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.
Apprenda today announced the finalization of $16 million in Series C funding in a round led by Safeguard Scientifics Inc. with additional participation from Ignition Partners and New Enterprise Associates. The funding will be used for sales and marketing initiatives as well as to continue the development of Apprenda’s platform as a service infrastructure. As a result of the investment, Philip D. Moyer, Managing Director of Safeguard Scientifics, will join Apprenda’s board of directors. Apprenda focuses on delivering a private PaaS platform that responds to enterprise needs for data security, privacy and dedicated hosting environments where hardware resources are not shared with those of other customers.
In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, Apprenda CEO Sinclair Shuller elaborated on Apprenda’s product differentiation within the Platform as a Service space as the only truly enterprise-grade platform as a service on the market today. Currently, Apprenda boasts an impressive roster of enterprise customers including the likes of AmerisourceBergen, Dell, Honeywell, JP Morgan Chase and Memorial Sloan Kettering. Thirteen of the top 20 financial institutions leverage Apprenda’s private PaaS solution and, according to Apprenda’s press release, JP Morgan boasts the world’s largest PaaS deployment with 300 applications hosted on the Apprenda platform.
Apprenda’s traction within the enterprise is indeed remarkable for a PaaS vendor. Platform as a Service has yet to achieve strong traction within the enterprise, although options are certainly proliferating as evinced by Red Hat’s OpenShift suite and Pivotal One’s Cloud Foundry distribution, to name two platforms amongst many. Apprenda’s additional round of funding positions the company strongly to build on its early traction within the enterprise and potentially catapult it to an undisputed leadership position within the enterprise PaaS space. Apprenda’s uptake amongst enterprise customers is all the more notable for its resistance to adopting a polyglot platform by focusing on support for .NET and Java for the time being. The next six months will be critical for Apprenda as it fights off the challenges of Pivotal One as it attempts to deepen its roster of enterprise customers while diversifying its portfolio to include SMBs as well. The PaaS market is still too embryonic to go through an M&A driven consolidation phase that whittles down the playing field to 3-5 vendors by the end of 2014. That said, the battle for private PaaS enterprise market share is on in full force and Apprenda leads the pack at present, flush with cash for the next phase of its expansion.