While regular cafés are serving lattes and biscotti at the speed of light, Appcito’s Cloud Application Front End (CAFE) service is providing business users with a platform that promotes the delivery of cloud-based applications.
Leveraging its proximity to applications found within cloud-reliant data centres, along with Big Data, CAFE works to expedite and simplify app delivery. The system enables DevOps and enterprise IT teams to organize this process in real time while ensuring the security, speed and reliability of enterprise-focused apps and micro services.
“Fundamentally, if you look at application owners and DevOps today, they are responsible for (several) items,” says Appcito CEO Kamal Anand.
“They want to make sure that the application is highly available, that it is performing well for the end users and that it is secure from application-level attacks,” Anand continues. “In today’s world, with agile software development, the developers are giving code updates on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis, and the operations team is responsible for getting that code out and making sure that the application is behaving well.”
CAFE was created as a direct result of research conducted by the Appcito team, which showed that numerous companies embarking on an exodus to the cloud for certain operations, including the development of new apps and services.
“We recognized the inclination of modern app development to consume services rather than just products,” says Anand.
“Today, when you move to the cloud, you don’t set up your own servers, databases, storage or networking, all of which are available as services. What happens to be at the front end of the application comes off of load balancing, security and acceleration. Those kinds of technologies were not available in an easy-to-consume fashion.”
Launching CAFE has also been instrumental in helping to create a better connection between IT and DevOps teams. Says Anand, “It is not just up to the IT infrastructure (people) anymore, so we built something that bridges that gap. It allows the application owner and DevOps to consume these services for their own applications and control the policies in an easy fashion.”
In the past, cloud computing was somewhat of a novelty. Only a limited amount of enterprises adopted it, mostly on an experimental basis. Since then, the cloud has become more mainstream, and more users are getting on board each day. Noticing this, Appcito felt that it was time to launch this new service.
“The cloud has become mainstream,” Anand says. “A year and a half ago when we started (developing CAFE), it became clear that mainstream enterprises had finally embraced both the private and public cloud. If you look at the market, larger companies like Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine and IBM recognized that trend and began promoting the use of the public cloud.”
As the popularity of the cloud rose, many companies began to use it for app development purposes. According to Anand, there are several ways that CAFE assists with this process. The first involves ensuring the availability of the app if a business relies on multiple servers for their cloud activity.
“If you have an application, the first thing you have to do is ensure its availability,” he explains. “If you have multiple servers, you have to make sure that you’re (communicating) with them and the users. Secondly, you have to ensure that it is very responsive from an end user perspective.”
Delivering apps to users is all about speed and efficiency, and they immediately take notice if an app fails to load or run properly.
“Various studies have shown that if your application doesn’t load within two seconds, (users) have to switch to another mobile device,” says Anand. “We have integrated technologies that allows you to deliver those applications to the end device without the writer or developer having to do anything.”
Going forward, Appcito plans to continue to provide enterprises with solutions for their cloud-based deployments, and explore opportunities to offer their customers support throughout the entire application life cycle.
“Our vison is (centered) on helping business owners with the cloud deployments,” Anand says. “(CAFE) is our first product in terms of front-end (development), but if you look at applications, there is a lot of evolution happening. We see a lot of opportunities to provide (support) at different points in the development process, and we would expect to become a much bigger part of operation teams’ toolsets.”
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