Facebook taps Seattle cloud startup Opscode to help automate core infrastructure

Facebook has a growing array of computer servers that it uses to power all of its services, from messaging to video to photos. Now, the social networking giant is turning to a Seattle startup to help manage all of that back-end infrastructure.

Facebook announced today that it has deployed Opscode’s Private Chef automation and management tool, allowing its engineers to easily oversee thousands of computer servers at once.

It’s a big win for Opscode, which raised $19.5 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Ignition Partners and others last Spring. Opscode has been growing fast, tapping former Avanade boss Mitch Hill as CEO in the summer of 2011 and nearly doubling its staff as of last October. 

“Opscode Private Chef provided an automation solution flexible enough to bend to our scale dynamics without requiring us to change our workflow,” said Phil Dibowitz, production engineer at Facebook.

In addition to deploying Private Chef, Facebook is working alongside Opscode to help deliver the open source Chef 11, which was also released today.  

“Facebook’s infrastructure is both truly unique and a model for the future of enterprise computing. Their use of Private Chef to automate and manage this large-scale infrastructure illustrates the power of Chef in solving some of the most critical and complicated IT challenges on the planet,” said Adam Jacob, Chief Customer Officer at Opscode. 

Meanwhile, TechCrunch points out that Portland-based Puppet Labs, which just raised $30 million from VMware, is one of Opscode’s biggest rivals.