www.activestate.com/stackatoTasked with crafting a vision for, and then implementingthe Interactive Marketing Hub™, ExactT...
About ActiveStateActiveState empowers innovation from code to cloud smarter, safer, and faster. ActiveState’s cutting-edge...
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ExactTarget Stackato PaaS Case Study

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ExactTarget Stackato PaaS Case Study

  1. 1. www.activestate.com/stackatoTasked with crafting a vision for, and then implementingthe Interactive Marketing Hub™, ExactTarget developmentleadership faced a challenge: How could ExactTarget innovatefaster to outpace the market, and more importantly, keeppace with the speed of its own creativity?After due diligence evaluation, ExactTarget chose Stackato®enterprise private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technology from ActiveState. ExactTarget deployed Stackato in production, whereit has helped ExactTarget accelerate application deployment, foster experimentation, and most importantly, innovate.Innovating at the Speed of Orange: But How to Go Faster?Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, ExactTarget is the globalleader in marketing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions,and its commitment to innovation drives the company. Thatcommitment, combined with ExactTarget’s entrepreneurial spiritand unwavering focus on client success, forms the basis of its“Orange Culture.” The Interactive Marketing Hub is ExactTarget’sflagship offering: The groundbreaking service provides truecross-channel digital marketing across email, web, and socialmedia.“ExactTarget delivers best-in-class marketing software,” notesExactTarget principal product manager Dale McCrory. “We’realways looking for the next big thing to help our clients achievedigital marketing success, so we build continuous innovation intoour workflow.”The Interactive Marketing Hub was envisioned as an interactivecloud operating system for delivering and integrating digitalmarketing applications with customers. Creating a central hubarchitecture is one thing, populating (and repopulating) it withmarketing applications is another. Building, testing, staging, anddeploying a wide array of software applications—applicationsthat had to meet stringent quality control and customerrequirements—were key to the Interactive Marketing Hub’ssuccess. But multiple URLs, programming language differences,and time pressures complicated timely delivery.“We needed to spin up VMs, provision resources, and configureenvironments before we could even test one idea,” recallsMcCrory. “It could take weeks. We wanted to deliver the mostinnovative products to market, but there were barriers to testingideas and fleshing them out.”The Need? Flexible, Polyglot PrivatePaaS. But DIY or Buy?Given the organization’s requirements for polyglot developmentand rapid application deployment, McCrory knew the Hubcloud needed a solid PaaS middleware foundation. He and histeam first considered the open-source Cloud Foundry platform,but recognized that Cloud Foundry deployment would requiresignificant investment and time. McCrory had to decide ifarchitecting, developing, and supporting its own private cloudmiddleware was a business ExactTarget really wanted to be in.For McCrory, Stackato enterprise private PaaS technologyfrom ActiveState offered a robust, self-service, enterprise-grade, commercially-supported private PaaS solution that wascompatible with Cloud Foundry APIs.“I like the Cloud Foundry project and vision,” explains McCrory.Case Study: How ExactTargetAccelerates Deployment and FostersInnovation with Stackato®“Stackato has enabled a level of empowerment for ourdevelopers that previously was not possible. Instead ofquickly developing apps and then running into the brickwall of IT backlogs, developers can literally run with theirapps straight to the cloud. Easily, safely, and quickly.”—Dale McCrory, Principal Product Manager, ExactTargetStackato offered a robust, self-service, enterprise-grade, commercially-supported private PaaS solutionthat was compatible with Cloud Foundry APIs.
  2. 2. About ActiveStateActiveState empowers innovation from code to cloud smarter, safer, and faster. ActiveState’s cutting-edge solutions give developers and enterprises the power and flexibility todevelop in Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, Node.js, PHP, Tcl, and more. Stackato is ActiveState’s groundbreaking cloud platform for creating a private platform as a service (PaaS), and is thecost-effective, secure, and portable way to develop and deploy apps to the cloud. ActiveState is proven for the enterprise: More than two million developers and 97% of Fortune-1000companies use ActiveStateís end-to-end solutions to develop, distribute, and manage their software applications. Global customers like Cisco, CA, HP, Bank of America, Siemens, andLockheed Martin look to ActiveState to save time, save money, minimize risk, ensure compliance, and reduce time to market.© 2013 ActiveState Software Inc. All rights reserved. ActiveState®, Komodo®,, ActivePerl®, ActivePython®and Stackato®are trademarks or registered trademarks of ActiveState. All other marks are property of their respective owners.ActiveState Software Inc.1700-409 Granville StreetVancouver, BC V6C 1T2stackato-sales@activestate.comPhone: +1.778.786.1100Fax: +1.778.786.1133Toll-free in North America:1.866.631.4581“It was an attractive option, but ultimately, Stackato’s enterprisesolution offered us a faster path…out-of-the-box PaaS technologythat just worked.”Stackato in Production: Fast Deployment,Better Apps, Greater InnovationBefore Stackato, cloud application deployment to the Hubwas a scheduled two-week process: Developers would createapplications, hand them off to IT, and wait, hopeful that theirapplications would function properly. Missing the deploymentwindow meant waiting another two weeks to try anotherapplication deployment.McCrory and team initially trialed Stackato on two clusters, eachwith four VMs. The Stackato operational model empoweredExactTarget developers, who could now deploy applicationsto production without having to involve IT management. Thedeployment workflow change had an immediate impact:Application deployment became dynamic, and no longer subjectto the vagaries of IT calendars. And Stackato’s polyglot capabilitiesmeant ExactTarget developers could code in the languages thatwere right for their business (and not in one imposed upon themby infrastructure software constraints).“Stackato has enabled a level of empowerment for our developersthat previously was not possible,” McCrory notes. “Instead ofquickly developing apps and then running into the brick wall of ITbacklogs, developers can literally run with their apps straight tothe cloud. Easily, safely, and quickly.”The Stackato development environment (installed on developerclient machines) mirrors production, so engineers now knewwhether an app would work in production before deployment.Prototyping capability is essential to ExactTarget’s applicationstrategy: Accelerating deployment to such an extent meansExactTarget can test and deploy dynamically, with deliveryprogress visibility available to collaborating stakeholders. Theresult is more apps developed and deployed faster, easierapplication development collaboration, and better qualityproducts and services.The Future: MoreFasterBetter with StackatoIn a corporate culture built on entrepreneurial innovation,Stackato delivers for ExactTarget. McCrory is working withcolleagues to roll out Stackato throughout ExactTarget. He aims tohave all production applications running on Stackato by the endof 2013.“The possibilities are endless,” concludes McCrory. “Seeing howmuch we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short period oftime is truly astonishing. I’m excited to see how we can furtherleverage Stackato to meet our goals and then exceed them.”“Stackato’s enterprise solution offered us a faster path…out-of-the-box PaaS technology that just worked.”—Dale McCrory, Principal Product Manager, ExactTargetThe Stackato operational model empowered ExactTargetdevelopers, who could now deploy applications toproduction without having to involve IT management.

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