Q&A With Jeff Drazan, CEO Of Morpheus Data, Regarding Its Infrastructure Agnostic Cloud Application Management Platform

Cloud Computing Today recently spoke with Jeff Drazan, CEO of Morpheus Data, about its platform that empowers developers to deploy and manage applications on any infrastructure, including public, private and hybrid clouds as well as on-premise infrastructures. Drazan elaborates on the company’s history, products and services and future plans in the questions below.

Cloud Computing Today Question #1: Tell us about the history of Morpheus Data and its positioning within the contemporary technology landscape.

Morpheus Data Response #1: Morpheus Data was born out of necessity, which is why it resonates so well with customers today.  Morpheus’s parent company, Bertram Capital, has a successful track record of investing in diverse companies and leveraging technology to improve their competitiveness and efficiency. Bertram Labs serves as the technology arm of Bertram Capital, and is responsible for technology enablement of Bertram’s portfolio of 16 companies.  The Bertram Labs team noticed several recurring challenges across the portfolio companies, but found that there were no tools on the market to address those challenges.  As necessity is the mother of invention, Bertram decided to build its own tools for monitoring (HappyApps), logging (Oohla Log), backups (Bitcan) and application templating (AppSauce).  These discrete tools were then re-engineered into a single, holistic application called Morpheus Data.   The diversity of requirements across the Bertram portfolio companies resulted in a highly capable and extensible platform that works with any app, any database and any infrastructure or cloud provider.   This allows the application teams to focus solely on their own application.  This is the true power of Morpheus.

Cloud Computing Today Question #2: What are some examples of Morpheus Data’s flagship products and services? What is their innovation and what problem do they solve?

Morpheus Data Response #2: The Morpheus Controller is the heart-and-soul of the Morpheus platform.  It sits in the control plane and provides a single-pane of glass for workload deployment, monitoring and mobility.  Morpheus fundamentally helps organizations decouple their modern application from underlying infrastructure, whether that’s on-premise or in any public cloud, allowing the team to focus entirely on the functionality of their application, not on the specifics of how or where it will be deployed.

Cloud Computing Today Question #3: How is your platform different from a PaaS offering such as Cloud Foundry or container-based technologies such as Docker?

Morpheus Data Response #3: Traditional PaaS offerings merely provide a home for application deployment.  They abstract away the complexity of the underlying infrastructure, shifting focus entirely to the application itself.  Most of them achieve this by simply taking over, or becoming the infrastructure, providing a very specific home for application deployment.  In that regard, they are very prescriptive, limited and inflexible.  Instead of leaving the infrastructure specifics up to the team, traditional PaaS approaches create the environment and tell the users “Here, use this very specific environment.”

Similar to PaaS, Morpheus also abstracts away the underlying infrastructure, but allows the use of ANY infrastructure or cloud provider.  This provides tremendous flexibility and mobility around the applications themselves and takes PaaS to a whole new level.  Morpheus takes things even further by automatically wrapping the application with monitoring, logging and backups.  These are critical functions that normal PaaS platforms don’t address at all.

Morpheus is also agnostic to the form-factor of the application stack, whether it is bare-metal, virtualized or even containerized using something like Docker.  Most PaaS handle each of those form-factors very differently, or not at all, leading to complexity.

Cloud Computing Today Question #4: How does your product contribute to the realization of inter-operability between cloud platforms?

Morpheus Data Response #4: Morpheus is infrastructure and cloud agnostic, leveraging native APIs to both on-premise hardware platforms and popular public-cloud services.  The application team can deploy on-premise or in any cloud with precisely the same methodology, through the same single pane of glass.  They can even migrate between these environments with the click of a mouse.  Morpheus abstracts out the specifics of the infrastructure or cloud provider, preventing cloud lock-in.

Cloud Computing Today Question #5: How are your customers using the product at this stage of its evolution?

Morpheus Data Response #5: Customers are leveraging the power of Morpheus to consistently deploy their modern application stacks to any private, public or hybrid cloud. Morpheus eliminates cloud-lock by enabling application mobility and provides a consistent operational view of the application, regardless of where it has been deployed.

About Jeff Drazan, CEO of Morpheus Data

Jeff currently serves as chairman of Morpheus Data as well as managing partner of Bertram Capital, a middle market private equity firm with over $1B of assets under management. He is also director of Spireon (fleet management), Maxcess (manufacturing), Paula’s Choice (skin care & cosmetics), Clarus Glassboards (architectural glass), Rowmark (plastics), Creative Drive (e-commerce content management), and MorpheusData (cloud management). Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Management.

Jeff was previously a co-founder and managing director of Sierra Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm with $1.5 billion under management. Prior to Sierra Ventures, Jeff served in a variety of operations and R&D management positions at both AT&T and Bell Laboratories.

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