Nodeable, a startup building a cloud-based social platform for systems data, announced today that it has raised $2 million in series A financing, led by True Ventures. The startup will use this infusion of capital to ramp up hiring efforts and continue building its platform, as it moves into private beta.
But what is it about this young startup that has True Ventures excited? Cloud computing and various sources of big data are becoming more and more popular as on-demand resources for businesses, but at the same time, the management of clouds on the back-end is becoming increasingly challenging and messy.
And though no one is asking the cloud to disappear, developers, IT staff, and admins are still largely compelled to interact with these systems on a case-per-case basis. Essentially, each problem requires an ad hoc solution, and really the way these cloud and data systems are managed, and interacted with, has not added the modern look, feel, or approach of newer communication media, like social networks, for example.
Thus, Nodeable is attempting to apply social mechanics to systems data in such a way as to enable developers, IT staffs, and more to interact with cloud infrastructure and data just as they would on social networks.
Put another way, Nodeable is Like a Twitter for machines, in that it aggregates systems data from a broad array of sources — co-founder and CEO Dave Rosenberg cites Amazon AMI as an example at the infrastructural level and Github at the data source level — then processes that data, adds metadata or defined messages, before presenting the data in a UI or via an API.
Users, he says, can interact with the platform itself by employing social networking mechanics, like tagging, both in messages sent to systems (like @webserver1 restart, for example) or to other users. Much in the same way communication tools like Yammer or Twitter function. Though this does not mean Nodeable is a “scripted automation tool like Rightscale or Opscode’s Chef“, he says, instead the approach is meant to provide a simple way for users to communicate with cloud services — to allow IT staffs to make better decisions, faster.
“Ultimately, we are building a platform that sits in the middle of data streams and allows the data to be manipulated”, the CEO told me. “We are trying to apply what Okta does for authentication to system data streams”.
Nodeable wants to combine big data analytics, systems management and social communications in such a way that a social layer is added to an analytics platform to give users an interface that feels like a social networking site, but still allows businesses to manage the complexities of data management.