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Capabilities of the Platform, Defined: Going Beyond Deploy & Scale (Part 1)

By Abraham Sultan

This is part one of an on-going series I’m writing, meant to explain how Apprenda goes to the next level in servicing the enterprise. There are several ways in which the level of service we offer far surPaaSes other PaaSes (boy I’m funny). Most other PaaSes stop at deploying & scaling applications; since the Apprenda platform, through instrumentation, is much more involved in the runtime of applications, we can go much further to provide additional value and help developers write cloud applications easier, better and faster. Let me explain what I mean.

How do we go beyond Deploy & Scale?

One example we offer, which no other PaaS does natively, is a multi-tenant Caching Layer. Apprenda, in many ways, embodies apps and runs the apps as part of its runtime.  It’s not a management tool that helps you deploy apps- it’s more of an app server that runs apps. Part of what temporary-storagewe do is offer our customers a service for a distributed caching layer. What do you use a cache for? Simple.

A cache acts as a temporary in-memory store, and apps seek to leverage them for a variety of reasons although typically they leverage them for performance in high read, low write use cases. In this case, you want to cache data so as not to have to retrieve it from a database every time you need it. In the case of a distributed app, the challenge with caching is that you can’t necessarily cache things in memory and expect them to be there for every request. If a request is served by different instances of the distributed components within the app, then the data isn’t going to be there.

However- Apprenda provides you a distributed caching layer that you can leverage in order to store things in a way that is non-location affine, and can expect them to be there no matter where the requests are being serviced from. But more interestingly, Apprenda scopes cache data based on the current executing tenant, and even provides an API for influencing caching scope. We can do this because tenancy is uniquely woven into the Apprenda runtime.

More Examples!

An additional prime example of how we go beyond your typical PaaS, can be found in our multi-tenant scheduling service.  This is, aptly enough, something that allows you to trigger events at a specific point in time that can be configured on a scheduled basis. Say you want, on every Friday at end of day, an application to send a report of all weekly completed tasks. Without a scheduling service like the one we offer, you’d have to build all of the plumbing yourself as part of the application code. Our customers are provided with an API with which they can leverage the scheduling service.schedule_book

Many other PaaS organizations will try to offer these services through the means of a plug-in or an add-on module, but by doing so these features are going to live outside of the scope of the platform and enforcing compliance might be much harder, and providing automatic multi-tenancy nearly impossible

We’ve Got Our Eye on the Next 10 Years. Do You?

The others are taking a step forward to where we are today, but not a giant leap. Deploy & scale is a challenge, but it’s nowhere near the biggest part of the challenge. Cloud apps are complex to write and are hard to maintain and operate. This is where Apprenda is leaps-and-bounds over any other PaaS on the market. We’re eyeing the fundamental changes in the runtime model and architecture patterns that will be mainstay in software development for the next 10 years – and democratizing it!

Curious what’s going to ultimately save you months of development time versus the time it takes to deploy and scale these apps? That’s
ducks-in-a-linethe reason we’re better positioned than any other PaaS out there. We’re focusing on more than just here & now. We have had the chance and experiences of working with massive customers  who help us determine what the real needs of an enterprise are. Following that,
you’re starting to see these other PaaS players trying to follow along.

In the next part of this series, I plan on discussing several more examples of ways our platform goes beyond our competition, specifically in areas like queuing cloud architecture patterns and compliance!

 

Abraham Sultan

As VP of Engineering, Abe's focus is on setting the direction for the R&D organization at Apprenda. He spends his time evaluating and implementing Agile practices and evangelizing Cloud Technologies in particular Platform as a Service. Abe is also a frequent speaker at local meetup groups and enjoys networking at different Startup and Technology events. You can also follow him on Twitter at @asultan

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