Data centre automation company Pensa has announced it’s raised $5m in seed funding to develop its automation platform that will help businesses migrate their apps to the cloud.

Pensa Maestro has been designed to help businesses create software-defined data centres to run their applications in the cloud. As part of the platform, its Pensa Lab software automates the process of creating virtualised test labs to ensure their apps work as planned.

It works on VMWare and OpenStack infrastructure at the moment, but solutions for AWS, Kubernetes and Microsoft Azure are in development too.

“Customers are trying to build extremely complex environments,” Pensa CEO Tom Joyce explained. “We can help with using intelligent automation that eliminates human error. It’s an intelligent test-lab-as-a-service that can design, build, and deploy for you.”

He added that implementing Pensa Labs can reduce the time it takes to build development environments down to just 30 minutes, compared to hours or in some cases, days.

Other benefits are reduced costs because the manpower to create testing environments is significantly lower and as a result, applications can be delivered twice as fast as using a manual set-up.

The company’s first major partnership is with Nokia, which will use the technology to validate and deploy applications for many of its telco providers, although neither company has revealed the precise details.

“Nokia and Pensa have been collaborating very closely in 2017 to develop next generation service automation using agile and DevOps methodologies to help our customers build better and more flexible infrastructure to connect with their customers,” Pieter Knikkink, portfolio manager for cloud services at Nokia explained.