Three Questions with PaaS Vendor CumuLogic

This installment of the “three questions” is with CumuLogic‘s founder Rajesh Ramchandani. CumuLogic was started by Sun veterans who had been working with Java for a long time, and naturally their market focus is Java. Compare with AppHarbor’s take whom I asked the same questions earlier this month.

Here is Rajesh:

1: Who should and shouldn’t be using a PaaS product today, and why?

Rajesh: Almost all applications should benefit from using a PaaS, unless there are workloads such as high-performance computing (HPC) which do not require any frameworks and infrastructure software. We believe that while Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds can help provide compute resources on demand, they also provide a somewhat limited value in terms of bringing agility and lowering the operational cost of IT. Managing infrastructure software on IaaS is actually more complex than on non-virtualized environments since users have to make sure all software components work on different hypervisors and can work with limited system resources, such as system memory on each virtual machine.

There are several PaaS options available in the marketplace and every developer and every organization should be considering PaaS for either deploying new applications or migrating existing applications to clouds. According to some case studies, PaaS can lower the cost of IT operations by over 30%. Since there are several flavors of PaaS offerings, organizations must decide to choose the one that helps speed up application development – or a PaaS which can provide end-to-end management of infrastructure and apps.

Some PaaS offerings like CumuLogic PaaS, provide extreme flexibility and choice of infrastructure components to help deploy apps on the stack which suits best for a given application. There does not seem to be any reason why an organization would continue to use homegrown solutions which tend to become costly to maintain especially when you can just buy one.

2: Three to five years out, what is the PaaS market going to look like?

Rajesh: We’d rather not steal the job of our analyst friends (smiles)… but if you really want to know, I would say, PaaS models are still evolving and only time will tell what works for developers and organizations. Our belief is that PaaS will eliminate the need to interact with hardware resources so developers can simply focus on developing quality applications and IT staff can focus on delivering high quality services and maintain better SLAs and not get bogged down by daily infrastructure issues when deploying apps.  We also believe that the winning PaaS in the enterprise will be the one which provides the highest flexibility and choice of infrastructure components, runs on multiple clouds or hybrid clouds, and provides security, scalability and resiliency.

3: Which part of the PaaS landscape is your company focused on and which unique value do you provide?

Rajesh: CumuLogic focuses on delivering a PaaS which provides end-to-end managed infrastructure services for Java apps. More specifically, on PaaS for enterprises that deploy private clouds and use public clouds for limited workloads and therefore need a comprehensive PaaS solution across private and public clouds. CumuLogic PaaS allows a mix-and-match of infrastructure components including traditional apps servers and SQL databases to the modern NoSQL databases and frameworks. This functionality allows users to retain existing investments in the middleware if they choose to migrate existing apps to the cloud.

We continue to develop and integrate features in our PaaS so that it will require limited third party cloud services to integrate and manage. Our users asked for a PaaS for VMware vSphere deployments, and that’s what we support together with other IaaS platforms such as Cloud.com (acquired by Citrix in July 2011), Eucalyptus and OpenStack (coming soon).