Custom software is now indispensable for business growth and competitive differentiation. Organizations need to reduce frictions between line-of-business application development and central IT in order to improve the efficiency of custom software development.
Organizations also need to move forward on hybrid cloud strategies to stay agile. A private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) managed by central IT empowers developers by giving them the freedom and simplicity of a self-service, policy-driven, world-class PaaS that overlays both internal IT and public cloud.
In light of this, here are six ways a Private PaaS can help you enable a hybrid cloud strategy:
Most enterprises today are moving forward with private cloud plans and are implementing hybrid cloud. The different environments are not only spread across geographies, but also among external and internal hosting. Organizations, in yet another level of abstraction, divide each of the different resources by use cases, such as dev/test, staging, and production.
Apprenda can help enterprises combine resources across all clouds into a single, logical resource pool and apply flexible, powerful application deployment policies. These policies can be used to automatically map applications to infrastructure based on multiple factors including use case, security, compliance, business unit, and geography.
Many think the most important aspect of hybrid cloud is that it allows enterprises to easily add public resources during times of high demand or service outage. Apprenda enables that on-demand provisioning and flexibility to efficiently orchestrate across internal and external clouds. For example, dev/test can be hosted on the public external cloud, whereas an application can move and become hosted internally when it goes into production.
Typically, a development team can expect anywhere from 10 to 60 business days to have an application provisioned on internal IT. During this time, IT staff will provision a server or virtual machine, prep an operating system instance for each application layer, ensure that network dependencies such as DNS entries and load balancer configurations are updated. They will also ensure that the application bits are installed and configured properly.
If an application took four months to develop, the typical total time to market still averages five to six months, an increase of 25% to 50% over the actual development phase. Minor changes to the application, such as new releases or necessary infrastructure updates, can each take just as long, adding significant direct and opportunity cost to an application over its lifetime.
The primary cause of these unfortunate economic profiles is the lack of architecture conformity between the different applications created by the different development teams. This leads to a scenario where each application is an exception to the rule and has different expectations and configuration needs. Because of these permutations, IT cannot automate management or provide broad-stroke policy enforcement.
Apprenda offers a solution that establishes architecture conformity across all guest applications. The PaaS, and not human actors, provides fundamental workflows such as application provisioning, patch management, and middleware. Thus, IT can manage the PaaS and not each individual application. Developers can leverage self-service portals to ensure that they can deploy their applications in five minutes, rather than 30 days. Developers can also tap into platform-level services such as caching, authentication, and auto-scaling to drastically simplify projects.
Routine tasks like provisioning appropriate hardware can be time-consuming and frustrating for enterprise developers. Time that could be spent coding is instead spent in lengthy discussions with IT operations teams to get server access and work out configuration requirements. Private PaaS eliminates these delays and frustration. Through powerful developer self-service via APIs, standard IDE tooling, and web portals, Apprenda automates many aspects of the application lifecycle management process, spanning across creation, deployment, scaling, patching, and versioning.
Tasks that previously took hours, days, or weeks are reduced to seconds. Unlike IaaS, developers can focus on their code and applications, while the platform abstracts away infrastructure details like servers, load balancers, and storage. Teams of developers who are working together across one or more applications can also use the developer portal.
When enterprises manage large numbers of servers in a single, logical resource pool, situations often arise where applications need to be mapped to very specific infrastructure. In many cases, this is due to security or regulatory compliance. Private PaaS leverages defined application deployment policies to enable a fine-grained mapping of applications and application components to infrastructure, which is based upon specific, configurable properties. Instead of creating multiple silos with different rules and configurations based upon business needs, private PaaS enables enterprises to consolidate applications on shared infrastructure, while using sophisticated deployment policies to honor specific business, security, or legal requirements.
Rather than relying on virtual machines as a container for providing application isolation, Apprenda uses a custom container model that runs inside operating system instances to isolate applications from one another: increasing server and virtual machine utilization and reducing sprawl. This fine-grained isolation is used to sub-divide each OS instance into multiple segments, increasing utilization and reducing hardware and licensing costs.
Resource policies are the defining unit that allow platform operators to define how large these segments are from a CPU, memory, and storage perspective, and are published to developers as the set of options they may choose from when allocating resources to their applications. In addition to the significant cost savings, these resource policies also allow applications to go into production faster and ensure that the enterprise web hosting team is a source of developer satisfaction.
Successful application projects are not “deploy once and forget” applications. Application owners will more than likely upgrade and change an application on a regular basis to provide end-users with new value and keep themselves ahead of the competition. A 30-step manual process for updating an application will not scale well over time. Poor application lifecycle management processes are not only costly, but they can cause business to grind to a halt when end-users lose faith in applications because of poor quality control and downtime.
Well-defined application lifecycle management processes, supported by sophisticated systems for managing the complexities of patching and updating a live application, are key to remaining agile and having the capability to respond to customers and the market instantly. Development platforms should integrate with world-class ALM software that is currently used in the enterprise to provide enhanced capabilities.
Learn more about the significant benefits of Private PaaS in our whitepaper, Private PaaS Enables the Hybrid Cloud Era.