CSE alums launch Ann Arbor-based cloud data company

DeepField founders Labovitz and Eggleston Enlarge
DeepField founders Labovitz and Eggleston

Computer science alums Joe Eggleston (BSE CE ’98 ENG, MSE CSE ’99) and Craig Labovitz (MSE CSE ’94, PHD CSE ’99) have launched DeepField, an Ann Arbor-based startup that analyzes big data from the cloud to help content providers and carriers make smarter business decisions. The two were at EECS tech transfer spinout Arbor Networks for approximately 10 years in spring 2011 when they left to found DeepField.

DeepField addresses the challenges associated with understanding the complexity that has arisen from the ways that companies now build and operate on the Internet. “The Internet, together with the cloud, are the most complicated things built in human history,” said Labovitz, who is CEO of DeepField.

In the past, a business might have hosted their website on an in-house server or at a single outside provider. Today, pieces of different web operations come from a mix of vendors, integrators, and data centers all over the world. According to Labovitz, “There has been a significant shift in how these services are built and deployed, and you just need one part of the chain to fail in order for bad things to happen.”

DeepField was created to help companies see how all of the various pieces of their online presence fit together and to achieve maximum efficiency and profitability. The company unitilizes its proprietary “cloud genome technology” to analyze flow data from servers, allowing them to map the Internet and see how different types of data are transmitted.

Like Arbor Networks, DeepField’s technical roots trace back to findings and techniques developed throughout two research projects led by Prof. Farnam Jahanian at the University of Michigan: the Internet Performance Measurement and Analysis (IMPA) project in the mid-1990s, and the Lighthouse Project in 2000. Much of that research was published in a 1997 paper by Labovitz, Robert Malan, and Jahanian, entitled “Internet Routing Instability.” The paper was recognized with an ACM-SIGCOMM Test of Time Award in 2008 as an outstanding body of research whose contents are still a vibrant and useful contribution today.

When DeepField’s launch was announced at the end of July, the venture already had a base of paying customers and private beta users, including major Internet companies, although the names of customers are currently embargoed. DeepField is venture capital funded and has investors that range from a fund in Houston, TX to RPM Ventures in Ann Arbor.

DeepField has about 15 employess and is housed Ann Arbor’s Tech Brewery business incubator. The company plans to continue building the company here in Ann Arbor. According to Labovitz, they are finding great, well-prepared talent from the Department and University.