Today is the first day of the Cloudbeat conference, an event that myself and Paul Miller have, for the second year, built the agenda for. CloudBeat is all about customer case studies and not about vendor announcements, that said I am aware of a couple of announcements coming up today in the PaaS space. Some of these announcements speak to the blossoming of PaaS and the building out of the critical features that PaaS customers needs.

Apprenda is today announcing the new version of its Paas service. Apprenda is kind of the PaaS whipping boy – their focus on providing very deep single language solutions goes against the current polyglot orthodoxy. As such they’re having to spend lots of time justifying their perspective, which is kind of a shame since what they do, they do really well.

The new version speaks more to their focus on building out the sort of functionality enterprises need to adopt PaaS – specifically their single-click hybrid cloud support and news developer toolsets. Specific announcements today include:

  • Enterprises Extend Datacenter to Windows Azure  – Apprenda connects Windows Server 2012 environments with cloud-based Windows Azure resources, creating a hybrid cloud PaaS approach for enterprises. Windows Azure users can use Apprenda to develop, deploy and manage cloud applications without conflict with private PaaS
  • Single-Click Hybrid Cloud  – Apprenda believes enterprises want hybrid cloud architectures. In this release, IT can apply resource policies to infrastructure and applications rapidly, moving them with a simple single-click feature across the boundaries from private to public cloud
  • Enterprises Easily Embrace Mobile, Other App Patterns  – As enterprises move to mobile, multi-tenant and other cloud application types, Apprenda 4.0 adds support for all Windows and Visual Studio integration and extends support for .NET 4.5, SQL Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012


Apprenda has a different perspective, in part because the fact they’re based on the East Coast results in them being much more attuned to an enterprise use-case focus rather than a more aspirational Silicon Valley view. Apprenda talks to real-world enterprises all day every day and these customers are advocating for private PaaS as a critical requirement for them to adopt PaaS. Going down a route that sees them deliver a consistent hybrid PaaS approach makes sense.

Of course there is the perennial best-of-breed versus polyglot argument. I sense that while Apprenda stands alone in the industry in this regard, that we’ll see a more credible and logical argument come from the company soon. The bottom line is a discussion on whether enterprises really want to settle on one set of tools, or if they want a variety of options fixed to their metaphorical tool belt. I can’t help but think that the latter is the case for most enterprises, and that Apprenda’s best of breed approach will see them gain some good uptake from a small selection of .NET focused enterprises, that long term they’ll need to broaden their customer based significantly.

In the short to medium term, Apprenda is delivering upon enterprises needs. I believe however that enterprises are going to move to a much more flexible and heterogeneous future sooner than Apprenda expects and it needs to think deeply about how it will enable this change to occur, without losing its “focus on doing one thins exceptionally well” approach.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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