Automic Reveals Enhanced Application Release Automation Functionality

Automic today announced new functionality with respect to Application Release Automation. The company’s recently announced Application Release Functionality features a dashboard for visualizing the relationship between the team and application components that collectively participate in an application’s release. Organizations can use Automic’s pipeline visualization dashboard to more effectively identify the constellation of components that collaborate to deliver the release of an application. The visual representation of an application’s delivery pipeline empowers development and operations teams to iteratively optimize application releases by facilitating tighter DevOps collaboration and continuous improvement of existing build, deployment and release practices.

The company also announced the release of a cloud-based sandbox environment that enables prospective customers to try its solution before purchase in what amounts to the first publicly available sandbox in the application release automation space. In addition, Automic’s Application Release Automation allows customers to release applications for a multitude of constituents to both public and private clouds, enabling the build of large scale environments for application releases that correspondingly allow customers to leverage economies of scale to drive down costs while centralizing and simplifying day to day operations.

Moreover, Automic now features an integration with the Automic marketplace that renders it easier for developers to write, package and deploy their own scripts by means of the platform’s Action Builder platform. Automic’s integration with the Automic Marketplace means that members of the community have access to enhanced diversity with respect to the availability of code written for use within the platform as a result of the ability to review and re-use code written by other community members. Today’s announcements collectively illustrate the growing richness of Automic’s platform for release automation and its leadership within the DevOps landscape. Automic’s growth is further likely to be fueled by the contemporary IT environment’s amalgamation of on-premise and cloud environments, increasing IT sprawl and complexity and the corresponding need to automate releases for a multitude of applications to a heterogeneous assemblage of environments. Stay tuned for more details about the platform’s evolution in coming months, particularly with OpenStack founder and cloud industry veteran John Purrier as the company’s CTO.

xMatters Releases Integration Platform To Enhance DevOps Communications And Incident Resolution

On Tuesday, xMatters announced the release of an integration platform that facilitates the adoption of DevOps practices by enhancing communication across cross-functional teams. The xMatters integration platform aggregates data from a multitude of applications and systems in order to proactively identify team members of incidents and issues that require their attention. Users of the xMatters integration platform can choose to take responsibility for issues about which they have been notified or otherwise notify their colleagues to delegate and escalate the issue as required. Because the xMatters platform integrates with a plurality of applications and systems, users benefit from the centralization of communications provided by an integrated platform instead of discrete alerts and notifications from individual sources delivered via email. The centralization of communications further allows users to more effectively understand interdependencies between different incidents or questions of resource availability as it relates to the resolution and remediation of incidents. The xMatters platform provides functionality for expediently notifying stakeholders, setting up conference calls, tracking the resolution of the incident in question and communicating the results to a broader audience as required. As told to Cloud Computing Today in a phone interview with Mark Gabbard, Director of Product Marketing at xMatters, the screenshot below illustrates the ease with which a user can create a Service Desk ticket through the platform’s integration with ZenDesk, send a message to colleagues via HipChat or create a conference call:

 

xmatters dismiss

Similarly, the following screenshot elaborates how users might create a new xMatters event and the corresponding communication plan that accompanies its dissemination to the intended audience of business and technical stakeholders:

xmatters new incidentThe ability of the xMatters Integration Platform to connect legacy systems with newly installed applications enables organizations to facilitate accelerated management of DevOps interactions by providing a richly intuitive user interface for fostering collaboration amongst relevant resources to enable the timely and effective resolution of issues and incidents. The platform’s intelligent communications functionality renders it relevant to business continuity use cases in addition to related to day to day operations that stand to benefit from an accelerated and streamlined resolution and response. The platform’s ability to integrate with a multitude of applications and systems renders it particularly powerful for fostering collaboration in a DevOps environment by giving organizations a framework for cross-functional communication, documentation, reporting and analytics that runs across organizational siloes created by applications, systems, departments, business units and lines of business.

Puppet Labs And EMC Partner To Bring Puppet Enterprise To EMC Federation Enterprise Hybrid Clouds

Puppet Labs recently announced a collaboration with EMC Corporation that renders DevOps technology from Puppet Labs more readily accessible to EMC Corporation members. As a result of the partnership, Puppet Enterprise will be available as a component of EMC’s Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud that delivers enterprise-grade hybrid cloud solutions that leverage public cloud solutions from vendors such as EMC Cloud Service Providers, vCloud Air and Amazon Web Services. Puppet Enterprise provides a framework for the management of infrastructure as lines of code, thereby increasing the operational agility of development and operations teams by facilitating the execution of multitudinous changes to infrastructure and application deployments. EMC Federation Hybrid Cloud customers can now rely on Puppet Enterprise to bring enhanced IT automation and change management-related consistency to their deployments. While the product integration between Puppet Enterprise and the Federation Hybrid Cloud constitutes the most critical component of this announcement, EMC and Puppet Labs have also agreed to partner to develop a DevOps readiness program to help customers accelerate their adoption of DevOps practices as well as their use of hybrid clouds. EMC customers can access Puppet Enterprise by means of the company’s service catalogue, the EMC Select Global Price List and thereby integrate Puppet Enterprise with any assemblage of EMC hardware and software. The collaboration between EMC and Puppet Labs represents a huge coup for Puppet by opening up Puppet Enterprise to EMC’s channel of customers whereas EMC, on the other hand, benefits from the feather in its cap marked by Puppet Enterprise in addition to the standardization of IT automation it brings to Federation Hybrid Cloud deployments.

Puppet Labs Releases Puppet Enterprise 3.2 With Supported Software Modules On The Puppet Forge

Puppet Labs today announces the release of Puppet Enterprise 3.2. Puppet Enterprise streamlines the management of IT infrastructures by providing organizations with tools to simplify and accelerate the provisioning of hardware, the deployment of applications, automation of infrastructure scalability and the orchestration of tasks. Moreover, Puppet Enterprise contains a variety of analytic tools that enable insight from log files, a discovery service that facilitates the diagnosis of issues within a specific infrastructure and reporting tools to enable more effective infrastructure management. Puppet Enterprise 3.2 features Supported Modules that provide pre-configured software for selected software components in order to facilitate its most effective utilization. Examples of supported modules include MySQL, PostgreSQL, NTP protocol and Windows registry. The modules enable the synchronization of software across different nodes, the set-up of database services, management of Web servers and the control of Windows components. Roughly 2000 modules are available on the Puppet Forge and contain custom-built code that improves the integration and performance of the requisite software within diverse, demanding IT environments. In addition to the supported modules, Puppet Enterprise 3.2 simplifies the process of deploying and upgrading puppet agents by 2-3 minutes per agent, thereby introducing significant efficiencies and time savings into the operation of Puppet Enterprise in large-scale IT infrastructures. Finally, Puppet Enterprise 3.2 features a preview of Razor, a next generation solution for provisioning hardware. Overall, this release delivers a substantial set of improvements to Puppet Enterprise that build on the company’s significant growth over both the last quarter and year. The release stands to consolidate Puppet’s leadership in the IT automation space, particularly given the richness of its partner relationships with the likes of Cisco, Juniper, Dell, VMware and Red Hat. Currently, Puppet Enterprise is used by PayPal, Cisco, WebEx and CERN as a result of its partnership with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. With its supported modules for specific software applications, Puppet Enterprise 3.2 stands to accelerate and amplify enterprise usage of DevOps-related software that manage the operational space between application development and the operational management of the IT infrastructures on which those same applications run.

Docker Closes $15M In Series B Funding; Greylock’s Jerry Chen To Join Docker Board

Docker recently finalized $15M in Series B funding in a round led by Greylock Partners with participation by Insight Venture Partners and existing investors Benchmark, Trinity Ventures and Yahoo Co-founder Jerry Yang. As a result of the investment, Jerry Chen of Greylock Partners, who was formerly VP of Cloud and Application Services at VMware, will be joining Docker’s board of directors. The recent capital raise brings the total funding raised by the company to $26M. The funding will be used to invest in the open source Docker project, build out a community platform and explore options for commercialization of Docker’s container technology.

Docker’s open source container technology provides a way for developers to streamline the migration of code from a development environment to a cloud-based platform. Docker containers allow developers to transport applications to private or public clouds while minimizing the configuration and additional preparation needed to deploy the application. Because virtualization operates at the level of the server, applications and their operating systems need to be migrated when moving from a dev to a cloud environment. The innovation of Docker’s technology is that only the application needs to be moved, thereby removing the necessity of migrating the OS and configuring it appropriately in the target cloud environment. Overall, Docker’s containers facilitate the portability of code and simplify application deployment.

Docker began as a Platform as a Service called dotCloud, before famously pivoting thanks to the vision of Solomon Hykes, Docker’s CEO at the time. Nine months since Docker was open sourced, the company now boasts over 400,000 product downloads and 300 contributors. Docker containers are used by the likes of eBay, Yandex and Baidu and its technology is supported by OpenStack, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine and Red Hat. Like Red Hat, Docker intends to wrap professional services and subscription-based management functionality around its core open source product. Given the product’s meteoric adoption in the space of 9 months, the industry should expect to see even greater usage of Docker technology over the course of 2014, particularly in light of the place of its technology in the emerging DevOps revolution and its attendant transformation of enterprise IT.

Serena Software Releases Advanced Deployment And Change Management Functionality For Its IT Orchestration Platform

Today, Serena Software announces the release of additional DevOps functionality for its acclaimed Orchestrated IT platform. New features include a portal that empowers developers to provision application development and testing environments in addition to deployment functionality that automates code release to Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure and virtualization platforms constituted using the VMware ESX/ESXi hypervisor. Serena’s Orchestrated IT solution now notably includes load balancing and advanced failover capability as well. Moreover, today’s release features an interface for centralizing the capture of costs related to change management requests in order to facilitate more accurate project cost estimates and reporting on resource utilization.

Greg Hughes, CEO of Serena Software, remarked on the Serena platform’s change and release functionality enhancements as follows:

DevOps allows IT to become truly agile. Serena’s enhanced change and release management capabilities allow Dev to exploit more self-service functions and Ops to release at the rapid cadence required of today’s enterprise cash cows, Revenue Applications.

Here, Hughes identifies revenue applications as one of the principal beneficiaries of the advanced DevOps functionality of Serena’s applications. Applications used for revenue analysis and operations represent the most popular use case amongst Serena’s customer base to date because of their sensitivities to real-time transactional data and algorithms that often need to be tweaked in conjunction with the rapidly changing day to day payment landscape. Serena’s latest change management and release functionality dramatically enhances its positioning as a major player in the contemporary DevOps space by foregrounding its orchestration platform in the context of cloud-based application development on two of the most popular cloud platforms in the industry. Today’s release also continues to empower developers to work in tandem with operations by giving them the tools to spin up on premise application development environments in much the same way that they independently provision virtual machines and platforms for cloud-based application work in collaboration with third party cloud IaaS and PaaS providers.

Cloudmeter’s Big Data Network Analytics Enables Integrated Application Performance Management

Cloudmeter today announces the general availability of Cloudmeter Stream, a non-invasive platform that enables customers to transform Big Data streams of network data into actionable business intelligence. Cloudmeter also announces the early access availability of Cloudmeter Insight, a SaaS application that integrates back-end network analytics with front-end marketing analytics to deliver integrated data regarding user experiences of application platforms. Together, Cloudmeter Stream and Cloudmeter Insight expand the purview of Big Data analytics to network data and enable customers to obtain a 360 degree view of user interactions with their products. Both Cloudmeter Stream and Cloudmeter Insight allow access to network data without risks of physical disruption to network infrastructures.

Cloudmeter’s analytics represent an extension of the DevOps movement by allowing operations to more effectively understand the impact of IT infrastructure on end-user experiences. Application owners can use Cloudmeter to effectively configure business rules to determine which network data attributes constitute fields of interest. For example, customers can create business rules that identify session errors, network traffic on specific servers or data regarding the elapsed time between specific interactions with the platform. Users create business rules and manage the application more generally using an intuitive user interface featuring screens such as the following:

Cloudmeter CEO Mike Dickey remarked on the innovation represented by the platform for capturing network data by noting:

Our new data capture technology is a culmination of many years of experience building network-based data capture products. It enables customers to gain real time access into the wealth of business and IT information without the need to connect to physical network infrastructure, and without introducing risk to production systems or application performance.

Dickey underscores how Cloudmeter’s technology brings the Big Data revolution to network data and concomitantly empowers customers to access “business and IT information” in ways that have the potential to transform both their marketing platforms as well as their IT infrastructure design. In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, Cloudmeter’s COO Ronit Belson remarked that, rather than falling into the category of DevOps products, the company’s platform more appropriately represents a disruptive innovation in the MarkOps space defined by the integration of marketing-related front-end application design with the Operations-related design of their platform’s IT infrastructure. Cloudmeter Stream integrates with Big Data platforms such as Splunk and GoodData allowing users to integrate petabytes of machine data with data selectively culled from the business rules specific to Cloudmeter’s user interface.

Cloudmeter Stream is complemented by Cloudmeter Insight, a SaaS application that transforms data captured by Cloudmeter Insight into visual representations that allow application owners to comprehensively understand end-user experiences of an application as represented below:

Cloudmeter Stream leverages widgets to allow users to customize reports and dashboards of their choosing. The result is an integrated view of an application’s backend and front-end user experience in ways that allow application owners to obtain a truly holistic picture of user experiences with their platforms. Today’s announcements point toward two exciting new releases into the application performance management space as Big Data begins to own up to its potential of delivering 360 degree views of user experiences with technology platforms. Cloudmeter’s customer base includes Netflix, SAP and Saks Fifth Avenue and 1-800-Flowers.