CloudBees doesn’t like IT. It also hates servers. So it’s not surprising that the company in August announced the beta of a Hudson-as-a-Service build system that charges by the minute instead of by the server. CloudBees’ DEV@cloud service is available for free for now as a beta, but should enter general availability in early December.

Sacha Labourey, cofounder and CEO of CloudBees, said that he left Red Hat’s JBoss division to start his own company because, as he put it, most developers and companies think about the cloud in an incorrect manner.

“What made me jump into this was when I realized that way too many IT shops and software vendors still look at the cloud as a bunch of hardware you can pay for by the hour. That doesn’t radically change anything,” he said.

“You essentially do everything the same except at deployment time. I came to realize this was actually pretty wrong. The server was the most painful unit of work, but it was a necessary evil of IT to run on servers. The proper unit of work is applications. We should be able to provide everything the cloud teaches us about, not in terms of the machine, but in terms of applications.”

To that end, Labourey and CloudBees are building a cloud-based Java platform. While other cloud-based Java platforms focus on deployment and hosting, Labourey said that CloudBees will offer two clouds; DEV@cloud for developers, and RUN@cloud for hosting live applications. The idea is that developers will be able to create, build and deploy their applications within these two platforms.

“Just focusing on the runtime aspects was a fine desire, but it was not what the market would love first,” Labourey said. “The move to the cloud, if you want to say it’s more than a bunch of virtual machines, needs to be the complete story. We decided to implement the complete application life cycle in the cloud.”

To that end, the first such developer service is the Hudson build tool offered within DEV@cloud. When it leaves beta in December, the service will cost US$30 per month, with $0.01 charged per minute of use on the build system. Using the Hudson-as-a-Service requires no server administration or configuration: The service simply uses as many machines as are required to complete the build while pricing remains tied to the time it takes to complete the build.

Labourey said CloudBees will continue to introduce software development tools as a service, and will also launch RUN@cloud in the first quarter of 2011.