As more and more companies are looking at cloud computing, a startup called Makara is announcing new tools that should make it easier to get traditional software applications onto cloud infrastructure.

Plenty of other startups, such as Heroku, help companies deploy and manage their cloud applications. But Redwood City, Calif.-based makara says that with its Cloud Application Platform, developers can build applications as if they were meant to work in a traditional data center. Those applications placed in an application capsule, then Makara’s platform handles deploying the app to the cloud, scaling the app based on demand, and monitoring for any problems.

Makara supports applications that run on an online public cloud, on a private cloud (i.e., private data centers that use cloud computing architecture), or applications that move back-and-forth between both. (for example, testing the application on Amazon’s infrastructure, then running the real thing on a private cloud behind your company’s firewall). You can see more details about how the platform works in the video at the end of the article. And kudos to Makara for making a cloud computing video that didn’t put me to sleep.

The company is launching its platform in testing mode today, for free, with plans to launch Version 1 and start charging in a few months. It’s also announcing a name change — until now, Makara was known as webappVM, but apparently Makara will be easier for people to remember. The company raised a $6 million first round from Sierra Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Mark Andreessen, and Ben Horowitz.