In March 2009, I profiled a cloud based company called Sonoa Systems who were helping SaaS providers with analytics, security and compliance. I was very impressed with what they are doing and kept a tab on their progress.
Sonoa Systems is uniquely positioning itself to help enterprises and SaaS providers with analytics, performance, security, compliance and regulations etc.. Sonoa Appliance sits between the service provider and users offering
- Analytics – With Sonoa, it is possible to slice through the usage of a service to understand various metrics like who is using the service, SLA issues, how customers use the resources, etc.. They offer charts and reports that will help service providers make crucial business decisions. The best part of Sonoa Systems is that they could easily scale according to the usage during peak
- Security – Sonoa helps service providers decide access control to their APIs based on content, user profiles, etc.. They also help protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.
- Governance – Sonoa offers policy based enforcement of shared services, Managing performance by controlling the operational overhead etc..
Since then they have made some interesting moves in the market. They first launched a simple web service, called Apigee, to help SaaS and other web service providers throttle, monitor their APIs. API providers can also enforce their terms and conditions through this service. It is a simple and straight forward service and they even offer their basic version up to 10,000 requests per hour for free.
More recently, they hired a high profile Microsoft open source evangelist, Sam Ramji, to help them in both the product strategy and customer strategy. I had a chance to talk with him couple of months back on his role on Sonoa, about the importance of open source in the cloud based world and, also, about his role in the Codeplex Foundation. He was pretty excited about his then new job and was very optimistic about the direction Sonoa is going to take in the future.
Today, Sonoa is announcing a new mobile service called Mobile App Acceleration which will help developers speed up their mobile applications several fold. This service is available for the mobile platforms like iPhone, Android and other smartphones. According to Sonoa, this service could reduce the load time of iPhone applications from 20 seconds to under 2 seconds.
Essentially, the Mobile App Acceleration service is a proxy service that provides intelligent caching, compression, pagination, and other network services optimizations to dramatically accelerate performance and a much reduced battery drain. As in the case of Apigee, they are using Amazon Web Services EC2 instances for the backend. The use of Amazon EC2 cloud makes their service massively scalable for millions of consumers.
At a subscription pricing of 3K-5K per month, this service offer a low cost hightly scalable option to speed up their mobile applications. It is also possible for the developers to validate and accelerate 3rd party APIs. With their strong background in analytics, this service also comes with a dashboard where a developer can monitor the API usage and, even, set up alerts for any API related problems.
This is a pretty neat service and a good start. I am pretty sure we will hear more interesting stuff from them in the future in the mobile space. I am also particularly excited by what this service can offer in terms of enterprise mobile context.
Update: Sam Ramji has a blog post on the topic. It is a great read.