Reinventing supercomputers: Cambridge-based startup Sunlight nets £4.5M to make High-Performance Cloud a reality

Sunlight Image credits: Sunlight

Virtualisation and virtual systems are gaining a foothold nowadays in IT infrastructure models and data centers. However, existing cloud and virtualisation technologies aren’t architected to support the massive levels of throughput necessary. 

As businesses increasingly rely on data-intensive processes like AI and big data analytics, existing cloud technologies are no longer coping, which can lead to large over-investments in IT infrastructure and failed cloud migrations. 

And this is where Cambridge-based startup Sunlight comes into play. By transforming the cloud infrastructures, Sunlight allows businesses to achieve huge efficiencies, cost savings, and performance gains even for highly demanding workloads. The company’s technology can cut the infrastructure costs of running these applications by 70%. 

Raised £4.5 million

Recently, the UK company raised $6 million (approx £4.5 million) in a Series A funding round, led by OpenOcean with participation from Robert Bosch Venture Capital. The funding will be used to expand commercial operations and footprint, particularly in the US market. 

“Cloud has been instrumental in unlocking greater IT flexibility. The next challenge is supporting the creation and processing of skyrocketing data volumes efficiently. It’s not uncommon to see enterprises hike their infrastructure costs up to 10x for some data-intensive applications when they move to the cloud.” said Sunlight Founder and CEO Julian Chesterfield, a virtualisation pioneer. 

Notably, Sunlight Founder and CEO Julian Chesterfield was one of the architects of Xen virtualisation, the original foundation of many of today’s most popular cloud services, including AWS.

Sunlight’s complete hyperconverged stack (HCI) is designed for high performance, small footprint, and simplicity. It is centred around Sunlight NexVisor, a light-weight hypervisor optimised for the fastest flash storage (NVMe) and network hardware while removing virtualisation overhead to achieve bare-metal performance. 

The stack includes fully integrated software-defined storage and networking components, and a single pane of a glass management tool to make it easy to manage hybrid deployment.

“We believe Sunlight will become an indispensable foundation for future data centres and enterprise software – removing input-output bottlenecks across compute, network and storage,” said Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean.

“The investment by two of the leading European data infrastructure investors, OpenOcean and Robert Bosch Venture Capital, really sets us up for rapid growth in 2021,” said Chesterfield.