Briefing Notes -‐ Apprenda A Briefing Note By Krishnan Subramanian Briefing Notes -‐ Apprenda A Briefing Note by Krishnan Subramanian Company: Apprenda (www.apprenda.com) Market: Platform as a Service (PaaS) Products: Apprenda PaaS Summary: Apprenda is one of the early private PaaS players with a focus on best of breed technology. After an initial focus on .NET, Apprenda is diversifying into other languages with the Java support announcement today. Relying on the enterprise need for a deeper .NET support (and now Java), they have gained strong traction in financial and biotech sectors. Today, they have announced that J P Morgan Chase is using Apprenda platform for their mission critical needs.
Briefing Notes -‐ Apprenda A Briefing Note By Krishnan Subramanian Market Overview Platform as a Service (PaaS) market segment is still in its early stages even as some large enterprises are embracing PaaS for their mission critical needs. In this briefing note, we are going to focus on the application developer platforms and, henceforth, any use of the term PaaS in this note refers to these platform services. Even though PaaS came into prominence long back with services like Google App Engine, Heroku and Engine Yard, its traction in the enterprise market is still very limited. In the early days, biggest traction for PaaS was from individual developers and startups wanting to push their apps directly to a hosted platform in order to avoid any investments for operations. In the recent years, we are seeing increased traction for both hosted PaaS as well as private PaaS from mid market to large enterprises. The increased enterprise adoption of PaaS in the last two years is partly due to the availability of private PaaS offerings and also due to the fact that enterprise IT today understands the value of such platforms including keeping rogue IT under control. In spite of the increased interest in enterprise PaaS, the adoption is still pretty slow. However, it is expected to accelerate in the coming years with the maturity of PaaS offerings and other trends like reduced enterprise concerns about lock-‐in, security, etc.. The PaaS segment can be roughly categorized as: • Hosted PaaS • Hybrid/Private PaaS with infrastructure abstraction • Hybrid/Private PaaS with tight control over the infrastructure (DevOps model) We have Heroku, Google App Engine, Engine Yard, etc. on the hosted PaaS category, CloudFoundry Variants, WSO2, Apprenda, OpenShift, etc. on the second category and offerings like Cloudify, Brooklyn Project, etc. for the DevOps category. For a comprehensive coverage of the PaaS market segment, please refer to our upcoming research report on 2nd April 2013 at Deploycon. Apprenda Overview Apprenda’s enterprise cloud platform falls into the private PaaS category and can be deployed on top of public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud. Ever since its launch, Apprenda has been focused on .NET and today it is making a pivot by announcing additional support for Java. Unlike other PaaS providers who take a Polyglot approach to supporting multiple languages, Apprenda takes the best of breed approach. Unlike in Polyglot, where all languages are supported inside a single platform, Apprenda supports multiple platforms for different languages but offers a seamless single pane of glass for managing multiple platforms. Apprenda Platform is a highly available and extensible platform with complete support for Application Lifecycle Management. In the recently announced Version 4.0 of their platform, they have added support for Hybrid Cloud, AD/LDAP support, multi-‐tenant queue support (something like a message bus), support for Windows services (legacy application support), etc.. Now, with the availability of Java
Briefing Notes -‐ Apprenda A Briefing Note By Krishnan Subramanian support in Apprenda Platform, enterprises can take advantage of two of the dominant languages inside the enterprises even today (.NET and Java). Even within the .NET PaaS segment, Apprenda’s support for legacy apps gives them an advantage over Windows Azure in the enterprise market. Moreover, they also help service providers leverage Apprenda platform to offer PaaS that fits very well with the federated cloud model strongly advocated by Rishidot Research. With the announcement today that J P Morgan Chase is using Apprenda platform for their mission critical applications, they have not only showcased their platform as one of the strong contenders for enterprise PaaS but also showed the world that even large enterprises can trust PaaS for their developer needs. Advantages -‐ Support for legacy and modern applications. It may not fit into the puritan definition of PaaS where the platform is meant to support only modern applications but it solves an important enterprise need for a platform that could support the legacy apps along with a way to build modern distributed apps. Enterprises are heavily invested in legacy apps and any platform that supports these apps will find favor in this segment -‐ Offers support for more .NET programming constructs and deeper integration with Microsoft services than the Polyglot platforms -‐ Enterprises wanting to have an easier on-‐ramp to Windows Azure in a hybrid setup will find Apprenda platform more useful -‐ The fact that they have some large enterprise customers takes any longevity concerns out of picture and makes them a very attractive acquisition target Disadvantages -‐ Lack of support for modern languages is a handicap for any organization wanting to use languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, etc.. -‐ Support for NoSQL is missing. However, Apprenda API can talk to NoSQL data stores hosted elsewhere Competitors We see the following vendors as competitors to Apprenda: • Traditional middleware players • Both hosted and Private PaaS providers • Public infrastructure cloud providers • Even though Apprenda has been few steps ahead of Microsoft in offering a more robust enterprise platform, the threat from one of the largest software companies in the world will always be a concern
Briefing Notes -‐ Apprenda A Briefing Note By Krishnan Subramanian Summary Apprenda has clearly shown the world that enterprise can rely on PaaS to meet their developer needs. They are taking the best of breed approach to application development platform over Polyglot. With the announcement that J P Morgan Chase is one of their customers, they are positioning themselves to be a strong competitor in the rising PaaS market. As the Youtube generation of developers (a term we use for very young developers who grew up with internet) enters the enterprise developer workforce, the demands for modern language will eventually force Apprenda to support these languages.