Welcome to Apcera’s blog. It’s an exciting time and we’ll begin sharing our experiences here as we go along. This isn’t a corporate blog — it’s about who we are, what we’re building together, and how we grow as a team. It’s us directly to you. Expect a good mix of product updates, editorials, team and culture posts, etc. For the latest updates, you can follow us on Twitter.
A lot has happened since Apcera became a company in March 2012. Our team has grown to 16 with 4 amazing advisors, we’ve moved to a bigger office, and we’ve built an enterprise platform that empowers people to do things better and faster.
It all started with an idea: For enterprise IT to out-innovate its competitors, it needs to put policy front and center, successfully blend delivery models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) in one platform, and enable semantic awareness of communications.
During my time at TIBCO, Google, and VMware, I saw that despite massive innovations in technology, IT repeatedly faced the same forced choice: Go fast and risk policy violation, or slow down to meet compliance. We’ve optimized for time in many ways, mostly shortening code and provision time, but time to deploy, and in a compliant manner, is still high. The increasing delta between Dev and Ops makes IT resort to shortcuts, which only work until they don’t.
At VMware, I designed and architected the first Open PaaS to abstract away everything below apps and services, giving developers freedom to choose languages and frameworks without worrying about underlying infrastructure. Today, PaaS is still a first-generation cloud-computing model, framed around making developers’ lives easier. What PaaS doesn’t do is address critical enterprise needs such as governance, policy, compliance, authentication, identity, security, auditing, etc. The more we see people using PaaS, the more we understand its limitations. There has never been a single, fully enterprise-grade platform that makes all delivery models work together in compliance while accelerating both Dev and Ops. Up until now, it wasn’t clear how that could happen.
Policy doesn’t need to be a bad word. If policy currently slows and complicates things, think how much it can speed things up if done right. Policy should be transparent and out of your way so that you can do what you do today, as quickly as you want, only now you’re fully compliant. It is critical yet hard to make policy transparent and complementary to the PaaS model.
When we make policy a first-class citizen, it becomes an enabler
This is where Apcera comes in. We address policy on a low level—not as it comes up—and give it the attention we give to something we really care about (Dev, for example). When we make policy a first-class citizen, it becomes an enabler and the platform works for and is as exciting for IT admins, policy makers, and compliance managers as it already is for developers.
As low as policy is, we dive even deeper to achieve semantic awareness. This means we not only control and have visibility into which apps talk to which services, but also what goes on in the connections themselves. It’s not about the data, but total monitoring of the wire even after the app is connected to the service, all done transparently. The combination of policy and semantic awareness underpins an incredibly powerful platform.
All of this is made possible by diving deep and solving truly tough problems. When we fix something at a fundamental level, we gain much more control and visibility over the entire system. The result is speed, compliance, trust, and most importantly, business value.
When I met Ken Robertson, Apcera employee #1, back in June 2012 to discuss the system architecture, he said, “This is tough.” Then with a grin, he added, “It’d be amazing if we could pull it off.”
We are pulling it off because we have the right team. We’re here to reinvent enterprise IT while working with what you have and allowing you to use the tools you want and focus on what you do best. There’s never been anything like our platform.
We’re always looking for great people who can help us solve challenging problems. If you think you have what it takes, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Stay tuned, I'll share our team story next time..