Puppet Labs, a provider of IT automation software for sysadmins, announced US$ 8.5M in Series C funding from new investors.

Cisco, Google Ventures and VMware join a list of other investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, True Ventures and Radar Partners. The new investment brings the total funds raised up to US$ 15.75 million.

Puppet Labs

Founded by CEO Luke Kanies in 2005, Puppet Labs develops IT automation software for system administrators. The company announced Puppet Enterprise 2.0 back in September, which promised to help sysadmins provision infrastructure in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) or in their physical data centers.

On his blog, Kanies says that the new funding is necessary because market demand for Puppet Labs products is more than the company's organic growth will allow. He points to a Wall Street Journal article in October, which said that demand for sys admins with Puppet skills grew more than 200% year-over-year.

Kanies explains how the company plans to use the new funding, saying:

In particular, we will invest more in designing products that allow our users to move faster, with more information, and across a wider selection of technologies than ever before, as it’s clear is necessary to take full advantage of the disruptions of virtualization and cloud computing. In addition, our community over the years has consistently provided great feedback and guidance on our technology, and these new financial resources enable us to increase our investment in both community and platform."

Puppet Gains in Popularity

Puppet Labs customers include big names such as Zynga, Twitter, the New York Stock Exchange, Disney, Citrix, Oracle/Sun, Constant Contact, Match.com, Shopzilla, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Stanford University. Puppet Labs now offers integrations with VMware, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, OpenStack, Eucalyptus, RightScale and Zenoss.

AlwaysOn named Puppet Labs as one of the OnDemand Top 100 winners earlier this year. Next week, Puppet Labs will host a birds-of-a-feather session at LISA '11 in Boston, deliver Puppet training and talks and participate in the Build a Cloud Day.