Opscode Raises $19 Million to Automate the Cloud
March 26th, 2012 By: Rich Miller
Opscode has raised an additional $19.5 million to continue to enhance its cloud infrastructure automation tools and support its growing customer base, the company said early Monday. Ignition Partners was the lead investor in the Series C funding, with follow-on investments from Battery Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
“Opscode is experiencing incredible growth and attracting Fortune 500 enterprise customers at an unprecedented rate for a company at our stage,” said Mitch Hill, CEO of Opscode. “This round of funding will enable us to further advance the innovation curve in cloud infrastructure automation and dramatically expand our market opportunity.”
Opscode is the developer of Chef, an open source framework using repeatable code – organized as “recipes” and “cookbooks” – to automate the configuration and management process for virtual servers, enabling users to quickly deploy servers. Chef has quickly become one of the key tools for configuration management for fast-growing infrastructures.
“Chef is a model for reuse,” said Hill. “It’s an elegant automation platform that can interate and repeat patterns. Chef is going to solve a growing skills gap in this industry. We think that automation is the answer.”
Hill took over the CEO post last year, succeeding co-founder Jesse Robbins, who shifted to Chief Community Officer. Hill believes the the increasing complexity of cloud infrastructure presents a huge challenge for Internet companies and enterprises – and that Chef is the answer.
“The open source explosion means that there are a lot more solutions out there,” he said. “From a management perspective, there’s more complexity to manage.”
A growing number of users agree. Opscode also announced additional users of its Hosted Chef and Private Chef offerings to deploy new infrastructure and applications, including Ancestry.com, Decide.com, LAN Airlines, Marshall University, SolutionSet, and Stella & Dot.
“Private Chef makes life much easier for our developers and operations staff as they work to build, test and implement new features and applications,” said John Esser, director of software process and agile development, Ancestry.com. “Private Chef enables our IT teams to easily deploy new offerings and rapidly scale applications so our subscribers can trace their family roots by accessing the billions of genealogical records and millions of family trees from around the globe.”
Opscode also announced new metrics for the growth of the open source Chef community in the past 12 months:
- Market adoption of Opscode’s open source Chef product has grown 10X since September 2010, and currently stands at more than 800,000 downloads worldwide.
- Opscode’s community site grew to over 13,000 registered users in 2011, more than doubling since 2010, and producing nearly 400 community cookbooks for everything from Apache to Zabbix.
- Over 500 individuals and 100 organizations are actively contributing to open source Chef on a regularly basis, also more than doubling from 2010, and providing a rich ecosystem of content for Chef users.
Opscode also offers Hosted Chef, the first server configuration management offering delivered as a service. Hill said the hosted offering differentiates Oscode from its chief competitors in the space, Puppet Labs and cfEngine.
Meanwhile, the adoption of Private Chef by enterprise users positions the company for revenue growth, according to Hill,who said the new funding will allow Opscode to increase staff from 50 employees to 70 or 80. “In terms of a business model that we can scale, I think we’ve found it,” said Hill.
Opscode also announced the speaker lineup for #ChefConf, Opscode’s inaugural user conference in San Francisco, May 15-17. The conference will feature keynotes from executives from Ancestry.com, Cycle Computing, Digital Science, Fastly, Fidelity, HP Cloud Services, Intuit and Lookout Mobile Security. Data Center Knowledge readers can get a discount by visiting this link and using the code “HPC” while registering.
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Hopefully they will use some of that cash to make chef easier to manage, but I’m not holding my breath. To me Chef is not solving a skills gap it is creating a skills gap with how complex it is to use. As someone who has managed servers for 17 years now, Chef is a PAIN to use and I’ve been using (or at least trying to) for over a year now. If I was building something new I would NOT use chef.
I like to tell people Chef makes the easy things hard, and the hard things possible.
When we started the project we focused first on “making the hard things possible”, and I’m glad you have found it useful for that. Chef makes people powerful, and in the early days we focused on letting people use as much of that power as possible without providing too much “opinion” to box them in.
We also know that many people aren’t starting with 10000 node dynamic hybrid environments with complex application deployment logic, load balancing, etc. We’re working to make Chef easier to learn & use, and it is an absolute priority. (Particularly for people who are new to programming, Infrastructure as Code, etc.)
Our goal is to make it so that anyone can get productive with Chef in their environment a few minutes. One place can see an example of this is the new Chef Omnibus installer! => http://www.opscode.com/chef/install/
Cofounder & Chief Community Officer