Managing Your Multi Cloud Storage from One Single Location

24 of September of 2013 Posted by Hector Rodriguez

We at Tapp.in continue with our relentless engineering efforts to bring you a One-Stop MultiCloud Lifecycle Management Platform, independent from the cloud vendor you work with. Both, One-Stop and Lifecycle, are non-negotiable key design drivers of our enabling customer console. We believe in simplicity and are ourselves tired of hopping from one site to the next, one IaaS vendor’s portal to another, to manage our underlying architecture at Tapp.in. Any cloud set-up, regardless of its sophistication, its variety or specific intricacies, must be managed from one single portal and cover its entire lifecycle, from provisioning of instances to proactive management of application performance, enabling users to make the most of the elasticity the Cloud has to offer.

Today we add another piece to the puzzle …. Storage Silos and Multi Cloud Storage Management.

It is exciting, the result of hard work and itself a major product release for Tapp.in. Another item from the roadmap in our quest to bring you the ultimate administration layer of your stack.

Right now, we started with a full integration of Amazon’s S3 and Rackspace Files in Tapp.in, but we have ear-marked market leading cloud storage solutions that will become available within weeks. True to our Multi Cloud nature, you shall be able to interoperate amongst different IaaS providers and storage solutions directly from your Tapp portal and, for instance, copy files from S3 to Rackspace and vice versa.

Just by itself this is only a new capability of our product suite, a feature not a solution, but this just adds to our existing stack BIG TIME!


Storage Silo

There is much more to come and very shortly, as it becomes nearly impossible to manage the impressive output of our brilliant yet industrious engineers (… an oxymoron?!). The ability to manage private networks and bring Tapp a step closer to hybrid setups is just around the corner, admin and security profiles sometime next …. But this post is not about “selling” our roadmap but to give you (our avid follower) a status update on our product developments. You folks are the ones who drive our product forward and we love providing you with these updates in due time!

Just a small hint of the future to come at Tapp.in …. “The Secure Cloud”

PS - On a different note, we were invited by Telefónica to lead a workshop in Campus Party held in London Sep 2-7. It was certainly no small task to demonstrate the “Construction of Highly Scalable Cloud Infrastructures” but it was very refreshing to see an audience of developers, junior computer engineers and notably college students, build three-tier architectures with advanced autoscaling triggered by end-user perceived application performance. All setup with Telefonica’s IaaS Instant Servers through Tapp.in using New Relic’s built-in integration. You would think you’d need a few days and a skilled SysAdmin group to build such infrastructures … well, not really! That was a real-life test that we are achieving what we set out to do when we started building Tapp: strip the ‘obscure world of Cloud Infrastructure’ of any unnecessary complications and bring the Cloud closer to developers in the revolution of our Digital Age! Anyway if interested here are the slides and try out for your self.

Autoscaling and Beyond....

18 of May of 2013 Posted by Hector Rodriguez

Hey, we are back! … As you probably know as one avid follower of our blog’s widespread following base (chances are YOU are the one and only), we love what we do at Tapp.in and we have a passion to bring something anew to the marketplace. We are product-focused folks, no-vaporware, no-nonsense, no foo foo or noise for the sake of market positioning or to try to be in the spotlight and remain visible among the cloud crowd. We like noteworthy announcements and here you have the first pill of many more to come in the next few months:

We have been hard at work these last months in our commitment to provide a true one-stop multicloud lifecycle management solution. Not only just to provision virtual machines but to support customers throughout the whole operation, end-to-end, and irrespective of the cloud provider.

The ‘promised land’ of Cloud lies heavily in freeing up existing IT resources to focus on more strategic or business-driven activities. None of that will happen if these resources are instead hopping from one service to the next, trying to make practical sense of every new and powerful -but disparate- SaaS infrastructure service to manage their operation. So Tapp.in set sail to become a conduit, either by bringing best-of-breed solutions in the Cloud infrastructure management space, or by putting our own engineers to work in new services, or both….

And that’s precisely what we did by integrating New Relic with Tapp.in and then building

The only Auto-Scaling that matters!
Elastic allocation of resources based on end-user's experience

Truly unique, for the first time, you will be able to scale your cloud resources up or down based on application performance data, in what your customer actually sees and experiences, and not on server performance metrics alone.

Up until this point, most auto-scaling has been performed based on very simple server metrics such as CPU consumption, Memory Usage, and Network Utilization. All these are IT-driven and not customer-focused. Simply put, customers don’t give a knack about the infrastructure you use (whether physical or virtualized), they only care about having what they need, when they need it and at their fingertips …

And for that, pay they shall (or drop you altogether)!

Autoscaling with CPUAutoscaling with Apdex

The traditional auto-scaling is only a half-baked approach since:

  • It does not factor in end users’ perception of app performance
  • It requires deep knowledge of infrastructure performance
  • It is often difficult to create complex rules and workflows
  • Bottom line, however cheaper, it does not truly maximize your cloud infrastructure to serve the business.

The integration between New Relic and Tapp allows users to auto-scale their cloud resources based on Apdex, a much better measure of your app’s performance. For example, you might have all servers at 90% memory consumption but still have an Apdex value of 1. This means you don’t need to scale your cloud resources because your users’ perception of your application is excellent. Now, you can set the auto-scaling triggers, whatever they might be, as you provision instances and deploy SW with Chef cookbooks, setup your load balancers, the firewalls across your infrastructure setup and wait for Tapp’s Geolocalized DNS routing work its magic.

The integration between New Relic and Tapp allows customers to effortlessly provision cloud resources automatically where they are most effective, based on the performance experienced by end-users. Enough said … now all these IT resources can go plot the next app to be on top of the game.

So, as you can see, we’ve not been running with the bulls at San Fermin or drinking fino at the Feria de Sevilla, but we bring something as exciting to the table… and more to come!

PS_ To be honest, we did stop-by the Feria de Sevilla but only when Tapp auto-scaling was promoted into production!

Tapp the catalyst of a best-of-breed cloud service alliance

13 of March of 2013 Posted by Hector Rodriguez

Here we are, back again into our blog. I apologize to our loyal following base (aka, our families and closest friends, if at all) as I do not sit down to write as often as I probably should. Truth is that we hardly sit down at Tapp.in these days, so to speak. Busy, busy and a hyper-productive period in the company!

Recepies Screenshot

A tribute to the core Development team for I have never seen such productivity and delivery in a group of engineers and this is surely not my first rodeo!! Please meet Ninjas Christian (1), Pablo (2), Alberto (3) & Master Ninja Javi (5) … my hat off to them! All smiley faces, you can probably tell we have fun at Tapp. I have found the Holy Grail this time around and picked a partner and a team that hands-down are way smarter than me.

On to the post, I wanted to welcome new members into our dear Tapp family of friends and partners (SumoLogic and Boundary) and explain how these awesome stacks bring the Tapp experience a step forward and deliver our customers with real tangible value. Coincidentally and unintentionally, both announcements were made on the same day last week from the West Coast, US … here’s SumoLogic’s and here Boundary’s.

So what’s the big news? Seems like “yet another press release of vapor-ware by another start-up with lack of real news”. Well, no.

First, announcements came out only when both platforms were already fully integrated in Tapp and readily available. We at Tapp put our actions were our mouth is and do not communicate intentions but realities, ever! More importantly, it is another stepping stone towards our goal of integrating best-of-breed solutions into Tapp and bring a one-stop all-inclusive user experience in multi-cloud management. Like The Ring in the Cloud, One Ring to bring them all …

We do our share of due diligence and actively research the market; listen to the needs of customers and partners and invest many hours of lab work trying out different solutions before we zero-in on a potential complementary partner and then, we pursue the partnership and integration like no one’s business. That is why it is very material news for us when we close-in a new partner with Tapp: we are honored to associate with the leading best-of-breed solutions and software stacks out there.

Sumologic is an impressive solution delivering machine-data insights (ie, log management and analytics) and a natural choice over on-premise legacy software. On the other hand, Boundary delivers real-time information about application traffic that allows the resolution of many issues such as misconfigured networks and DNS tables, chatty nodes, security attacks, … The folks at Boundary interviewed us for their blog.

What’s in it for our customers? It goes beyond the convenience to manage multi-cloud set-ups on one single portal. That only would be well worth a shot at integration. But also Tapp customers will benefit from augmented free service plans or extended try-out periods, thus pushing the value of the partnerships down to the Tapp user, right at their fingertips. No Marketing noise, but real value.

The icing on the cake is though what we plan to do in Tapp with all the data gathered by our integrated partners like New Relic, Sumologic or Boundary. A true innovation in multi-cloud management and at the very essence of cloud computing: unprecedented elastic computing resource allocation. Tapp shall use proactive network monitoring, application performance data and machine-data to deploy autoscaling capabilities raising the bar for automated cloud infrastructure management.

That is already work in progress by our engineers at Tapp.in but …. Ooops, didn’t I just say that we only announce what we already have? This business-driven autoscaling will be covered in another forthcoming post. Stay tuned!

Usability over Functionality

15 of November of 2012 Posted by Hector Rodriguez

My engineering team keeps on pushing me to come out regularly. I do not know how they do it, but they do! As I sit down to write this post, I recall back in the 90’s when I conducted hi-fi Usability tests and –back then- championed what was called HCI (Human Computer Interaction). It was back in the day when I was a consultant in Accenture’s Change Management practice and fat fees were billed by “us”, Change Management folks, to bridge incapacitated ENG teams and code-writers to bring software to the users.

Oh man, how the world has changed!

I remember clearly, as if it was today, cameras overseeing corporate users struggle to push a “Cancel” button in a custom-built Retail bank accounting system. Canceling an account was an inbred sin for a bank teller. A “Cancel” was a no-no, we changed to an “Abandon” literal on push-buttons, and we (Change Management folks) thought we delivered real value. And those engineers were a bunch of hicks who didn’t know about human psyche but code-dogs or lab rats.

Oh man, how the world has changed!

My team of engineers, not only write flawless code, so I think, but do so in a way that blows me away. Efficiency, scalability, documentation and built-in tests are at the forefront of their daily work, but they only show-it-off when they are confident of how easy it is to operate and use. No regard to full functionality, but full usability. A usability flaw, renders their code (and their hard work) useless at the outset. Not the result of a QA process but rather in their DNA of code writing.

So here it is …. We have released just today a UI to deploy software stacks on multi-cloud setups that even my smaller kid of Eric with the Ipad could understand. In fact he did understand sooner that I got the picture!

Recepies Screenshot

Now you can deploy a three-tier architecture, on any large IaaS provider, independent of any vendor-maintained image, picking and choosing from icons and hovering your mouse (or your finger), illuminating as you go. You got a question? Click on the support tab and the Tapp support engineer will see your screen in a non-intrusive before-your-firewall HTML session where he can talk you through it via Skype.

Advance Recepie Screenshot

Talk about bringing the cloud to the end-user? It is no longer a data-storage-collaborative-drag&drop software for the John Doe (or Joe Bloggs in Ireland) … but at the infrastructure level too.

Soon my 8-year old will provision a Virtual Machine, deploy a software stack, monitor its performance or even broker across infrastructure vendors, as easy as he asks for a milk-shake at Braum’s. And be making money Day 1 from the gaming site he just thought of and released to hit millions of users ….

Get the picture? Go Tapp.in!