I've always believed that tech companies only last in the market by listening to their customers. You can get carried away and add the coolest technology to your product, but if it doesn't provide real business value to the customer, it's useless. Based on discussions with our customers, their focus is on building a solid foundation. They want the cloud technologies they choose to be supported by a robust ecosystem, but at the same time be flexible enough to take advantage of whatever new technology emerges in the market. Here are the four common themes we've been hearing:
They Want a PaaS Based on Cloud Foundry
PaaS has really emerged in the past year as a critical part of application delivery and customers are saying that they want their PaaS to be based on Cloud Foundry. The open-source project is definitely on the path to becoming the standard for open-source PaaS. Cloud Foundry has largest ecosystem and the Cloud Foundry Foundation is backed by some of the biggest tech giants in the industry such as IBM, HP, Intel and SAP. We're excited to be part of the ecosystem (we're a gold member of the Foundation) and we've been using Cloud Foundry as the basis for Stackato since its inception.
They Want to be Able to Move to OpenStack
A number of our enterprise customers have a VMware and vSphere implementation, but they are now looking to move to OpenStack. This desire seems to be fuelled by a combination of not wanting to be locked-in to a vendor and the rise of open source technologies. Just as Cloud Foundry is the standard for PaaS, OpenStack is the technology industry's choice for open IaaS. The combination of a Cloud Foundry based PaaS on OpenStack is a comprehensive cloud solution that truly enables companies to take advantage of what the cloud has to offer.
They Want Docker Containers
More companies are embracing Docker and want it in their PaaS solution. But it's more than just a cool technology--it provides real business value to customers. It has the potential to be the standard for application execution environments for our industry, but it needs to be extended in order to become a true enterprise solution. By incorporating Docker containers inside of Stackato we have paved the last mile in application execution environment--we give developers and IT the ability to build, manage, scale and monitor their applications, providing the full solution that is easy for them to consume.
They Want to Work in a Hybrid Cloud Environment with AWS
Customers have their private PaaS running in production, but they want to expand their cloud to include AWS. They want to be able to work in a hybrid cloud environment consisting of AWS and require a solution that provides them with the flexibility to deploy just as easily to the public cloud as they do their private one. Fuelled by their need for application portability--our customers need a solution that can provide that much needed bridge between AWS and other cloud solutions. Stackato allows our customers to use any combination of infrastructure, including public cloud environments such as AWS, at the same time as vSphere or OpenStack.
ActiveState Software is no Johnny-come-lately to the world of PaaS -- we’ve worked with open source languages for over 15 years, helping developers be more productive. We adopted Cloud Foundry almost four years ago, recognizing that PaaS is the right meeting point for open source languages and cloud computing. And we’re proud that Stackato was the first commercial solution to incorporate Docker. We plan to continue to listen to our customers and adopt new technologies to help them deliver real business value.