Apprenda updates software for private PaaS

Users of the private PaaS software, which supports .Net apps, will get additional management features

Apprenda, the developer of software for creating private platform-as-a-service clouds, is adding features that offer users better control over applications running on the platform.

Businesses that use Apprenda install the software, which supports .Net applications, in their own data centers. With the software in place, developers in a business log into the PaaS via a Web-based console and use it just like they might use Microsoft's own Azure PaaS. By running an internal PaaS, businesses can dramatically speed up the time to launch new applications while complying with security and legal restrictions, Apprenda said.

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With Apprenda 3.0, the company hopes to make it very easy for organizations to install and manage the software, Apprenda CEO Sinclair Schuller said.

The new version lets developers set usage policies on a per-application basis. That means developers can set limits to the resources that individual applications use, making sure computing resources are available for the most critical applications.

It also includes new APIs (application programming interfaces) that give developers more control over caching and service communication.

Apprenda 3.0 also allows users to deploy more kinds of applications. Previously, a narrow set of .Net applications was supported, but now any kind of .Net Web or SQL Server app can be deployed on Apprenda.

Apprenda's software can be used by enterprises as well as service providers that are looking for a quick way to start offering PaaS services.

For now, Apprenda figures it's the only out-of-the-box private .Net PaaS provider, although it has some competition from Microsoft. The software giant offers what it calls an Azure appliance, which includes hardware for a very large data center and can be used by an enterprise to run an internal Azure cloud. "Our approach is different in that we are not selling a giant piece of hardware, but instead a software layer that enterprises can use in a 'plug and play' fashion on top of the millions of dollars of Windows infrastructure they already own," Schuller said.

One advantage to Microsoft's offering is that customers can employ a hybrid approach where they shift over to Microsoft's public Azure service when extra capacity is needed. That's not possible with Apprenda clouds, although in the future, a business using Apprenda might be able to build a hybrid cloud with a service provider using Apprenda software, Schuller said.

Apprenda envisions adding support for additional development languages, potentially Java and LAMP, at some point in the future. But first it plans to add support for additional databases such as Oracle and MySQL, he said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's email address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com.

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