Cloud continual delivery service Wercker has received a seed investment from an A-list group of investors. The round was led by Shamrock Ventures with additional support from Greylock Venture Partners, and Amsterdam-based micro VC Vitulum Ventures. Vitulum provides seed capital for Internet and mobile startups. Company executives did not reveal the amount of funding they received, but sources close to the deal say that Wercker raised close to $1 million.
Wercker helps developers test and deploy code often. Small bits of code get pushed out by the developers to the SaaS platform at a rapid pace. In the process, developers see the connections between each other, building on the social dynamics that come with pushing out code. The goal: increase velocity of the development process.
For a startup, Wercker has attracted an impressive group of supporters. Members of its new advisory board include Dan Harple, managing director of Shamrock Ventures and EIR at MIT; Jan Pieter Scheerder, former president of SunSoft; and Arthur van Hoff, EIR at Redpoint Ventures and former CTO of Flipboard.
Wercker was part of the 2012 Rockstart Accelerator startup incubator based in Amsterdam, and most recently participated in Mozilla’s WebFWD program. NexusLabs, a foundation based in Amsterdam and at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., fosters innovation and supported Wercker with refining their pitch and helped bring venture capital parties from the United States to the table.
Wercker is a new breed of service that fits well with emerging new platforms that help developers build apps. GitHub provides a way for developers to post code and collaborate on projects. A service like Heroku is a platform as a service (PaaS) for developing apps and deploying to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Wercker hopes to fit right in the middle, connecting through APIs to GitHub and Heroku and more services at a later point.
Hernandez van Leuffen said they are considering integrating with Cloud Foundry, the open PaaS developed by VMware. That would get them access to the enterprise hybrid and private cloud markets. In the meantime, van Leuffen said the company will add its service to the Heroku Add-On Marketplace and will build out for AWS. The service is now free to use. It is in private beta.
It’s hard to say what company competes with Wercker. They’ve practically created their own category but collaboration platforms for developers could develop their own services. It could even be a potential offering from a provider like AWS.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) reigns supreme as the developer platform of choice while Windows Azure is showing impressive growth, according to a survey conducted by Forrester Research.
The third-quarter survey compares how cloud developers are using the cloud. The report looks at the potential growth of the different services; the state of the platform as a service (PaaS) market; how developers are using cloud services; their expectations for future usage; types of apps deployed and what to expect going forward.
AWS, the dominant cloud player, is an overwhelming favorite among developers, but it’s good to see Windows Azure showing momentum. Of interest is the lacking presence of OpenStack deployments, with Rackspace as the exception. It is still early days for services that use OpenStack and Cloudstack, the Citrix-led open cloud effort operating as an Apache Software Foundation project.
Respondents said they expect usage to increase on AWS and Azure. Developers have mixed expectations of Force.com, Google App Engine and Rackspace.
According to Forrester, the PaaS market is still emerging. Developers don’t delineate as much between PaaS and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings. The survey notes AWS’s addition of abstracted development services such as AWS Beanstalk, Elastic MapReduce, and DynamoDB.
Expect AWS to continue adding services that complement its core infrastructure. Redshift is its most recent addition. The service is an alternative to traditional data warehouse offerings. Forrester cites AWS, Rackspace, and Microsoft as creating ecosystems of PaaS and SaaS in their walled gardens. These are services that exemplify how developers are blurring the lines between PaaS and IaaS. They use them all in AWS instead of using other services for different aspects of their work.
Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Google offer integrated IaaS/PaaS platforms. Forrester also recognizes ActiveState and CloudBees pioneering on-premises PaaS services. Apprenda, AppFog and Dell also offer private PaaS.
Speed of delivery is the top reason that developers cite for why they use the cloud.
Internal business apps were the top app deployed on cloud services. That will change in the next year as more developers say they will deploy more social and collaborative apps and services. Developers will use platforms that offer tools that better support their more sophisticated needs. This will drive deeper use of platform services. Capabilities that will be in demand include mobile back-end as a service (MBaaS), message and app-level caching.
The Forrester study reinforces that developers will go to the services that offer what they need. The use cases are relatively simple now. Most developers are deploying internal apps, and as the apps become more sophisticated, developers will look for platforms that offer both infrastructure and platform capabilities. That points to an opportunity for AWS, Azure and the platforms that integrate with infrastructure environments.
Oracle made a gesture to developers today with a new platform play it unveiled at Oracle OpenWorld. But a closer look shows Oracle is lumping developer services with every possible “cloud” offering you can imagine that the company sells. It’s all of course still on the Oracle cloud, a beast of sorts – part cloud, part hosted and something in between.
You name it, Oracle says it has it: Platform as a Service (PaaS), Database as a Service (DBaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Social/CRM are all part of the mix. Here’s the laundry list from an Oracle press release:
This is no Amazon cloud, folks. Instead, it is everything for every IT dude who wants to keep the house humming. This is not your innovator’s platform.
Of course, it’s not entirely old-school. The CRM and human capital management (HCM) apps are multi-tenant, says Ray Wang of Constellation Research. The Oracle Cloud has the RightNow components – a single version of the application but with the databases all in their own instances. RightNow is the SaaS provider Oracle bought last years. And then there are the hosted Oracle apps.
But, the Oracle PaaS comes closest to having some geek credibility. You can build apps on the Oracle Cloud. The service includes the Oracle database and access to the Java EE application server. You can deploy to a new app store for partners and developers. It’s self-service and has “almost” immediate deployment. It has continuous integration and REST-based APIs.
The service can run on SQL (no reference to MySQL), Java, APEX, and Java frameworks. It also has object storage and a Git repository.
But it is all Oracle. So if you want a service entirely from one provider then this platform is for you. Just be careful not to buy the kitchen sink, too. It’s not included in the price. For that, you have to pay separate.
AppFog has acquired Nodester, the most recognized platform as a service (PaaS) for the fast growing Node.js community. The move is one of the first signs of consolidation and proof that multi-language platforms are increasingly becoming the standard for this emerging cloud market.
AppFog, also a PaaS, is based out of Portland and considered one of the up-and-coming players in the PaaS space that has made its mark by offering developers the means to build and deploy apps without tbe burden of building their own infrastructure. AppFofg offers multi-language support for app developers.
According to a leaked memo to customers, AppFog will now run and maintain the Nodester service as it is, but makes a point that it will provide Node support in its AppFog.com service. The company will incorporate Nodester technology into the AppFog.com Node service, and once completed, will provide a migration path from the Nodester service into AppFog. The transition will be completed by January 15, 2013.
Nodester Founder Chris Mathieu said the following in the memo:
Nodester was the first 100% open source Node.JS PaaS solution available for developers and it’s still one of the few Node.JS platforms that supports native WebSockets! The Nodester community is passionate about open source public, private, and hybrid cloud PaaS services. I looked at the various leading PaaS providers out there and it became clear that the only one with our vision and mission was AppFog. This partnership will give our Node.JS developers the very best PaaS solution as Node.JS continues to grow and extend into the enterprise.
AppFog prides itself on its interoperability with multiple clouds.
The company’s service extends across different infrastructure services. It does this by using CloudFoundry, VMware’s PaaS, as the universal API to multiple infrastructure environments. That allows the service to exist on any infrastructure without the complexity that usually burdens the customer.
It competes with major services such as Google App Engine. Other players in the PaaS space include Apprenda, Heroku, Engine Yard and Tier3. The market is quickly becoming defined by the flexibility in language support. AppFog now has an advantage to some degree by offering Node.js support capabilities.
Founder Lucas Carlson is banking on the need for corporate wide need for using any number of services across different departments. AppFog acts as a layer that connects different clouds so all departments in an organization may deploy to where needed. As app development continues to simplify, Node.js can serve as a unifying way to launch their own services.
AppFog, originally PHP Fog, has raised $9.8 mllion in two rounds. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
See the article here: AppFog Acquires Nodester As Platform As A Service Market Shows Signs Of Consolidation
During the great Amazon Web Services outages of April 2011 and June 2012 many users were stuck. They could, in theory, move their apps to another AWS region, or to another cloud provider altogether. But in practice the architecture of AWS regions are unique – each one supports slightly different features and APIs.
The thing is, every cloud provider will eventually have some downtime. Quite possibly less downtime than your on-premise apps. But if you can’t wait it out, you’re going to need to architect your applications so that they can live in different environments. And today AppFog and Rackspace announced a partnership that promises to make it easier to do that. But there’s no word on when, so for now this is still vaporware.
AppFog is a platform cloud, like Heroku or Google App Engine, that supports several programming languages and frameworks. It’s based on the private platform-as-as-service software Cloud Foundry, which VMware open sourced last year. So far AppFog has only been available on AWS’ infrastructure, but CEO Lucas Carlson has been promising a one click migrate between clouds for a while now. What AppFog announced today is that its service would be available through the Rackspace Cloud Tools Marketplace. Its inclusion will bring the the platform-as-a-service marketplace I described last weekend a bit closer to reality.
Seamless app migrations between clouds is a tall order and I’ll believe it when I see it. But it would be a killer app for platform clouds, which so far have left many developers asking “What’s the point? I can configure all this stuff myself.” But AppFog’s not alone, the platform market is increasingly crowded. For example, just this week Uhuru, another Cloud Foundry based provider that adds-on .NET support to the core offering, launched its beta. Cross-cloud deployments are likely on the roadmaps of many, if not most, platform cloud companies.
If nothing else, hopefully this move will put some pressure on AWS to make it easier to fail-over to other regions.