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Opscode Bags $19.5 Million To Grow Cloud Infrastructure Automation Offerings

Cloud infrastructure automation vendor Opscode this week said it has received $19.5 million in Series C funding led by Ignition Partners and joined by backers Battery Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. In concert with the investment, Ignition partner John Conners, the onetime Microsoft CFO, has joined Opscode's board.

The funding will help expand Opscode's development efforts as well as sales and marketing initiatives. The company is aggressively hiring developers at its Seattle headquarters as well as its new development facility in Raleigh, N.C.

Opscode's claim to fame is its Hosted Chef and Private Chef tools, designed to automate the process of building, provisioning and managing public and private clouds, respectively. Chef is designed for environments where continuous deployment and integration of cloud services is the norm. "It's a tool for defining infrastructure once and building it multiple times and iterating through the build process lots of different configurations," said Opscode CEO Mitch Hill in an interview.

The company claims adoption of its open source Chef cookbooks has grown tenfold since September 2010 with an estimated 800,000 downloads. Its open source community of 13,000 developers has produced 400 "community cookbooks," which cover everything from basic Apache, Java, MySQL and Node.js templates to more specialized infrastructures.

In addition to open source environments, there are also Chef cookbooks for proprietary platforms such as Microsoft's IIS and SQL Server. Opscode said some major customers are using Chef, including Fidelity Investments, LAN Airlines, Ancestry.com and Electronic Arts.

"Virtually all of our customers are using more complex stacks. Many are open source stacks or mixed proprietary and open source stacks, and what we see time and time again is the skills to manage these environments don't exist in the marketplace," Hill said.

"The skills are hard to build. You can't go to school to learn how to do this stuff. You have computer science grads who graduate as competent developers and systems guys but infrastructure engineers who know how to operate at the source, scale and complexity level of the world is operating at are hard to find. That's our opportunity. We feel that Chef is a force multiplier for any company that is trying to do [cloud] computing at scale."

Opscode said it will host its first user conference on May 15 to 17 with presentations by representatives of Fidelity, Intuit, Hewlett-Packard and Joyent, Ancestry.com and Fastly, among others.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on March 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM


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