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Talking PaaS for .NET Platforms: Q&A Interview with Apprenda

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Apprenda's CEO, Sinclair Schuller.  The company recently announced a $10 million Series B round of funding back in August of this year, and they have created an interesting deploy anywhere Platform as a Service (PaaS) stack for .NET developers.  I spoke with Schuller to find out what the company has been up to since the funding announcement, and to see if anything new was on the horizon.  Good news, there is.  And the horizon is about as close as you can get.  Here's our conversation:

VMblog.com:  Can you give us an overview of what type of solution Apprenda provides?

Sinclair Schuller:  Apprenda is a private platform as a service (PaaS) and framework that allows an organization to deploy their own true multi-tenant PaaS on any .NET infrastructure. This deploy anywhere feature reduces cost and time of building applications by up to 90 percent while ensuring organizations save millions of dollars and countless hours by utilizing their existing infrastructure rather than replacing in its entirety.

VMblog.com:  PaaS technology is very developer focused, how is your latest release more enterprise-ready?

Schuller:  Our latest release, Apprenda 3.0, incorporates new advanced functionality that allows developers within enterprises to focus on solving business problems with their applications, not the technology issues associated with getting those applications out the door. These new enhancements focus on value-added options which each application can opt into at the time of deployment. This frees the rules around the .NET platform's use of internal authentication and authorization, which ultimately speeds deployment and makes our platform more enterprise-ready.

VMblog.com:  What major features have you added to this newest version?

Schuller:   We've added quite a lot of new features to this release based on significant customer input. First, we've added a more robust API which puts the platform control into the hands of the developer especially as it relates to caching, service communication, broadcasting of service requests and a publish/subscribe feature. We have also expanded the platform's URL patterns, giving developers the option of choosing the existing sub-domain URL pattern or opting for a path-based URL for their application.

Additionally, a previous challenge in .NET environments has been having little control over which applications are siphoning off processing power or memory. With the Apprenda 3.0, developers now have the ability to sandbox applications within defined usage boundaries, creating "slice policies" that define the resource limits offered to each application. The new release also includes resource usage tracking which is important from both a capacity planning and chargeback perspective. We make it easier than ever to track and modify resource usage based on "slide policies" selected by each application provider. This means you're only using the capacity you need and are allowing other applications to take advantage of that excess capacity.

VMblog.com:  What are the cost benefits enterprises can receive by adopting private PaaS?

Schuller:  The cost savings enterprises can experience with private PaaS is overwhelming. First, it enables organizations to deliver business critical applications faster and eliminates the need for developers to focus on managing/updating these applications, dramatically saving on time. And maybe one of the greater cost savings with private PaaS is in how it allows you to leverage your existing infrastructure. No organization wants to overhaul their entire infrastructure, it would feel like a waste. With private PaaS they don't have to do that, they can deploy it on their existing infrastructure and seamlessly begin building and deploying applications.

VMblog.com:  Can you explain how Apprenda differentiates itself from offerings like Microsoft Azure and VMware's Cloud Foundry?

Schuller:  Apprenda is different from Microsoft Azure due to its private versus public deployment. Customers of Microsoft Azure build, host and scale applications in Microsoft data centers, therefore is off-premise and hosted by a third party. This aspect differs from Apprenda in that Apprenda allows organizations to build, host and scale applications on-premise in their own data centers. Not only does this create concern for security but the public cloud introduces constraints such as SLA requirements, latency and data access, just to name a few.

How we differ from Cloud Foundry is that similar to Microsoft Azure, Cloud Foundry is a VMware hosted service and while it is open source, the issues with public PaaS still remain.

VMblog.com:  When will this product be available?

Schuller:  General availability starts on November 15, 2011.

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Thanks again to Sinclair Schuller for speaking with VMblog.com.

Published Tuesday, November 15, 2011 6:46 AM by David Marshall
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