Jelastic, the Platform as Infrastructure vendor, recently announced an update to its combined PaaS-IaaS offering for Java, Ruby and PHP marked by the addition of performance, scalability and security functionality. The new version (version 1.9.3) features enhanced garbage collection features, PHP optimization, automated scaling of PHP hosts to designated limits and more granular database and application access functionality. Because the IaaS platform is indigenous to Jelastic, the solution boasts one of the tightest integrations of PaaS and IaaS in the industry with key differentiators that include speed of deployment, maximum application density and optimal application performance. Version 1.9.3 also features billing functionality geared toward cloud service providers in line with the company’s business model of selling to enterprises, OEMs and cloud service providers. Jelastic’s Platform as Infrastructure solution represents yet another example of the co-implication of PaaS and IaaS, as illustrated most recently by the partnership between CloudBees and Verizon whereby CloudBees stands to complement Verizon’s embryonic IaaS platform.
Platform as a Service
What should the cloud computing industry make of the recent partnership between CloudBees and Verizon to render the CloudBees PaaS available on the Verizon Cloud? The obvious point worth noting is that the partnership enables CloudBees to take advantage of Verizon’s brand, partner relationships and global IT infrastructure to more effectively position its PaaS within the larger cloud landscape. More specifically, the CloudBees-Verizon partnership allows the Java-based PaaS to position itself alongside a brand-name IaaS vendor that is rapidly developing partnerships with other technology partners to enhance the Verizon IaaS platform that was revealed in October and remains in public Beta. Note that this is not the first time CloudBees has partnered with an IaaS vendor. In 2012, for example, CloudBees announced the availability of a PaaS platform branded AnyCloud on IaaS platforms such as Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud Services. The larger point here is that the CloudBees partnership with Verizon is illustrative less of the impending demise of PaaS, and more of the consolidation of IaaS as a respected sales channel for PaaS, with the attendant consequence that completely standalone PaaS vendors with no IaaS-related partnerships are becoming increasingly rare in the industry. The bottom line, however, is that the coupling of IaaS and PaaS means that PaaS has finally, irrevocably arrived, albeit not in the standalone form in which it originally emerged, but as a critical extension and offering amongst its dominant IaaS cousin in parallel with separate, dedicated PaaS sales operations teams and infrastructures.
Infochimps today announced a Big Data platform as a service that integrates with existing enterprise IT infrastructures while adding Big Data management and analytic solutions. The Infochimps platform is based on open source, web-scale technologies in addition to a cloud-based deployment structure. One of the unique features of the Infochimps solution is that it gauges the position of customers with respect to Big Data management and subsequently recommends a path toward effectively operationalizing Big Data in conjunction with customer needs. To help customers understand how to realize their Big Data needs, Infochimps complements its Big Data platform as a service with a suite of consulting services designed to guide customers through the Big Data lifecycle. Jim Kaskade, Director of CSC’s open Big Data solutions, commented on the Infochimps methodology as follows:
We’ve defined distinct phases along the Big Data adoption lifecycle where companies fall. We identify our customers’ current state, and then carefully guide them to organization-wide operationalization of Big Data insights.
Infochimps shares the insight previously articulated by Paul Maritz, CEO of Pivotal, that with the exception of companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, few enterprises have come to terms with the project of effectively operationalizing Big Data. In an interview with Raj Dalal of Big Data Insights at Strata 2014, Kaskade claimed that approximately 50% of Big Data initiatives fail due to poorly scoped projects, excessive complexity within the Big Data technology landscape and internal political friction. In response, Infochimps proposes a comprehensive Big Data implementation methodology in addition to its PaaS platform. Details remain scant but we should expect to hear more at Strata and in the coming weeks about the Infochimps methodology for assessing the customer’s current state of Big Data and subsequently designing a programmatic path focused around integrating existing technology stacks with its Big Data PaaS. Infochimps was acquired by CSC in August 2013.
Apprenda today announced the release of version 5.0 of its enterprise PaaS platform for .NET and Java. Version 5.0 boasts expanded functionality for the implementation of enterprise policies, an upgraded developer portal and the deepest integration of .NET and Java in the PaaS industry today. Apprenda’s support for enterprise policies enables administrators to determine the types of access had by developers to different machines and development environments, or to create rules that constrain the degree to which development environments scale. For example, developers can leverage Apprenda 5.0’s support for enterprise policies to specify the minimum and maximum number of instances within a development environment to ensure that aberrant code does not inadvertently spawn a fleet of unnecessary virtual machines.
Apprenda 5.0’s management console allows developers to understand, at a glance, how their ecosystem is performing as illustrated by the graphic below:
Developers can click on the red or orange bars in the top left quadrant to drill down on fatalities and errors and identify the instances and applications implicated in each category. Similarly, the top right quadrant illustrates the breakdown of Memory and CPU by application tier, whether it be websites, web services or the data tier. The visualization enabled by Apprenda 5.0’s enhanced developer portal represents part of the project of building “the most sophisticated, enterprise-grade PaaS on the market” according to Rakesh Malhotra, Apprenda’s VP of Products.
In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, Malhotra asserted the superiority of Apprenda’s Java and .NET functionality in comparison with competitors such as Cloud Foundry, Pivotal HD and Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS by noting that Apprenda delivers the most integrated version of both .NET and Java, the two most widely used development frameworks in the industry. Apprenda’s integrated support of .NET renders it particularly attractive to Windows shops, an IT constituency that is apparently gaining momentum as evinced by the decision by Hortonworks to render its Hadoop 2.0 distribution compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
Overall, Apprenda 5.0 marks a significant step toward rendering Apprenda more attractive to enterprise customers that are intensely concerned with the policies and procedures that govern PaaS deployments. Moreover, Apprenda 5.0’s dynamic visualization technology for monitoring and controlling the performance of its private PaaS deployments dovetails effectively with its policies and procedures capabilities in order to ensure effective deployment parameters and swift remediation of irregular behavior within the PaaS infrastructure. Now that Apprenda has pivoted away from its previous monolingual commitment to .NET as opposed to its current support of .NET and Java, Apprenda 5.0 represents a clear and distinct attempt to consolidate its claim to be the only enterprise-grade PaaS in the industry today. Apprenda 5.0’s attention to streamlining the implementation of policies and procedures in conjunction with a dynamic developer portal illustrates a sustained effort to listen to and realize the needs of enterprise customers. The PaaS landscape should expect the emergence of even more enterprise-friendly functionality from Apprenda over the next year as it takes advantage of its recent funding raise to accelerate product development in tandem with a parallel expansion of its sales and marketing initiatives.
Red Hat Expands Availability Of OpenShift Online In Europe And Adds More Partners To OpenShift Partner Program
After years in which Platform as a Service vendors had been eclipsed by the Infrastructure as a Service space, PaaS vendors appear to be making a comeback as enterprises take stock of the benefits of preconfigured technology stacks and development platforms that absolve IT administrators of the complexities of provisioning and managing ecosystems of virtual machines. Responding to consumer demand, for example, Red Hat recently announced the expansion of its commercial, public Platform as a Service, OpenShift Online, to 14 European countries including Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Cyprus and Malta. The geographic expansion of the purview of OpenShift renders the commercial, silver tier of OpenShift Online available to customers and thereby provides them with the option of technical support, free storage upgrades and additional resources.
In related news, Red Hat also announced the expansion of its partner program for its ecosystem of OpenShift PaaS products, which provides pre-configured support for development in Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js, and Perl. While OpenShift Online represents Red Hat’s public PaaS, its suite of PaaS offerings also includes OpenShift Enterprise, a PaaS for on premise private clouds, and OpenShift Origin, the open source PaaS project whose code forms the foundation for all of Red Hat’s suite of OpenShift PaaS platforms. Red Hat expanded its partner program for the OpenShift PaaS suite of platforms to include application performance management, backend as a service, database as a service, IT integration and consulting vendors such as AppDynamics, Continuent, Kinvey, Netsource Partners, Phase 2, StrongLoop, Vizuri and Pat V. Mack. The expansion of Red Hat’s partner program means that OpenShift developers and customers now have even more tools at their disposal for building applications using the OpenShift platform.
On Tuesday, Pivotal announced details of Pivotal One, an integrated platform for application development that aims to bring the scalability and performance enjoyed by tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to enterprise computing. Pivotal One delivers a suite of application and database services around Pivotal CF, an enterprise grade distribution of Cloud Foundry that customers can deploy within on premise environments, VMware or OpenStack-based cloud infrastructures or on Amazon Web Services. Pivotal CF features the Pivotal CF Elastic Runtime Service, which ensures a scalable runtime environment and the Pivotal CF Operations Manager, which provides a comprehensive suite of services for managing and upgrading the Pivotal CF platform in addition to integrating it with IaaS environments.
Pivotal CF is surrounded by an ecosystem of Pivotal One products such as Pivotal™ HD, Pivotal AX, Pivotal RabbitMQ™, and MySQL. Pivotal HD represents Pivotal’s distribution of Apache Hadoop, Pivotal AX delivers analytic services for querying, analyzing, discovering and visualizing data, Pivotal RabbitMQ provides a messaging service for applications and MySQL gives customers the option of a familiar relational database with which to build their applications. The conjunction of Pivotal CF with Pivotal One’s wraparound products marks an offering that integrates the versatility of Cloud Foundry’s tools for agile application development with Pivotal’s tools for big data deployments and data analytics. The offering strives to increase the degree of respect accorded to Platform as a Service in contemporary cloud computing by delivering an enterprise PaaS that surpasses the agility, performance and scalability of application development options available by means of today’s IaaS platforms.
EMC’s Pivotal One Attempts To Bring IT Infrastructures Of Facebook, Google and Amazon Web Services To Enterprise
This week, EMC and its subsidiary VMware revealed details of the vision behind Pivotal, its spin-off company financed in part by $105 million in capital from GE. In a webcast announcing the launch of Pivotal on Wednesday, Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, formerly CEO of VMware from 2008 to 2012, remarked that Pivotal attempts to bring to enterprises the technology platforms that have allowed internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon Web Services to efficiently operate IT infrastructures on a massive scale while concurrently demonstrating cost and performance efficiencies in application development and data analytics.
Referring specifically to Facebook, Google and Amazon Web Services, Maritz elaborated on the strengths of their IT infrastructure as follows:
If you look at the way they do IT, it is significantly different than the way enterprises do IT. Specifically, they are good at storing large amounts of data and drawing information from it in a cost-effective manner. They can develop applications very quickly. And they are good at automating routines. They used these three capabilities together to introduce new experiences and business processes that have yielded — depended on how you want to count it — a trillion dollars in market value.
According to Maritz, the internet giants are a cut above everyone else with respect to data storage, data analytics, application development and automation. Enterprises, in contrast, leverage comparatively archaic IT infrastructures marked by on premise data centers and attempts to migrate to the cloud in conjunction with meager data analytics capability and poor or non-existent IT automation and orchestration processes. As a result, the enterprise market represents an opportunity to deploy technology platforms that allow for efficient storage, data integration across disparate data sources and interactive applications with real-time responses to incoming data as Maritz notes below:
It is clear that there is a widespread need emerging for new solutions that allow customers to drive new business value by cost-effectively reasoning over large datasets, ingesting information that is rapidly arriving from multiple sources, writing applications that allow real-time reactions, and doing all of this in a cloud-independent or portable manner. The need for these solutions can be found across a wide range of industries and it is our belief that these solutions will drive the need for new platforms. Pivotal aims to be a leading provider of such a platform. We are honored to work with GE, as they seek to drive new business value in the age of the Industrial Internet.
More specifically, Pivotal will provide a platform as a service infrastructure called Pivotal One that brings the capabilities currently enjoyed by the likes of Facebook and Google to enterprises in ways that allow them to continue their transition to cloud-based IT infrastructures while concurrently enjoying all of the benefits of advanced storage, analytics and agile application development. In other words, Pivotal One marks the confluence of Big Data, Cloud, Analytics and Application Development in a bold play to commoditize the IT capabilities held by a handful of internet giants and render them available to the enterprise through a PaaS platform.
Pivotal One’s key components include the following:
Pivotal Data Fabric
A platform for data storage and analytics based on Pivotal HD, which features an enterprise-grade distribution of Apache Hadoop in addition to Pivotal HD’s HAWQ analytics platform.
Pivotal Cloud and Application Platform
An application development framework for Java for the enterprise based on Cloud Foundry and Spring.
Pivotal Expert Services
Professional services for agile application development and data analytics.
Open Source Support
Active support of open source projects such as but not limited to Spring, Cloud Foundry, RabbitMQ™, Redis, OpenChorus™.
Pivotal currently claims Groupon, EMI, and Salesforce.com among its customer base. The company already has 1250 employees and, given GE’s financing and interests, is poised to take a leadership role in the industrial internet space whereby objects such as automobiles, washers, dryers and other appliances deliver real-time data to a circuit of analytic dashboards that iteratively provide feedback, automation and control. Pivotal One also represents a nascent trend within the Platform as a Service industry whereby PaaS is increasingly evolving into an “everything as a service” platform that sits atop various IaaS infrastructures. For example, CumuLogic recently announced news of a platform that allows customers to build Amazon Web Services-like infrastructures marked by suites of IaaS, Big Data, PaaS and application development infrastructures on top of private clouds behind their enterprise firewall. EMC’s Pivotal One is expected to be generally available by the end of 2013.
This week, Red Hat announced the release of version 1.1 of its platform as a service offering, OpenShift Enterprise. OpenShift Enterprise is the product within Red Hat’s PaaS OpenShift offering that can be deployed both within customer data centers as well in public or hybrid cloud infrastructures. The product supports Java, Ruby, Node.js, Python, PHP, and Perl and runs on the same code used for Red Hat’s online PaaS OpenShift offering.
Key features of Red Hat’s OpenShift Enterprise 1.1 include the following:
•A web-based, developer console for application deployment that supplements the command line interface introduced in version 1.0.
•Reference architecture for deploying OpenShift Enterprise
•Bug fixes that enhance stability and security, particularly with respect to the broker and the node component that serves as the repository for applications, according to The Register.
Built on open source Red Hat software such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss and OpenShift Origin, OpenShift Enterprise represents part of the OpenShift portfolio that was recently named the winner in the “Best Platform as a Service” category by The Cloud Awards 2013 program. Red Hat’s release of OpenShift Enterprise 1.1 three months after the product’s launch in November suggests a seriousness on the part of the Raleigh-based company about enterprise PaaS given that it typically operates in longer release cycles on the order of 18 months.