Tapp the catalyst of a best-of-breed cloud service alliance
Here we are, back again into our blog. I apologize to our loyal following base (aka, our families and closest friends, if at all) as I do not sit down to write as often as I probably should. Truth is that we hardly sit down at Tapp.in these days, so to speak. Busy, busy and a hyper-productive period in the company!
A tribute to the core Development team for I have never seen such productivity and delivery in a group of engineers and this is surely not my first rodeo!! Please meet Ninjas Christian (1), Pablo (2), Alberto (3) & Master Ninja Javi (5) … my hat off to them! All smiley faces, you can probably tell we have fun at Tapp. I have found the Holy Grail this time around and picked a partner and a team that hands-down are way smarter than me.
On to the post, I wanted to welcome new members into our dear Tapp family of friends and partners (SumoLogic and Boundary) and explain how these awesome stacks bring the Tapp experience a step forward and deliver our customers with real tangible value. Coincidentally and unintentionally, both announcements were made on the same day last week from the West Coast, US … here’s SumoLogic’s and here Boundary’s.
So what’s the big news? Seems like “yet another press release of vapor-ware by another start-up with lack of real news”. Well, no.
First, announcements came out only when both platforms were already fully integrated in Tapp and readily available. We at Tapp put our actions were our mouth is and do not communicate intentions but realities, ever! More importantly, it is another stepping stone towards our goal of integrating best-of-breed solutions into Tapp and bring a one-stop all-inclusive user experience in multi-cloud management. Like The Ring in the Cloud, One Ring to bring them all …
We do our share of due diligence and actively research the market; listen to the needs of customers and partners and invest many hours of lab work trying out different solutions before we zero-in on a potential complementary partner and then, we pursue the partnership and integration like no one’s business. That is why it is very material news for us when we close-in a new partner with Tapp: we are honored to associate with the leading best-of-breed solutions and software stacks out there.
Sumologic is an impressive solution delivering machine-data insights (ie, log management and analytics) and a natural choice over on-premise legacy software. On the other hand, Boundary delivers real-time information about application traffic that allows the resolution of many issues such as misconfigured networks and DNS tables, chatty nodes, security attacks, … The folks at Boundary interviewed us for their blog.
What’s in it for our customers? It goes beyond the convenience to manage multi-cloud set-ups on one single portal. That only would be well worth a shot at integration. But also Tapp customers will benefit from augmented free service plans or extended try-out periods, thus pushing the value of the partnerships down to the Tapp user, right at their fingertips. No Marketing noise, but real value.
The icing on the cake is though what we plan to do in Tapp with all the data gathered by our integrated partners like New Relic, Sumologic or Boundary. A true innovation in multi-cloud management and at the very essence of cloud computing: unprecedented elastic computing resource allocation. Tapp shall use proactive network monitoring, application performance data and machine-data to deploy autoscaling capabilities raising the bar for automated cloud infrastructure management.
That is already work in progress by our engineers at Tapp.in but …. Ooops, didn’t I just say that we only announce what we already have? This business-driven autoscaling will be covered in another forthcoming post. Stay tuned!
Usability over Functionality
My engineering team keeps on pushing me to come out regularly. I do not know how they do it, but they do! As I sit down to write this post, I recall back in the 90’s when I conducted hi-fi Usability tests and –back then- championed what was called HCI (Human Computer Interaction). It was back in the day when I was a consultant in Accenture’s Change Management practice and fat fees were billed by “us”, Change Management folks, to bridge incapacitated ENG teams and code-writers to bring software to the users.
Oh man, how the world has changed!
I remember clearly, as if it was today, cameras overseeing corporate users struggle to push a “Cancel” button in a custom-built Retail bank accounting system. Canceling an account was an inbred sin for a bank teller. A “Cancel” was a no-no, we changed to an “Abandon” literal on push-buttons, and we (Change Management folks) thought we delivered real value. And those engineers were a bunch of hicks who didn’t know about human psyche but code-dogs or lab rats.
Oh man, how the world has changed!
My team of engineers, not only write flawless code, so I think, but do so in a way that blows me away. Efficiency, scalability, documentation and built-in tests are at the forefront of their daily work, but they only show-it-off when they are confident of how easy it is to operate and use. No regard to full functionality, but full usability. A usability flaw, renders their code (and their hard work) useless at the outset. Not the result of a QA process but rather in their DNA of code writing.
So here it is …. We have released just today a UI to deploy software stacks on multi-cloud setups that even my smaller kid of Eric with the Ipad could understand. In fact he did understand sooner that I got the picture!
Now you can deploy a three-tier architecture, on any large IaaS provider, independent of any vendor-maintained image, picking and choosing from icons and hovering your mouse (or your finger), illuminating as you go. You got a question? Click on the support tab and the Tapp support engineer will see your screen in a non-intrusive before-your-firewall HTML session where he can talk you through it via Skype.
Talk about bringing the cloud to the end-user? It is no longer a data-storage-collaborative-drag&drop software for the John Doe (or Joe Bloggs in Ireland) … but at the infrastructure level too.
Soon my 8-year old will provision a Virtual Machine, deploy a software stack, monitor its performance or even broker across infrastructure vendors, as easy as he asks for a milk-shake at Braum’s. And be making money Day 1 from the gaming site he just thought of and released to hit millions of users ….
Get the picture? Go Tapp.in!
... and the Product Tapp.in keeps on growing!
Busy days these days, lots to tell our friends and followers of Tapp.in!
First and foremost: the Product. You’ll come to realize, as I sit down regularly to update you all on our progress, that Product comes first in our Company. No wonder … you know how the tale goes “every engineer pops up the enterprise value 1M, take off 300K for every suit”. I happen to be the suit around here but I am completely product-obsessed. So, well … take off just 200K!
We have decided to build an awesome abstraction layer in multi-cloud setups where best of breed software will be offered to our customers. By means of building it ourselves or integrating the best stacks out there. We dedicate a fair amount of time to scout the best solutions in the market and invest heavily in encapsulating those into Tapp.in to become a truly one-stop cloud broker. One where low-key tech inexperienced SMB or highly sophisticated tech-savvy companies can both find value in our offering.
So we had built monitoring algorithms to offer advice to our customers on brokering in-between IaaS offerings. But we are not a cloud monitoring Company, we never were, so we have fully integrated Newrelic to embed their data into our monitoring panel and offer application performance metrics to our developer community. Very soon every customer of Tapp.in will leverage Newrelic’s APM incredible insight …. A first token of many other capabilities to be released in Tapp.in with this data. If you have not already, check out this APM leading soft.
On to our end user-obsession: our engineers have devised a wizard that allows provisioning, start-up and deploying cloud applications in three clicks. A major undertaking that will bring the cloud closer to everyone without diminishing the wide options in our platform for our beloved community of geeks like us.
Our Backup and DS also needed an infusion of prime innovation. We have executed a strategic partnership with our friends at Guardtime to bring Disaster Recovery as a Service (DSaaS) to our Tapp.in users. An incredibly innovative Estonian startup that will define the path in security and integrity in Backup/DSaaS in years to come.
Many more software stacks are under evaluation, like analytics and optimization of cloud setups, networking analysis and even forward derivatives on the purchase of cloud capacity. All that for next posts.
But … Our Windows customers are always on our mind though (only wait and see the impact of Windows 8 in the marketplace). I already commented in a previous post that we could provision Windows OS in the public cloud. Now, we will bring many templates and recipes to deploy software stacks in Windows VMs with Tapp’s easy-to-use way.
Product highlighted, now on to our Market stride.
We are very happy to announce that the Tapp.in platform has been deployed for Acens customers, branded Cloud Express. The GigaOM event was also insightful and enriching … and fun. Better sign off and report on another post as my oldest son Nicolas is coming back from his birthday party!
GigaOM Structure - Europe 2012 LaunchPad
I promised it wouldn’t be long before you would hear back from us. So here we are: Just today GigaOM announced the finalists in GigaOM’s Structure:Europe 2012 LaunchPad, a high-profile competition that recognizes Europe’s most-promising startups in cloud computing … and YES Tapp.in has been selected!
Javi (our CTO/founder and our “Master Ninja”) and I will be in Amsterdam on 16-17 October 2012 just in case you stop by. For more details on this event you can read in our press release click here.
Let’s keep it on!