Hotshot Nebula gets $25M for plug-and-play OpenStack clouds

Nebula, one of the OpenStack cloud crowd, has netted $25 million in Series B funding to build out what CEO Chris Kemp calls an easy-to-deploy but fully enterprise-class cloud. Comcast Ventures (s cmcsa) led the Series B round with contributions from Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Innovation Endeavors, as well as Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Ram Shriram (the original Google (s goog) investors).

With the funding secured, one of the first orders of business is to expand the private beta which launched in March in select — and unnamed — biotech and financial services companies, Kemp said in an interview.

“We provide a device that they can plug their services into and, boom, they’re going,” he said. Some of the other OpenStack clouds — such as those from Red Hat (s rht) or Canonical — he said, will be more suited to hard-core techies that want to customize their clouds. Indeed, OpenStack clouds are starting proliferate with Rackspace (s rax), Internap (s inap), Hewlett-Packard (s hpq), Piston Cloud (see disclosure), SUSE and other companies all fielding their own implementations.

Nebula, now with just under 60 employees, is in hiring mode, seeking system level engineers, product managers and others. “We’ve never really stopped recruiting,” Kemp said. Indeed. Just a few weeks ago, Nebula landed 7 developers from Rackspace (s rax), a fellow OpenStack collaborator and, to some degree, competitor.

Nebula will also move into a new Mountain View, Calif., facility since it’s bursting out of its current Palo Alto headquarters in the former Facebook (s fb) office, Kemp said.

Comcast Ventures managing director Louis Toth said Nebula is particularly intriguing because of its management team — Kemp was formerly CTO of NASA and is one of the principal OpenStack architects — and its cloud deployment model. “The great thing about the Nebula Controller is you can take it and off-the-shelf white boxes and in a relatively short time set up a cloud and create hosted services for your user base,” he said. That’s an attractive model for both enterprises and small and medium businesses without a lot of IT resources.

Nebula, however, is coy about its total funding — it never disclosed how much it raised in its Series A round in July 2011.

Disclosure: Piston is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.