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Q&A: Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller Talks Private PaaS

Software vendor Apprenda started by helping organizations solve an important issue: moving on-premise applications to the cloud and converting them into software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

The company has become known as the "deploy anywhere Platform as a Service (PaaS) stack for .NET."  As a new breed of cloud-enabled application infrastructure software, Apprenda empowers organizations to deploy their own PaaS and framework for developing, delivering and managing the entire lifecycle of their .NET-based applications on any infrastructure.  And by decoupling applications from infrastructure and providing developers with a self-service, multi-tenant cloud application platform, Apprenda enables organizations to achieve enormous cost savings and faster time to market.

After hearing people talk about private PaaS, I reached out to Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller to find out the latest on this term and to find out what's been going on at Apprenda these days after receiving a new Series B round of funding.

VMblog: We often hear the term platform as a service (PaaS) but a new term that seems to be popping up as of late is private PaaS. Can you explain this term?

Sinclair Schuller:  PaaS provides significant value ranging from the automation of typically mundane and long running tasks such as application deployment, to providing a foundational architecture for guest application scalability. The ability to deploy a PaaS within your enterprise IT infrastructure, a "private PaaS", allows for your enterprise developers to access PaaS value without the accessibility problems of public PaaS. A private PaaS is hosted by an organization for its internal developers. For example, a Fortune 1000 company might employ hundreds or even thousands of developers that write internal software, which is hosted on thousands or tens of thousands of internal servers. A private PaaS aggregates that entire infrastructure as a single, internal PaaS that is self-service and accessible to internal developer community.

VMblog:  What are the benefits that private PaaS delivers to an enterprise as compared to a public PaaS?

Schuller:  Clearly, the PaaS value proposition of low friction application deployment and management is intriguing to enterprise software developers. However, for a variety of reasons ranging from security concerns to bandwidth and latency concerns, a majority of their apps cannot be deployed to a public PaaS. A private PaaS hosted by the organization's IT department gives those developers access to the core value proposition (which is provided by the low friction management of applications, shared environment, standardized architecture and modern cloud APIs - not the outsourced hosting) without the public PaaS hurdles. Developers from various lines of business can log in to their PaaS, upload apps, and at the click of a button, deploy those applications. Private PaaS enables an organization to treat applications as the primary currency rather than infrastructure.

VMblog:  Apprenda says that private PaaS delivers the best of both worlds. What do you mean by this?

Schuller:  Interestingly, PaaS is not something that comes out of thin air. A PaaS is a software technology that aggregates infrastructure and presents that infrastructure as a self-service system, stack, APIs and all. Nothing about the software engine behind a PaaS inherently requires it to be public. A PaaS software technology, if built in a flexible way, can be deployed on any infrastructure, thereby making private PaaS a reality. At Apprenda, we are focused not on offering clouds, but rather, providing the engine that can be used to deploy thousands of cloud services.

VMblog:  Explain if you would how a private PaaS can decrease the time to market?

Schuller:  Private PaaS provides for a self service utility model that allows you to upload your compiled code and in a click of a button "publish" it. This allows for a faster time to market because it deploys apps in minutes rather than weeks or months. 

VMblog:  Can you tell us, why has Apprenda decided to focus on the .NET market rather than Java, Ruby, etc.?

Schuller:  The .NET community represents around 40 percent of all software development. As a startup, we need to choose a stack that would allow us to maintain laser focus on providing value to customers and not be distracted by fragmented distributions and that we did not have viable private PaaS solution. Through .NET, we can guarantee compatibility and consistency for all customers, and we also know that we lead the pack with respect to .NET focused private cloud solutions. 

VMblog:  Finally, your company recently received a $10 million Series B round of funding.  What are your plans for this new investment and how do you think it will affect your product roadmap?

Schuller:  Our Series B equips us to more aggressively expand our customer base and evolve the product to stay two steps ahead of both market need and competitive evolution. We will be expanding our field sales and marketing teams, as well as bring on new engineering talent to take our private PaaS value to the next level.


A special thank you to Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller for taking time out to speak with me about this subject.

Published Thursday, August 25, 2011 5:00 AM by David Marshall
Know your Cloud Dimensions | From the Home Port @cobiacomm - (Author's Link) - November 7, 2011 9:55 PM
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