As the market’s first private PaaS, Apprenda has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s top companies on their internal enterprise PaaS initiatives.
Roughly two years ago, we had the pleasure of welcoming JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) to the Apprenda install-base. As an instrumental part of their private cloud strategy, we have been able to watch their deployment grow and flourish from a small early footprint with a few developers, to what is currently a massive internal deployment across:
- Four production datacenters globally with a fifth coming online in the near future
- Over 2000 live apps – custom built, critical to JPMC’s product portfolio offered to its global customers
- Over 500 development teams using the PaaS
- Every line of business using
JPMC is using Apprenda to run the largest private PaaS deployment in the world. Apprenda’s pervasiveness across the firm gives them tremendous ROI leverage. Achieving JPMC’s level of agility, cost savings and innovation potential should be the goal of any private PaaS implementation. To achieve that goal, reaching the level of PaaS accessibility and firmwide saturation is important.
Why was Apprenda’s private PaaS so popular and widely adopted at JPMC so quickly? Here are some things we’d like to share with the community on how to succeed in implementing private PaaS the way that JPMC did to achieve private cloud nirvana:
Let your most relevant workloads drive your PaaS strategy – While any given enterprise may use dozens of languages, runtimes and stacks, optimizing for breadth is a failed strategy. It dilutes the value potential across the application portfolio by trading depth value in the most important runtimes for shallow value across all runtimes. JPMC, much like every other Global 2000 company out there, has a majority (80%+) of its custom application development in .NET and Java. They let .NET and Java shape their PaaS strategy since they have the most to gain in the widest part of the application portfolio, not the narrowest.
Go with best in class enterprise PaaS – A corollary to #1 is that JPMC chose a best in class approach. JPMC is a microcosm of the broader Global 2000 market when it comes to the make-up of its application and internal developer base. Again, somewhere north of 80 percent of JPMCs developers are .NET or Java. This means that any cloud choices not optimized for best in class in .NET and Java could have severe opportunity cost implications. JPMC chose Apprenda because of best in class .NET support and now, best in class Java support, as well as our enterprise grade capabilities that allow us to so seamlessly integrate with existing systems. It means that developers get optimized experiences for their favorite IDEs, that the CLR and JVM are enhanced in a workload specific way, that policies are tuned for those workloads and that APIs and instrumentation go deep into those two respective runtimes, and corresponding DB tech, to enhance those apps with things like automatic app level multi-tenancy and caching – things our lowest common denominator competitors could only dream of doing. These same criteria are why customers like JPMC, Diebold, Honeywell, AmerisourceBergen and others in the Global 2000 choose Apprenda.
Evangelize the tech – Being a developer myself, I like to think that we’re generally a smart bunch. We don’t adopt tech “just because.” In order to make private PaaS work in your enterprise, someone needs to evangelize the technology and show developers that leveraging a PaaS will a) make it easier to build next-gen cloud apps or modernize existing apps and b) simplify the sunrise to sunset application management process. Lunch and learns, internal webinar sessions and internal showcasing all help spread the word, getting your private PaaS deployment in front of your developers so they have an opportunity to play with it and experience the value first-hand. Investing in internal community evangelization is the only way to increase visibility and get over 500 development teams and 2000 applications onto the platform. In fact, JPMC went from 0 to over 250 development teams in the first 12 months alone!
Invest in training – Once evangelization gets your private PaaS deployment in front of your developers, give them training. Make sure your PaaS software provider offers self-help forums, code samples, self-guided training and full-blown live training sessions. The more training your developers get, the higher the per app marginal utility you extract from your private PaaS.
Use the carrot, not the stick – JPMC developers use their private PaaS because the model incentivizes them to, not because it’s compulsory. Apprenda’s value drives internal demand at JPMC and devs achieve higher agility, faster time to market, and lowered fragility in their software architectures by using Apprenda vs. doing things “the old way.” As a result, IT gets a centralized private cloud that crosses lines of business, development teams, and geographic boundaries, driving utilization up and costs down.
These five tenets led to JPMC’s success with private PaaS and the use of Apprenda as a proven technology platform. We see customers adopting this model every day, growing their deployments and achieving more and more value. The questions you should ask anyone purporting to “offer” private PaaS are “Who are you customers, what sort of mission critical work are they doing on your PaaS, and how did they implement it?” The answer to these questions will tell you everything you need to know.