According to a recent IDG survey, 94% of applications at large organizations are reliant on underlying infrastructure. This is a big problem.
Any organization that does not standardize underlying architecture patterns drains the productivity of developers (while code is rewritten to support the development lifecycle) and limits the ability of IT operations to be agile. How can an organization make a strategically important decision, like changing vendors or adopting public IaaS, if all applications are written with infrastructure dependencies? They can do it, but not without killing innovation.
The easiest and most impactful way to address the challenges faced by applications being dependent on underlying infrastructure is to cloud-enable them and thus abstract them from one another. Applications then gain frictionless movement between the public cloud, internal clouds, and other non-cloud infrastructure. For example, moving dev/test applications from public clouds to private clouds when going into production, or consolidating data centers and moving apps from old to new hardware.
Whether enterprises are cloud-enabling existing applications or writing new cloud-native ones from scratch, Private Platform as a Service (PaaS) presents one of the best methods of abstraction. It is therefore a key enabler for cloud interoperability and application portability.
While abstraction is the solution, not all Private PaaS solutions are created equal. Some do not support the modernization of existing applications while others do not allow cloud interoperability or application portability in their truest form, by prescribing which types of infrastructure the applications can and cannot move between. While those particular PaaS solutions will argue that its clouds are interoperable and its applications are portable, there is usually a requirement for the applications to use very specific tools (VMware or Ubuntu, for example). Making these tools a requirement is sometimes based on the technical limitations of their platform, and other times due to corporate strategy or internal politics.
Apprenda believes this requirement is not compatible with the real-world complexity of the enterprise IT landscape and, worse still, opens up the possibility of a locked-in enterprise stack. Apprenda believes in giving enterprises more options, not limiting them.
We are seeing more and more organizations becoming acutely aware of this situation. We estimate cloud interoperability is the key requirement in over 40% of Apprenda’s current engagements. Furthermore, we are seeing that when technical comparisons are being made, organizations are realizing that not all PaaS solutions actually address the core problem and contain dependencies of their own.
The good news for the PaaS industry is that large organizations are realizing that they need to abstract their applications from their infrastructure and that PaaS can enable it. The better news for Apprenda is that large organizations realize they need to choose their PaaS solutions carefully.