In the enterprise cloud market, there is no silver bullet. Customers are looking for “best of breed” rather than “best of suite” solutions. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions alone can’t address all the use cases by themselves. Customers are looking for more comprehensive and well-rounded solutions to minimize the friction between internal technology groups and accelerate the development and delivery of business critical applications.
The focus of Apprenda’s enterprise PaaS is on the application and rapid, compliant, and secure deployment. Apprenda runs on any underlying infrastructure, but doesn’t influence the IaaS layer. While PaaS by definition should be independent of the underlying infrastructure, the reality is that it must work in harmony with current and future investments made by the enterprise.
Interoperability with neighboring layers of the technology stack, IaaS in particular, is at the core of Apprenda’s philosophy and architecture. When the underlying infrastructure supports automation, Apprenda seamlessly integrates with it, creating a powerful value proposition for the enterprise clients.
Cisco Metapod, a fully managed OpenStack-based IaaS solution, is a prime example of such an integration. The capabilities of both standalone products are amplified when these products are integrated into a cohesive solution. Apprenda-Metapod users gain immediate benefits from fully automated service provisioning, seamless scalability, and much faster adoption as the Apprenda PaaS becomes a turnkey solution.
Out of the box, the Apprenda platform offers deep support for .NET, Java, SQL Server, and Oracle. It also has built-in capabilities to expose additional services for developers in a secure and controlled way. Before most of these services can be made available for provisioning however, someone (a platform operator or other IT member) typically has to build out the underlying infrastructure.
When Apprenda runs on Metapod, the entire provisioning process is fully automated. With a single push of a button, any development team can get access to a vast array of out-of-platform services, like NoSQL databases, analytical engines, queuing mechanisms, etc. When a developer makes a request, the platform invokes Openstack APIs exposed by Cisco Metapod to orchestrate the underlying VMs, runs necessary scripts to install and start the requested service, and makes it available for the development team within minutes.
When the load on the system varies, the Apprenda platform can easily scale up or down as long as the underlying IaaS supports the automatic elasticity. When more compute resources are required to meet the user load on the applications supported by the Apprenda PaaS, IT has to provision VMs and add them to the platform fabric. Typically, this operation is performed in multiple disjointed steps. First, new VMs are created using templates and/or DevOps tools. Then the Apprenda installer is run to add the new nodes to the PaaS compute fabric.
The integrated Apprenda-Metapod product performs this operation in a seamless automated sequence. The platform operators can add or remove compute nodes with a push of a button or they can configure thresholds for an automated service, which analyzes the platform utilization, to initiate the scaling-out event.
When the command to scale up is received (directly from the platform operator or from the automated services that analyze the platform utilization), the system uses Metapod APIs to orchestrate the necessary number of Windows or Linux VMs and adds them to the Apprenda resource pool.
After the extra capacity is no longer needed to support guest applications running on the platform, the VMs are automatically disassociated from the Apprenda compute grid and deleted. The entire operation is performed in a matter of minutes. This gives the organization the flexibility to significantly reduce operational cost through more efficient resource utilization.
The integrated Apprenda and Metapod product hits two very important points. It further simplifies essential duties of developers and IT departments through automation of multi-step procedures. In doing so, it minimizes the friction between the two major players within an enterprise organization, allowing the business to focus more energy on faster delivery of business solutions to the market.