holistic end-to-end approach to Kubernetes management and optimization. On the other hand, as of this writing it is solely focused on the Kubernetes stack, which limits its applicability. We would expect that most organizations will still rely on more broad-based tools for their general observability needs, and leverage PerfectScale for specific Kubernetes optimization tasks. In the short term, this may limit the company's overall reach, but as Kubernetes becomes evermore prevalent and critical in enterprise workloads, this limitation will lessen.
Moreover, while there is increasing focus on observability, optimization, and automation in the Kubernetes space, there are few organizations that are successfully addressing all three, particularly when optimization is extended to include both cost and performance considerations. In that regard, the company is well positioned in the market.
Our 7 Investment Signals
Making an investment in a new company or solution is always risky for an enterprise IT buyer. You have limited funds and resources and any investment must deliver a return. To help you make the best investment decisions, we have developed a rubric of 7 key investment signals which we believe, when taken together, are indicative of a likely return provided that the company's solution meets your fundamental business and technical requirements, which is the first signal. Here, we review the other six. (You can learn more about these investment signals here.)
Investors & Valuation
Who has invested in the company and current valuations are a strong indicator of investment worthiness, particularly in early-stage start-ups.
The company secured a second seed round of $7.1MM in September of 2023, bringing total funding to just over $10MM since its founding approximately two years ago. Though its investors are not hyper-focused on enterprise tech (and the company is still too early stage to attract many of the primary investment firms in the enterprise tech space), the investor group does have some solid enterprise wins within their collective portfolio including Nutanix, Databricks, and Qualytics. Strong.
Deep, bi-directional partnerships, particularly with larger firms, are another solid indicator of market trust in the company's vision, product, and strategy.
While the company fully recognizes the need to develop a partner ecosystem (which is somewhat unique in a company of this size), we have little information on significant partnering activities at this time (which is also not unusual for a company at this stage). Inconclusive.
A quality, experienced team can overcome many challenges and should always be a critical indicator of investment.
The company's CEO is a seasoned veteran with deep experience in the broad observability space and the CTO was essentially the company's target customer. Those are the positives. However, the team does not have deep startup experience or a track record of producing enterprise solutions that have stood the test of time. Still, additions like the company's current Head of Design demonstrate the company's focus on the developer experience and a commitment to its stated vision. Passing.
A crystal clear vision for both the market, your pain points, and how the company can serve you are essential to long-term growth and sustainability.
The company has a solid, if limited vision for the market. While Kubernetes is a significant and growing force, it still represents a relatively small subset of the enterprise landscape. Nevertheless, within its scope, the company's vision is well articulated and manages to be simultaneously forward-looking and pragmatic. Strong.
Solid growth is always a good signal of market uptake and competitive sustainability. However, this signal is less valuable in very early stage and very large companies.
We do not have information on growth rate at this time. Inconclusive.
Revenue per Employee
Less valuable for very small organizations, this is a fabulous indicator for companies once they break through the very early stages. Low-levels indicate either over-hiring or low revenue returns — or both.
PerfectScale is too early stage for this signal to be relevant. Inconclusive.
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