Massdriver wants to abstract infrastructure to let developers focus on coding TechCrunch

Modern DevOps has turned back the clock on agile software development. These are fighting words, but they are the words of Corey O’Daniel, CEO of Mass driver, stands aside. From his perspective, engineers today often wait for other teams to write code, creating frustrating bottlenecks.

“DevOps was supposed to be a practice,” O’Daniel told TechCrunch via email. “[It’s] it’s not flexible, it’s a “waterfall”. Modern DevOps is a waterfall in agile clothing.”

Some studies show that DevOps is indeed hindered by infrastructure challenges. According to per CloudBolt, 11% of developers responding to a 2021 survey found their CI/CD infrastructure reliable, while over half (55%) had difficulty creating consistent pipeline environments.

That’s why O’Daniel, along with Chris Hill and Dave Williams, co-founded Massdriver in 2021. Massdriver’s platform is designed to help manage infrastructure and applications in enterprises, allowing engineers to deploy infrastructure without cloud experience.

“Williams and I were working on a side project and got into an argument about who would do the operational work. Here we were, two seasoned operations engineers with more than 15 years of experience each in cloud operations, arguing over who was going to have to do the heavy lifting,” O’Daniel said. O’Daniel previously served as Principal Software Architect at The RealReal and Cloud Solutions Architect at Container Heroes, an IT consulting company. “We both just wanted to write software that created business value. This is where the idea for Massdriver was born.”

Mass driver

Image Credits: Mass driver

Using Massdriver, customers choose from pre-built infrastructure “packages” that they can connect to create systems across regions or cloud providers with a visual tool. After deployment, systems can be monitored from the Massdriver admin dashboard, which also helps orchestrate features like cloud outage detection and automated status pages.

O’Daniel emphasized that Massdriver’s alert notifications take users to a diagram of their infrastructure and highlight affected components, rather than forcing them to jump between tools like PagerDuty, Datadog and Terraform. This month we will see the release of support for continuous deployment, complementing the existing support for container registries and DNS management.

“We’re taking a different approach to building internal developer platforms… We’re giving engineers a diagramming interface. This is their source of truth. This is their documentation when recruiting new teammates. It’s how they manage and monitor their infrastructure,” O’Daniel said. “We want to meet companies where they are and let them choose the best tool for the job.”

Since soft-launching in March, O’Daniel says Massdriver has reached “well around” six-figure annual recurring revenue and an “average 80%” gross margin. (Gross margin is the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold divided by revenue; a number above 75% is considered healthy.) Despite competition from Up and Humanitec, the company has about 100 developers in 35 organizations managing more than 80 computing environments and plans to expand its workforce by 11 people in the next month.

Massdriver — which is backed by Y Combinator — recently raised $4 million in seed funding. O’Daniel says the funds will be used to move beyond the minimum viable product phase and “continue to make the product easier for engineers of all calibers to deploy a production-ready infrastructure.”

“Massdriver enables engineers and IT staff to deliver secure infrastructure faster with Railings – less infrastructure worry, more confident delivery… Anyone in the organization can open the tool and gain insight into infrastructure, data services and applications, O’ Daniel said. “At Massdriver, we want to let engineers design so they can focus on delivering business value, not laboring over configuring commodity infrastructure—and that’s what the C-suite wants, too.”

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