Apprenda today announced a partnership with Microsoft whereby Apprenda customers will receive a license to take advantage of Microsoft Azure’s IaaS solution. Although Apprenda currently supports Azure’s Infrastructure as a Service offering, today’s announcement facilitates the creation of hybrid cloud infrastructures by encouraging Apprenda customers to consider Azure to power the infrastructure that undergirds its PaaS infrastructure. Because customers who purchase Apprenda now have access to a “fully configured Azure infrastructure footprint out-of-the-box at no additional cost” they can freely consider use cases for collaborations between private and public clouds that synergistically enhance the offerings of both infrastructures. As such, the collaboration between Apprenda and Microsoft delivers a turnkey hybrid cloud infrastructure that empowers enterprises to use the computational power and scalability of the Azure public cloud in conjunction with Apprenda’s support for application development, enterprise policies and procedures and enterprise-grade security and monitoring tools. Today’s announcement represents a win for Microsoft because its customers now have access to an enterprise-grade private Platform as a Service while conversely, Apprenda benefits from its positioning as a complement to one of the world’s leading public cloud infrastructures. Given the centrality of Azure to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s “cloud-first” strategy for transforming Microsoft, the deal represents a particularly important partnership for Apprenda as it positions itself as a lynchpin for the creation of hybrid cloud infrastructures in contrast to a pure private PaaS player.
ActiveState today announced that cloud computing luminary Bernard Golden has joined the ActiveState leadership team as Vice President of Strategy. Golden is a cloud computing thought leader known for his cloud computing blog for CIO.com that Sys-Con-Media recognized as one of the top 50 cloud computing blogs. Golden has also held roles as the Director of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Solutions for Dell Cloud Manager as a result of Dell’s acquisition of Enstratius and CEO of HyperStratus. At Enstratius, Golden served as VP of Enterprise Solutions prior to its acquisition by Dell. Enstratius provides an infrastructure management solution that enables organizations to manage governance issues related to the use of public, private and hybrid clouds. Previously, as CEO of HyperStratus, Golden led a cloud computing consulting firm on topics such as cloud strategy, security and governance issues for clients that included Pepsi, Unilever and Chunghwa Telecom.
Golden commented on the opportunities enabled by ActiveState’s Stackato polyglot platform as a service solution as follows:
The Stackato solution provides the cloud governance and agility that enterprises require, alongside development, deployment and social monitoring tools for next generation innovation. ActiveState is well-positioned for continued growth. I look forward to being part of the ActiveState team and helping our customers leverage cost-savings, accelerate app deployment and innovate.
Here, Golden speaks to the strengths of Stackato’s governance functionality, monitoring tools and ability to accommodate the needs of enterprise customers regarding application development. Known as a “cloud guru” by several audiences and constituencies, Golden stands to contribute significantly to the next phase of ActiveState’s growth as it continues to build upon licensing partnerships with HP and another unnamed large cloud provider. Golden’s relationships within the cloud computing space and track record of building high-growth cloud-based companies means that ActiveState is poised to transform its existing profitability into an even greater share of contemporary PaaS market share over the next one to two years. The obvious question now will be whether the company’s strategic direction will shift markedly under his direction and if so, what course it will take.
This week, polyglot private PaaS vendor ActiveState announced the release of ActiveState Stackato 3.2, which features an array of enhancements that collectively focus on improving the security, scalability and ease of management of the platform. Version 3.2 delivers single sign-on functionality to ensure that access to the application complies with the identity management protocols of customers. In addition, this release upgrades the granularity of application-related permissions in order to give system administrators expanded control over who has access to specific components of the Stackato PaaS in conjunction with the ability to tweak their rights and permissions. Version 3.2 also offers placement zones and availability zones that allow customers to deploy their applications across multiple data centers or specific spheres of hardware in order to ensure the availability of applications in the event of infrastructure failover specific to one data center or set of infrastructure. Moreover, Stackato 3.2 supports application auto-scaling to maximize application availability during peak usage periods while concurrently scaling down the application during periods of diminished usage. Stackato’s auto-scaling functionality extends to Stackato on CloudStack or the Citrix CloudPlatform. Version 3.2 also features enhancements to Stackato’s management console in the form of additional dashboards that provide administrators with visual representations of the status of usage across placement and availability zones as well as memory availability and allocations across a cluster.
Stackato version 3.2 goes a long way toward rendering the Stackato platform fit for production usage amongst enterprise customers that demand granular permissions, single sign-on functionality, auto-scaling and the ability to deploy applications in multiple placement and availability zones. As such, the release constitutes yet another example of an enterprise-grade PaaS at a historical moment when PaaS technologies have been overshadowed by price wars in the IaaS space and industry innovations specific to Big Data analytics and management. Stackato, recall, is built on technology from the Cloud Foundry initiative and supports development languages such as, but not limited to, Java, Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, Erlang, Scala, Clojure and Mono. This week’s release illustrates the depth of innovation originating from one of the industry’s key PaaS players at a time when IaaS continues to overshadow PaaS despite the uniqueness of PaaS technology and its clear differentiation from IaaS.
NoSQL vendor Couchbase recently announced that its business partner KuroBase released a suite of products designed to render Couchbase more accessible on the Heroku platform as a service infrastructure. Specifically, KuroBase released the “Heroku Add-on for Couchbase” that allows users to provision an instance of Couchbase Server with the click of a mouse. In addition, KuroBase rendered available “Heroku Buildpacks for Ruby and Node.js” on GitHub that allow developers to quickly deploy applications coded in Ruby and Node.js within a Couchbase infrastructure on the Heroku platform. Collectively, the releases stand to render Couchbase’s NoSQL document-oriented database more widely available to the thousands of developers that use the Heroku platform and continue to accelerate its adoption. More importantly, the Couchbase-Kurobase partnership underscores the potential for synergistic collaborations between Platform as a Service (PaaS) and the NoSQL space. This week’s announcement by Couchbase illustrates the possibilities for PaaS to continue the acceleration of the adoption of NoSQL platforms for highly responsive, interactive applications in the mobile and online gaming space, amongst other use cases.
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.
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.