Forbes | May 19, 2016

Apprenda Acquires Kismatic To Strengthen Its Kuberenetes Offering

Apprenda, the New York-based PaaS company, has announced that it is acquiring Kismatic, a company that specializes in managing Kubernetes deployments in enterprises. Apprenda has also announced the availability of a commercial Kubernetes distribution for enterprise customers that comes along with a subscription-based support package.

Co-founded by Sinclair Schuller in 2007, Apprenda was one of the first PaaS companies that offered a .NET-based on-premises PaaS to enterprise customers. The company eventually added support for Java and other languages. Though it was initially considered a competitor to Microsoft, Apprenda became a strong partner that brought hybrid capabilities to the Azure public cloud. The company boasts of an impressive clientele that includes JPMorgan Chase & Co., Boeing, and McKesson.

The enterprise PaaS market went through a huge transformation in the last couple of years. Early movers like CloudBees have pivoted to become a CI/CD company while entities like AppFog and ActiveState Stackato got acquired. Cloud Foundry and OpenShift have taken the route of containerization to deliver cloud native capabilities. Despite the changing market dynamics, Apprenda stood the test of time by staying focused on its core offerings. To date, it raised up to $56 million in funding rounds from investors that include Ignition Partners and Safeguard Scientifics. Like most of its competitors, Apprenda has also embraced Docker, enabling its customers to exploit the power of containers. It also became a member of the Open Container Initiativeand Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Recently, in March 2016, Apprenda announced that it is extending its platform to support Kubernetes.

Kismatic was founded in 2014 by Patrick Reilly and Joseph Jacks in San Francisco. Its mission is to bring Kubernetes-based cloud native computing to enterprises. Kismatic provides enterprise support and production tooling for Kubernetes deployments. Patrick and Joseph have been actively involved in the Kubernetes community. They both play an active role in Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Kismatic contributed to the dashboard which eventually became the official UI for Kubernetes. The inaugural edition of KubeCon, a dedicated conference for Kubernetes developers and users, was driven by the team from Kismatic. Going forward, KubeCon will be officially hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

“The Kismatic team is an influential part of the Kubernetes community,” Sinclair Schuller, CEO and co-founder of Apprenda, said. “Kismatic’s expertise and work on Kubernetes made their team highly attractive and will accelerate our rapidly growing business. They know Kubernetes better than almost anyone, so they will be central in expanding Apprenda’s plans.”

Kismatic would complement Apprenda’s professional services offering by extending it to Kubernetes. In an email interview, Sinclair said, “For years, Apprenda has been offering professional services that enable customers to implement and scale the platform while adhering to industry best practices. In addition to continuing this path with the existing cloud platform, Apprenda will also now offer a wide variety of Kubernetes support and enterprise implementation services to enterprises looking for expertise and skills in deploying, managing, and scaling clusters for their cloud-native application portfolios.”

Will this move transform Apprenda from a PaaS company to a CaaS provider? Sinclair claims that by embracing Kubernetes, they can offer an industry standard for packaging, deploying and managing cloud-native applications that can interoperate with traditional applications developed in .NET and Java.