ActiveState Upgrades Stackato Private PaaS with .NET, Management, Performance

ActiveState is shipping an upgrade to its Stackato application platform for creating a private and secure Platform as a Service (PaaS). Stackato 2.0 adds a wide range of enterprise-ready features to support key phrases of the cloud apps lifecycle, including expanded multi-language support to include  .NET apps, web-based visual cluster management and improves performance.

Tags: ActiveState, cloud, devops, .NET, platform as a service, private PaaS, Stackato, workload management, virtualization, VMs,

stackato2_01_1000ActiveState is shipping an upgrade to its Stackato application platform for creating a private and secure Platform as a Service (PaaS). Stackato 2.0 adds a wide range of enterprise-ready features to support key phrases of the cloud apps lifecycle, including expanded multi-language support to include  .NET apps, web-based visual cluster management and improves performance.

Stackato’s architecture is based on the Cloud Foundry open source project, and the latest Stackato 2.0 features are extensions to optimize support for mission-criticality and rapid testing and provisioning, ActiveState’s CEO Bart Copeland told IDN.   

The Stackato 2.0 upgrade comes only a few months after ActiveState first rolled out Stackato private PaaS. The upgrade reflects the fact that IT wants vendors to provide them with enterprise-class solutions that can let them use the cloud to do more than simply save on hardware.

“We’re seeing enterprise customers are looking for cloud solutions that can do more than save on hardware. Today, they’re looking for how the cloud can help them innovate, and make their applications more agile and better engineered,” Copeland said. Enterprise IT is also looking for better ways to govern those apps in the cloud, he added.

ActiveState’s Stackato 2.0 focuses on several key requests from enterprise IT, including visibility, management, performance and notably support for .NET resources. All these features deliver benefits across the cloud lifecycle to enable more agile development, greater DevOps transparency, more efficient cloud management and faster time to market, Copeland said.

Notably, Stackato 2.0 runs .NET applications via technology integration with the Iron Foundry platform. “Stackato now works seamlessly with Iron Foundry's Windows Virtual Machines to provide runtime support for .NET applications,” Jared Wray, founder of the Iron Foundry project, said in a statement.

Copeland added that many companies committed to .NET or Java also use dynamic languages. “So in Stackato 2.0, we pull all languages on an equal footing, and that lets companies adopt a private PaaS that supports any language, or multiple OS stacks.”

A case in point, Stackato 2.0 also delivers a faster app store and improved Heroku build pack.  “We have built support to make migration seamless from Heroku to a private PaaS,” Copeland said. That way of supporting Heroku means that apps not built on Heroku can work with them, thanks to Stackato’s hooks. But also, software is now portable from Heroku, he added.

“Enterprise customers are looking for cloud solutions that can help them innovate, and make their applications more agile and better engineered.”

Bart Copeland
CEO
ActiveState

To further support .NET cloud projects, Stackato 2.0’s automatic configuration tool also links with Iron Foundry to support .NET apps in a Stackato PaaS cloud. Stackato 2.0’s support for .NET joins earlier support for many other popular languages and scripts, including Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP, Node.JS, Clojure, Scala and Erlang.

Stackato 2.0 also sports improved visual cluster management, and replaces difficult to navigate command-line interfaces with a clean web interface. New support for remote cluster management also delivers more ease-of-use across many stakeholders – developers, testers,  operations and sysadmins. 

Copeland shared a bit of Stackato’s secret sauce for this capability. “Stackato is architected as a virtual machine which can be used as a ‘stem cell’ to easily build other VMs,” he said. “So, with our new console, we added more features to make it easier for IT to do for remote monitoring and administering of all their VMs.”
 
Stackato 2.0 also adds support for workload management and more rapid provisioning for all apps. This means IT gets easier ways to spin up (or spin down) workloads faster as business needs dictate, thanks to Stackato 2.0’s advanced “containerization” technology. It can secure apps, while also conserving scale and capacity, which means apps will run better even with less virtual real estate because Stackato 2.0 supports multiple containers per VM.


ActiveState “Workloads are getting shorter and faster and we felt the cloud could better support flexibility and agility enterprise IT needs. Copeland points to an example for provisioning: “Today, a dev and test engineer working with cloud needs to spin up hundreds or a thousand instances, but they can run into the problem that their deployment environment gets bogged down, which slows that way down. One of our customers using Stackato 2.0 was able to take their deployments down from four weeks to four minutes.”

Under the covers, Stackato 2.0 lets devs use a single VM (what ActiveState calls a “micro cloud’), which means the dev team has a virtual test and production server that’s identical to what will run in the full enterprise – except for scale and capacity. This architecture has several benefits.

“This method of pushing the software means a developer can test locally, and once he sees it works he can more rapidly provision. This micro-cloud approach takes out many complexities and other hurdles for getting apps from dev/test to live with a lot less back and forth,” Copeland said.  

One analyst said as companies like ActiveState’s continue to expand PaaS capabilities, enterprise IT will be more encouraged to embrace private clouds.   "As PaaS platforms have become less constrained, offering more choice in the underlying technologies, interest in them has begun to accelerate. Enterprises, accordingly, are increasingly looking to incorporate PaaS into their long term strategies to reduce their operational overhead and time to market,” said Stephen O'Grady, principal analyst at RedMonk in a statement.




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