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Why I Joined CliQr

I recently joined CliQr as Vice President of Product Marketing. I will be using this blog to share my perspective on industry trends, CliQr product details, and our customer’s success.

So why, with my experience at multiple technology vendors and time served as industry analyst, did I decide to join CliQr?

Its all about the app

Four years on, Mark Andreessen’s famous Wall Street Journal editorial Why software is eating the world still holds true. Software applications are changing the competitive landscape in every industry, and putting power in the pockets of smart phone users in a way that was unimaginable a short time ago.

Many business and IT executives have decided to reduce the amount of time and resource spent building and managing infrastructure as a way to focus sharp technical minds on applications. They do this by using SaaS applications if possible, and by moving both new and existing applications to public cloud IaaS and PaaS if feasible.

Hybrid Cloud 2.0

Consequently, architects and developers now have experience with app deployments in multiple cloud environments. Enterprise IT organizations often support multiple clouds and are on their 2nd or 3rd iteration of their cloud strategy. Many now view multi-cloud and hybrid cloud as the inevitable IT strategy that maximizes speed and flexibility as IT acts as a strategic partner with the business. As a result, we are have moved beyond what I consider hybrid cloud 1.0 focused on proof of concept, to the hybrid cloud 2.0 era of broad adoption and focus on deploying and managing applications.

However, the explosion in the number architectural options and the complexity introduced deploying apps in various cloud environments creates a real challenge. Our industry has not evolved to the point where all clouds are the same. As a result, both developers and IT professionals must learn the specifics and nuances of each environment. Security groups in Amazon are different than isolation mechanisms at Rackspace, or in a VMware environment. Both developers and IT Ops spend precious time and energy learning these specifics in order to develop and support applications.

So in effect, we are back to taking scare resource away from the app, the key touch point between IT and technology consumers, and focusing on the underlying and supporting technology.

My belief is that there will not industry convergence on a single cloud API and interoperability standard. As a result, hybrid cloud will continue to be complex. But it doesn’t have to be hard.

Application Abstraction 

Consider, how many people in your IT organization need deep Linux kernel knowledge? Maybe none? Red Hat does a great job offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and providing support for those that need to go deep when there are kernel level questions and issues. They have effectively abstracted the Linux kernel and allow developers and IT to leverage the power of that technology without having to deeply understand how it works.

That vision of abstracting the application from the technology is shared by the founders of CliQr. They developed a hybrid cloud management platform that abstracts the details of the underlying cloud technology, API, deployment specifics, away from those who develop and support applications.

Developers and architects should be able to build and deploy applications across cloud environments, without having to maintain knowledge about the deep technical minutia that enables applications to work in each environment. Similarly, IT should have the power to manage and maintain a portfolio of enterprise applications across environments without having to have the “Amazon team” and the “VMware team” and the “OpenStack team”.

That level of detailed knowledge doesn’t directly add value to the business.

How does CliQr do it?

I’ll write a follow-up blog that details what’s unique about the CliQr architecture. But the “secret ingredient” that makes it possible to abstract the app from the cloud is the CliQr CloudCenter Orchestrator. Our orchestrator is installed in each target environment and manages the application deployment and ongoing interaction with the underlying technology. We continually update the orchestrator to work in each cloud environrment supported by CliQr.

We have a group of developers that closely follow new developments offered by each cloud we support, and continually update the orchestrator software so our customers can take advantage of the latest services offered by each cloud vendor. So when an application is deployed to a cloud or moved from one cloud to another, the CliQr user can select and deploy to the target environment with confidence, but without detailed knowledge of the underlying cloud specifics.

What can you do with CliQr?

The abstraction of the application from the underlying cloud technology opens up a range of powerful use cases for CliQr customers.

- Migrate applications – easily move workloads from one environment to another
- IT as a Service – offer “push button” app stack deployment via service portal or API
- DevOps and CICD – move an app through dev to test to production across clouds
- Capacity augmentation – move or deploy apps during periods of heavy usage
- High performance computing – deploy compute intensive applications temporarily

So why did I join CliQr?

I understand the Hybrid 2.0 era challenges. I bought into the CliQr application abstraction vision. I see the orchestrator-based solution as the best long term alternative for hybrid cloud application management. I reviewed a range of successful customer deployments.

So I joined the team to help our customers focus on the app as they harness the power of the cloud.

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