Opscode lands $19.5 million; cloud infrastructure automation

Cloud infrastructure automation firm Opscode announced this morning that it raised $19.5 million from investors.

Seattle-based cloud infrastructure automation firm Opscode announced this morning that it raised $19.5 million from investors.

The Series C round was led by Ignition Partners and included Battery Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Ignition's John Connors will join the four-year-old company's board.

Opscode says the money will be used to help it expand its software engineering, sales, marketing and business development teams.

"This is an extremely exciting time for Opscode as it creates and leads the infrastructure automation market during a period of major IT transformation, driven by the rapid adoption of cloud computing and the 'DevOps' movement," Connors said.

Like IBM, HP, CA and BMC, Opscode seeks to help companies reduce IT complexity as virtualization and cloud computing has become de rigueur in the enterprise. Not every company has the skills in-house to manage these new systems; Opscode -- and peer Puppet Labs, which we last wrote about in November -- hope they can gain customers (and steal a few away from the big guys) by taking the task off their plate and/or at least smoothing over the wrinkles caused by using several big-vendor toolsets.

Key to that strategy is the company's Chef open-source framework, built expressly for cloud automation. (It comes in two flavors: Hosted Chef and Private Chef. On that last one, good thing they didn't call it Dancer.) The selling point is simple: with configuration controls and service-oriented architecture, the software makes it easier for system administrators to deploy servers and scale applications across an infrastructure.

The company has taken in about $31 million in funding to date; gaming purveyors Electronic Arts and IGN are clients. With several veterans of the space (Opsware, HJK Solutions, Amazon, CloudSwitch) on its leadership team, it should be interesting to see if the startup can out-maneuver its larger rivals.