Summary:

Cloudability, a startup that bills itself as “Mint.com for the cloud,” has raised $1.1 million in seed funding for its service that helps companies keep an eye on their cloud-computing spending. It recently let one user spot an exploit that could have cost the company dearly.

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Cloudability, a company that launched at our Structure event in June and that bills itself as “Mint.com for the cloud,” has raised $1.1 million in seed funding for its service that helps companies keep an eye on their cloud-computing spending. The service went into public beta in November and saved its private beta users an average of $2,000 a month. Although some saved a whole lot more.

One customer, MediaCore, made a big mistake that could have cost it tens of thousands of dollars had it not signed up for Cloudability. In November, the video-encoding service accidentally disabled the 30-second trial account limitations on its services, and some hackers noticed this flaw immediately. They began uploading full-length videos and putting the embed codes on sites featuring pirated content.

A Cloudability alert the next morning alerted MediaCore to a $4,000 spike in its CDN costs, the result of hackers sending 24TB worth of video over the CDN service overnight. They fixed the problem in short order, but a few months ago, before it began using Cloudability, MediaCore ate a $20,000 CDN bill after an earlier loophole let hackers send 80TB over the CDN.

This is an extreme example, of course — most companies probably just don’t realize how many cloud accounts are open across various departments, or how many Amazon EC2 instances are actually running — but money saved is money saved, regardless of where the excess spend is coming from.

In that regard, Portland, Ore-based Cloudability is a very valuable service, although how, or whether, it can expand beyond simply tracking costs will likely determine how it fares. There might be real value, for example, in somehow pairing cost-monitoring application-monitoring, with identity management, to give users a fuller view of how their cloud costs relate to other factors.

Trinity Ventures and Walden Venture Capital led the seed round, while a consortium of Portland-based angel investors chipped in $255,000. To get Cloudability’s take on the service, check out this “Meet the Startup” profile on the company.

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