infoTECH Feature

November 09, 2011

Throw away the Application Automation Directions Thanks to rPath

“What we do is analogous to what the GPS does for navigation,” Brett Adam, CTO and senior vice president of engineering of rPath, told TMCnet at Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday. “What rPath does is build a model of the system, like the map inside the GPS. Our technology computes the steps to get your system from where it is to where you want it to be.”

“If you think of how much the GPS has done to revolutionize navigation, that’s what we do for deploying and upgrading apps,” he added.

Founded six years ago, rPath was started by a couple of the core engineering members from Red Hat (News - Alert) who were responsible for co-inventing the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM), which became the de-facto way software is distributed in the Linux world.

The founders started rPath to do what RPM never could do – manage complete systems as opposed to individual systems, according to Adam.

“From day one rPath has been all about how thousands of software elements come together into deployable servers,” Adam said.

Currently, rPath is touted as the application engine provider for the private cloud. Named a “Cool Vendor” in release management by Gartner (News - Alert) in April 2011, rPath offers a Cloud Engine that is built on the battle-tested system automation platform of rPath x6 and features end-to-end application management, according to company officials.

The solution boasts a model-driven approach that ensures rapid application delivery and eliminates vendor lock-in. rPath Cloud Engine is capable of integrating with any type of cloud technology ecosystem which allows cloud providers, builders and buyers to deliver consistency, reliability and speed.

Today, rPath’s customers are large-scale IT consumers such as Disney and Ericsson (News - Alert).

“They are all customers who have large, complex, rapidly changing application portfolios that they need to deploy on demand, on scale to physical, virtual and cloud servers,” Adam said.

“We are all about sending applications to the cloud consistently, reliably and fast,” he added.  “… We have approached the problem in a fundamentally different way even than the existing incumbents.”

At Cloud Expo, taking place this week from Nov. 7-10, rPath has been spreading the word about application automation and cloud application deployment. Tomorrow, Adam will spread rPath’s message even more as he hosts a session titled “Cloud Applications: the Seven Deadly Sins.”

Among the sins are the fact that customers think that what has worked in the virtual environment will keep on working as they move to the cloud and the mistake of delivering an infrastructure as a service cloud rather than an application cloud.

“The presentation is about taking a step back to hear seven mistakes you want to avoid as you try to deliver a private cloud,” Adam said.

In addition to customers succumbing  to the seven deadly sins, customers are also still trying to figure out what is exactly cloud, according to Adam. In fact, Adam was recently at an event with 20 CIOs at a CIO Forum and the majority told him that they don’t actually know what cloud is.

They might want to start figuring out, according to Adam, as cloud is “absolutely changing this industry.”

“The fact that Amazon as a major consumer of IT figured out how to automate its IT functions has made every other IT department on the planet look like a moron,” Adam said.

“Cloud is important, and it is starting to become understood in terms of adoption pattern,” he added. “But it’s very confusing. There are too many people that are caught up on the speeds and feeds and not keeping the business issue as the focus.”

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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