OpDemand, a provider of software solutions for IT operations, today announced Deis, an open source application platform for public and private clouds. Deis allows software teams to deploy and scale almost any application on their own PaaS using a workflow inspired by Heroku. Deis combines Docker’s Linux container engine with infrastructure automation by Chef to create an application platform uniquely designed for developers and operations engineers. With Deis, software teams experience the benefits of PaaS and lightweight virtualization without giving up control of their underlying infrastructure.

Deis uses Docker’s industry-standard Linux containers to run applications. With Docker, applications deployed on Deis run as a series of secure, lightweight processes instead of separate virtual machines that waste resources and burden operations teams. This allows more applications to run on fewer servers, leading to dramatic increases in system utilization, lower management overhead and decreased costs. Deis makes this possible through open source orchestration technology that automatically builds, distributes and executes Docker containers.

“We are excited for the launch of Deis, which joins a growing trend of PaaS offerings that are purpose built to take advantage of Docker as a standard for lightweight virtualization and interoperability,” said Ben Golub, CEO of Docker. “The combination of Docker with support for Chef and Heroku-style deployment workflows should make Deis an appealing option for DevOps-minded organizations.”

Deis helps operations teams use Chef to orchestrate server provisioning across public cloud, private cloud and bare-metal. With Deis, servers are automatically incorporated into the application fabric where they perform functions for the platform based on Chef recipes. Chef Data Bags provide a highly available, shared data store used to configure the platform. Opscode’s library of Chef cookbooks makes it easy to deploy databases, messaging, caching and other services for use alongside Deis.

“Technology is rapidly becoming the primary touch point for customer interactions, meaning enterprise IT must move from the back office to a front office imperative in delivering goods and services,” said Ken Cheney, VP of Business Development, Opscode. “To win the race to market, businesses of all sizes must turbo-charge application development. Leveraging Chef as its automation engine, Deis delivers a robust application platform capable of shifting development cycles into hyperspeed.”

Deis is an open source project created and maintained by OpDemand. The project is hosted and managed on GitHub. All bugs, features and enhancements are tracked publicly, with project planning performed in the open on IRC and using GitHub milestones. This has led to a surge of community participation with developers filing issues and contributing code regularly, helping keep the Deis community healthy and vibrant.

“Deis has only been available for two months. The response from open source developers has been overwhelming,” said Joshua Schnell, CEO of OpDemand. “There is clearly demand for a more flexible approach to open PaaS. The OpDemand team will continue to make Deis better in concert with the open source community. We’re only getting started.”

OpDemand sells support and professional services around Deis. Software teams who want to deploy their own private PaaS can download Deis or purchase installation assistance from OpDemand. For more information, please visit Deis.io and OpDemand.com.