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Joyent rakes in $85m to build out SmartOS clouds

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Joyent has built a sophisticated infrastructure cloud founded on the open-source Solaris environment with the hopes of taking on Amazon's EC2 – and now it has a big pile of cash with which to globalize that cloud.

Joyent, which was founded in 2004 by David Young, the company's CEO, and Jason Hoffman, the company's CTO, and offers an infrastructure stack called Smart Data Center that is based on the SmartOS version of Solaris. Smart Data Center can be used to build your private clouds, but Joyent also uses the software to create a public cloud called JoyentCloud.com if you don't want to be bothered. Joyent counts social business site LinkedIn and online gaming site Kabam among its 13,000 customers.

Back in September, Joyent announced a port of the KVM hypervisor controlled by Red hat to the SmartOS environment, allowing it to support virtualized instances of Unix (Solaris and FreeBSD), Windows, and Linux operating systems and pitting SmartOS against Amazon's homegrown variants of the open source Linux operating system and Xen hypervisor that underpin the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and other cloudy services at the retailing giant and infrastructure player. Last November, Joyent added an object storage service, and it is the champion behind the Node.js JavaScript accelerator that is a souped-up variant of Google's client-side V8 JavaScript environment.

Joyent has had three prior rounds of venture funding as well as some cash from Intel Capital, but the $85m in funding that the company announced today is probably its biggest kill to date. El Dorado Ventures, Epic Ventures, Greycroft Partners, and Liberty Global have all kicked funds into the cloud provider, and this time around European venture capitalist Weather Investment II lead the funding round with Telefónica Digital, the capital arm global telecom company Telefónica, participating.

"Having worked with customers around the world, we see the demand for consistent global services regardless of how many countries our customers are operating in," explained Young in a statement announcing the funding round. "This funding will enable Joyent to build out a global compute offering to assist customers in expanding consistent software, support and services to their clients."

Joyent operates five data centers (presumably in co-location facilities) around the continental United States, which are divided up into 14 different isolated pods to keep any potential failures in one pod from affecting the others. Joyent says that the cash will be used to build out a global network of public clouds this year. ®

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