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MadeiraCloud Gets Backing from Sequoia

The company, which started with basic AWS services, has just added full support for Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

MadeiraCloud, a San Francisco cloud management and visualization start-up, has raised a $1.5 million Series A round from Sequoia Capital's China Fund that will help get its WYSIWYG SaaS widgetry to launch, a milestone it hopes to hit by the end of the year.

Madeira, which is focused on Amazon Web Services, has a drag-and-drop tool that lets users design, provision, manage and monitor cloud infrastructure resources quickly and easily.

This Visual Cloud Management Platform has been in public beta since last June and CEO Daniel O'Prey says it's collected thousands of users in ventures from start-ups to teams in large companies across 85 countries.

He reckons it's now managing more than $25 million worth of AWS resources, a fascinating accomplishment for a little start-up nobody ever heard of and doubtlessly explains Sequoia's interest.

Madeira's self-service interface makes it easier for people to wrestle with the sheer number of services and resources needed to get going with Amazon. With it users have shortened their overall time to deployment by rapidly prototyping and revisioning their architectural designs, and have saved money by managing resources as part of grouped units instead of untracked individual nodes.

CTO Peng Zhao, who led China Mobile's Big Cloud IaaS project before co-founding Madeira with O'Prey, adds that "When people think about their AWS architecture they imagine these topology diagrams, but the initial diagrams they used to architect the application quickly become out-of-date and new team members have to figure our how the old applications were configured. Now that information is always a second away" stored as reusable templates.

Madeira users can provision extremely complicated multi-tier applications directly from their diagrams in minutes.

The company, which started with basic AWS services, has just added full support for Amazon's Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). VPC lets users take advantage of advanced AWS features like additional security and of course adds a whole new layer of complexity that Madeira says is especially hard to handle without a visual representation of the configuration. With its tool users can drag-and-drop subnets, route tables and elastic network interfaces to a canvas and provision that to a real running environment with a single click. No scripts.

Sequoia's money will be used to enhance Madeira's platform, expand its development team in Beijing and set up sales and marketing in San Francisco.

It also wants to add support for Amazon's Relational Database Service (RDS) and Auto Scaling among other advanced features before it GAs. And it wants to provide more comprehensive support for mobile and tablet users.

When it does formally launch, Madeira will begin charging for the closed source product. O'Prey, who previously led the design and development of the management console for one of Europe's largest mobile virtual network operators, imagines charging per node, per user, number of users and number of resources. He means to retain a free version restricted to a limited number of resources.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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