Gartner, Google, AppScale and UCSB

Posted by Woody Rollins on 6/4/16 4:00 AM

The mention of AppScale in the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant came as a surprise to us at AppScale.  It wasn’t that AppScale was mentioned; after all, our customers have been in production for many years and Gartner already acknowledged us as a Cool Vendor.  As I tell my kids, you are often judged by the friends you keep and this is true for technology companies as well.  At AppScale, we have chosen good friends in our relationship with Google.

So, how does AppScale fit into this equation? Dr. Krintz saw the future of runtime systems in this new Google product and immediately set to work developing an open source version of GAE. Why? Even though Google is very generous to higher ed, most universities, and specifically Computer Science departments, run on open source software. Chandra thought it would be important to expose the world to the GAE development model, without the limitation of being tethered to Google. This allowed students to develop complex applications on their laptops, on-premise using university hardware or on AWS using credits that Amazon kindly bestows upon higher education. It also allowed students to develop apps where there was limited or no connectivity. It allowed for a more widespread, open source adoption of this brilliant technology developed by Google. AppScale quickly became so popular that Google and the National Science Foundation provided funding for the project to advance the code and extend its reach.

 A big shout out to the University of California, Santa Barbara for supporting this innovative work back at the dawn of public cloud. Many realize, but I like to trumpet the fact, that many cloud innovations were developed at UCSB. Originally one of the 4 nodes on the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) network, UCSB was at the genesis of the modern Internet (sorry Al Gore). UCSB is steeped in early cloud innovation, from the ARPA 4 Node Network to more recent innovations like Go-To-My-PC, the screen-sharing technology that created the modern SaaS business model, to Eucalyptus, the pioneer in private cloud infrastructure, to AppScale; UCSB has been a tremendous supporter in commercializing these important technologies. It is no wonder that their Computer Science program is nationally recognized. As if that weren’t enough, have you seen the campus? UCSB sits on arguably the most beautiful piece of real estate in California, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific.

With regard to the topic of Gartner, Google and AppScale, we can unapologetically state that we are guilty by association. When Gartner prepared the Magic Quadrant for aPaaS, Google App Engine was prominent in that analysis. And because of that prominence, GAE’s perfect complement, AppScale, must also be evaluated. Thanks Gartner. Thanks Google.

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Some history is required to understand the nature of our friendship with Google. In 2008, Dr. Chandra Krintz, Professor of Computer Science at UCSB and progenitor of the AppScale technology recognized that Google had created and released to the public something technically amazing with their application platform as a service (aPaaS), Google App Engine. GAE is the platform used to create most of the applications that have made Google, well, Google. And it is amazing. The higher level of abstraction allows developers to focus on business logic and not the rote details of application development. This allows for a level of innovation that SME’s could not have imagined previously. Add this ease-of-use to the seamless ability to auto scale on virtually infinite resources with global redundancy, offered as a pay-as-you-go, No-Ops public cloud model and you have the most popular aPaaS on the market today. Brilliant.

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Topics: Industry Insight

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