Opscode cooks up $11M for server management tool Chef

It’s a big day for a Seattle startup called Opscode. Not only is the company announcing its second funding round of $11 million, it’s also ready to start charging for Chef, its system for automatically managing server infrastructure.

Even before the commercial launch, Opscode said there are plenty of companies with popular websites using Chef, including 37signals, Etsy, and Scribd. And a number of other web application management and hosting companies have contributed to the Chef project, including Rackspace, RightScale, and VMware (through its division for SpringSource development tools).

The commercial version of Chef is available for a free 60 day trial, then pricing starts at $50 per month. In the announcement, open source analyst firm The 451 Group said this launch has “the promise to be one of the watershed moments in web infrastructure.”

Opscode’s cofounder and chief executive Jesse Robbins previously served as Amazon’s “Master of Disaster,” who was ensuring website availability. He said Chef’s audience is expanding from “early adopter” companies to larger, more traditional enterprises — and even though a lot of the hype right now is around cloud computing, Chef can work on more traditional infrastructure as well. Moving forward, Robbins said Opscode is looking to improve its tools for monitoring applications and infrastructure..

The current round was led by Battery Ventures. Draper Fisher Jurvetson led Opscode’s $2.5 million first round, and also participated in the latest funding.