The other day I was reading one of Barton George’s always entertaining posts (as an aside, Barton has recently signed on as Cloud Evangelist at Dell – watch this space for Dell’s cloudy moves). In his post entitled “Internal Clouds? We don’t need no Stinking Internal Clouds”, Barton’s two big takeaways referenced from a Forrester report were that;
1) IaaS isn’t just for test and development any more
2) many people out there are ok with skipping internal clouds and going directly to external providers.
The contention being that enterprise is becoming more comfortable with the entire cloud concept as a delivery mechanism for deployed applications and is starting to feel OK about making the move to external cloud providers.
Interestingly enough, on the same day I got around to reading Barton’s post (dude, it may have taken a while but at least I read it eventually), I had an interesting Conversation with Jesse Kliza, business development guy from Apprenda. Apprenda created SaaSGrid which, in their own words is;
a distributed SaaS Application Server that eliminates the difficulties of building and delivering Software as a Service (SaaS).
In essence SaaSGrid is attempting to reduce the barrier to entry for SaaS by minimizing the technical hurdles like multi-tenancy and grid scalability, and providing standard application services like metering and monetization, billing and subscriber management among others.
So why is there a connection between Barton’s post and Apprenda?
Well, Apprenda has just inked a deal with PEER 1, who are now offering a public SaaS cloud powered by SaaSGrid. Interestingly though, they will also be hosting private SaaSGrid-powered clouds for larger ISVs. According to Apprenda, the utility model via the public cloud has continued to pick up, but the private cloud model is REALLY becoming of interest to larger ISVs.
Sure public work is still a big part of what they do, Apprenda is part of Microsoft’s bizspark program (Update – Apprenda is a Network Partner in the BizSpark program) and has been helping other bizspark members create applications using SaaSGrid. In something of a validation of the IaaS/PaaS model, Appoint IT built their product on SaaS Grid and went from ideation to paying customers in less than six months. CEO of Appoint Nate Rowe said that;
We couldn’t have done this without SaaSGrid, not in this short a time. Not only did we get to market much more quickly than we had ever dreamed, we’re light years ahead of where we would have been with regards to the maturity of our architecture and business because of SaaSGrid
Which is as much a vote of confidence of third party enablement technologies as opposed to a hat tip to the “do it all internally” approach.
Also falling into the public cloud sphere is the news that Apprenda has also landed a big ($300million plus) ISV customer who will be building their next generation applications on SaaSGrid. (Update – The ISV will be building their apps on a private cloud)
Notwithstanding these successes, and no matter what the evangelists (myself included) would like to see. There is a significant call for private cloud and tools to help build them. IaaS and PaaS providers would do well to remember this.