The following Infographic, sponsored by Sauce Labs, provides data on the changing landscape for application testing given a computing environment increasingly characterized by agile application development, continuous integration processes and mobile apps. As illustrated below, the survey of IT professionals showed that continuous integration and agile methodologies led to the adoption of more automated testing. Meanwhile, cross-browser testing has achieved greater importance and developers are finding that most of the issues applications experience involve mobile devices in contrast to desktops.
On Wednesday, Docker announced the acquisition of SocketPlane, the software defined networking startup. From its inception in Q4 of 2014, SocketPlane sought to deliver networking specific to the Docker platform for distributed applications and participated extensively in early initiatives focused around building Docker’s open API for networking. As part of Docker, the SocketPlane team will focus on facilitating the development of networking APIs with Docker’s partner ecosystem. The acquisition of SocketPlane means that developers and Docker users can build applications knowing that they have a myriad of networking options for their Docker-based applications that collectively leverage one standard API protocol. Madhu Venugopal, CEO of SocketPlane, remarked on his experience with SocketPlane as follows:
We started SocketPlane with a goal of creating the best networking solution in the Docker ecosystem. We’re now excited to be broadening that vision to support and empower the partner ecosystem to create the best solutions possible for users. Given the myriad of networking use cases enabled by Docker, we believe strongly that we will be fostering broad opportunities for partners to build differentiated capabilities based upon Docker’s open standards.
Here, Venugopal elaborates on how SocketPlane intends to “empower the partner ecosystem” to create the most effective networking solutions for the Docker platform. As a result, Docker stands to bless a variety of APIs that allow vendors to select the networking option that optimally integrates with their platform while nevertheless conforming to the API standardization promoted by the acquisition of SocketPlane. Meanwhile, Adam Johnson, General Manager of Midokura, noted that Wednesday’s “Docker acquisition of SocketPlane is significant as it validates the need for overlay networking options within the popular Docker open source ecosystem, and now provides Docker with the right expertise to expand its own networking options, which will be hugely beneficial to the industry.” Johnson remarks on how SocketPlane’s acquisition stands to siginificantly expand Docker’s range of networking options in ways that benefit not only Docker, but also the entire industry insofar as anyone leveraging Docker’s containers for application development and portability will soon have access to an expanded range of networking options for Docker deployments. Docker’s acquisition of SocketPlane illustrates the acuity of Docker’s vision with respect to potential partners in conjunction with a perspicacious line of sight into the importance of building standardization into the proliferation of networking APIs for the Docker platform.
Alation today announces the finalization of $9M in Series A funding led by Costanoa Venture Capital and Data Collective Venture Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Bloomberg Beta and General Catalyst Partners. The funding will be used both for product development and the expansion of Alation’s sales and marketing operations. Still in stealth mode, Alation intends to enhance the ability of organizations to access and retrieve data. Based on the premise that organizations continue to struggle with respect to locating data housed within their own infrastructures, Alation intends to improve data accessibility as well as to help customers more effectively understand the quality and significance of their data. Alation CEO Satyen Sangani remarked on Alation’s value proposition as follows:
Organizations still struggle with quickly finding, understanding and using the right data. Data-driven enterprises have voracious appetites for information and continue to make massive investments in data management platforms like Hadoop and business intelligence software like Tableau. While these technologies help with computation, storage, and visualization, ironically they make it harder to navigate the ocean of data. Alation helps people get to key insights faster.
Although business intelligence platforms such as Tableau facilitate data visualization and analysis, Sangani notes, organizations continue to wrestle with the problem of maneuvering within their “ocean of data” and finding the right data for analysis. Led by a team of founders with prior experience at Oracle, Google and Apple, Alation is gearing up for a general availability release of its platform in mid-2015. As told to Cloud Computing Today by CEO Satyen Sangani, the company’s solution focuses on structured and semi-structured data and claims several large, data-driven companies within its roster of customers. Expect more details regarding Alation to emerge within the upcoming months as it comes out of stealth and takes the wraps off its platform for managing big data complexity and increasing data accessibility more generally.
Benjamin Black, one of the key resources behind the concept and implementation of Amazon Web Services, joined Pivotal Cloud Foundry as Senior Director of Technology in late February. Black collaborated with Chris Pinkham to write the proposal to build Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) platform that was subsequently approved by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. In his new role at Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Black will lead an Internet of Things lab in Seattle that represents the cusp of Pivotal’s thought leadership about IoT data aggregation and analytics. After leading an engineering team at Amazon Web Services, Black worked at Microsoft before becoming CEO and Founder of Boundary. Black’s addition to the Pivotal Cloud Foundry team constitutes the latest of high profile hires including Joshua McKenty, former CEO of Piston Cloud Computing and OpenStack co-founder and Andrew Clay Shafer, co-founder of Puppet Labs. The announcement of Black’s hire comes head on the heels of Pivotal’s decision to open source its Big Data Suite and enter into a strategic partnership with Hortonworks. Pivotal is a spinoff of EMC and VMware that aims to drive a transformation of contemporary IT by bringing the power of cloud computing, Big Data, agile application development and real-time analytics to the modern enterprise.
Today, Cisco and Equinix announce that Cisco Tail-f Network Control System (NCS) will now form part of the foundational infrastructure of the Equinix Cloud Exchange. Cisco Tail-f Network Control System (NCS) enhances the Equinix Cloud Exchange by delivering multi-vendor orchestration functionality in addition to the automation of networking solutions. As such, TCS empowers customers to rapidly provision multi-cloud environments and thereby optimize the selection of different cloud platforms for a multitude of use cases. By facilitating the rapid deployment of multi-cloud environments, Cisco Tail-f NCS further empowers customers to leverage a myriad of cloud platforms for redundancy and failover purposes in addition to empowering them to avoid vendor lock-in. Because NCS complies with the YANG and NETCONF protocols, it can manage use cases requiring the configuration and orchestration of multiple cloud platforms in real-time. The innovation of Cisco Tail-f Network Control System (NCS) consists in its ability to facilitate agile multi-cloud development and orchestration by integrating with the Equinix Cloud Exchange SDN’s Equinix Programmable Network (EPN). Built on a modular architecture and a “proven set of APIs that allow customers to self-provision multiple new connections instantaneously,” the Equinix Cloud Exchange delivers an infrastructure that mitigates against vendor lock-in and gives customers more choices with respect to their deployments and long-term cloud strategy. Equinix’s partnership with Cisco and its NCS technology represents a breakthrough in multi-cloud management and underscores the degree to which the industry can now support operational agility with respect to the management of multiple cloud vendors as represented by the ability to provision and configure multiple cloud deployments in real-time.
On Thursday, Docker announced the release in public beta of a suite of orchestration tools that enhance the ability of developers to manage containers used for the development of distributed applications. Docker Machine, for example, empowers developers to install the Docker engine on a host machine by provisioning the host and then installing the engine within that infrastructure. Docker Machine can provision containers on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Digital Ocean, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Softlayer, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Hyper-V, OpenStack, Rackspace Cloud, VirtualBox, VMware Fusion®, VMware vCloud® Air™, and VMware vSphere. Docker’s deep integrations with the most widely used IaaS platforms and technologies in the industry allows developers to deploy Docker containers using one command that takes responsibility for provisioning the host infrastructure in addition to installing the Docker engine. Meanwhile, Docker Swarm creates clusters of Docker engines and manages relationships between containers as an application scales. In addition, Docker Swarm gives developers a unified developer interface for managing multiple Docker engines and handles the scheduling of application-related jobs and processes as they relate to multiple containers. Finally, Docker Compose enables developers to manage a multi-container application using a YAML file that defines and updates the relationships between the various containers that collectively constitute an application.
Docker’s release of its suite of orchestration tools comes head on the heels of an announcement by Mirantis and Google to integrate Google’s Kubernetes framework for managing containers with the OpenStack platform, thereby enhancing the ability of developers to transport container-based applications from OpenStack-based private clouds to public clouds that support Kubernetes such as the Google Cloud Platform. One advantage of Docker’s orchestration tools in comparison to other container management frameworks is that they deliver a unified end to end experience for deploying and managing Docker containers. Docker Swarm, for example, integrates with the Amazon Web Services Container Service as well as IBM Bluemix Container Service, Joyent Smart Data Center and Microsoft Azure, thereby enhancing the portability of applications and enabling the avoidance of vendor lock-in. Moreover, Swarm works with third party orchestration products in addition to the orchestration services specific to different cloud platforms. In all, Docker’s Beta release of its orchestration tools in conjunction with its expanded roster of partner integrations suggests that Docker and the container management industry at large may well have cracked the nut specific to the transportation of applications from one infrastructure to another and by extension solved part of the cloud computing industry’s problem related to vendor lock-in. Meanwhile, container usage stands to continue skyrocketing as more and more vendors contribute to their ease of deployment, management and migration and collectively create a rich and venerable ecosystem for container use and portability.
On Wednesday, Midokura announced the latest release of its Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM) platform that delivers network virtualization for IaaS clouds. Wednesday’s release constitutes the first major release since Midokura’s decision to open source its network virtualizaton technology in November. MEM supports not only OpenStack but also VMware vSphere and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 as illustrated below:
The innovation of this commercial release consists of the platform’s deep integration with additional IaaS platforms such as VMware vSphere, for example, which subsequently allows enterprises to use MidoNet for both proprietary and OpenStack-based IaaS deployments as evinced in hybrid cloud infrastructures, for example. Co-founder and CEO of Midokura Dan Dumitriu remarked on the significance of MEM’s support for platforms beyond OpenStack as follows:
Our latest Enterprise MidoNet release marks the next step in our product evolution by offering support for platforms that are already proven and well-entrenched in modern enterprise data centers. The result is that businesses can make the most of their technology investments with Midokura’s open, scalable network virtualization for heterogeneous hypervisors and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds.
As Dumitriu notes, the most recent release of MidoNet throws open the door for MidoNet to be used in a variety of datacenters that collectively leverage “heterogeneous hypervisors” for their IaaS platforms. MidoNet’s decision to support a variety of IaaS frameworks means that, while it stands to benefit from its early traction amongst the OpenStack community, it also now positions itself to support a more diverse range of cloud platforms and amalgamations of IaaS infrastructures and subsequently make an even stronger case for its prominence amongst OpenStack deployments by virtue of its extensibility to other environments that may variously complement OpenStack. As of this release, MEM also supports OpenStack Juno and includes enhancements such as Load Balancing as a Service for the OpenStack Neutron project. Available immediately, Midokura is offering a 30 day free trial of MEM including enterprise-grade support and the MidoNet Manager interface.