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Opscode Raises $32M To Expand IT Automation Platform, Changes Name To Chef

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Opscode has raised $32 million and changed its name to Chef, after the configuration management and IT automation “cookbook” that has become very popular in the enterprise market. Scale Venture Partners led the round. Citibank and Amplify Partners also participated, as well as existing investors Battery Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), and Ignition Partners. The Series D funding brings the company’s total amount raised to $65 million.

As part of the news, Chef also announced that Scale Venture Partners’ Rory O’Driscoll has joined the company’s board of directors. In addition, the company has hired Curt Anderson as its CFO. Anderson comes from Microsoft where he worked  as CFO for Microsoft’s Manufacturing and Supply Chain Division.

Companies like Nordstrom are using Chef to build a code-centric platform for automating the practices between different groups in the IT organization so the company can adapt and move faster in the overall market. The retailer has used Chef’s cookbook of automation scripts to give it the predictability it needs at a speed and scale that it can’t do manually. With Chef, Nordstrom can integrate its heterogeneous infrastructure, allowing the company to make the most of its engineers. For example, the retailer has a number of Unix engineers who can now work on Windows systems. Chef automates the underlying infrastructure so engineers can work on code to make changes that are automatically propagated to the Windows-based systems.

Chef, founded by engineers from Amazon and Microsoft, plays in a booming market. For instance, retail is learning that it has to treat its stores like showrooms connected to mobile apps that provide a clear way to compare different products. That’s not just something these traditional companies can do without thinking of their IT investment, which is often more than 20 years old.

The shift for many is from old, middleware software to a new services environment that abstracts old systems. A number of companies are seeking a piece of this market by offering continuous integration services. Chef will use its funding to build out its own version of a continuous integration platform that leverages its IT automation platform.

The challenge for the company will be less about its name and more about the competitive market it faces. Puppet Labs, another IT automation provider, is Chef’s biggest foe but there are also a number of new challengers rising in the market, including SaltStack and AnsibleWorks.