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AppScale Commoditizes Public Cloud Services

AppScale’s mission is to commoditize public cloud services beginning with those in Google App Engine

AppScale Systems, a newly surfaced start-up that has its own AppScale Cloud Platform, an open source runtime system for web applications and mobile application back-ends, just introduced its first commercial product, ScaleSafe, which automates failover and migration of cloud apps and data that use Google App Engine services for their implementation.

AppScale was started by Woody Rollins, the founding CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, and Chandra Krintz, the University of California, Santa Barbara professor who happens to be married to Rich Wolski, another Eucalyptus founder now on its board.

AppScale's mission is to commoditize public cloud services beginning with those in Google App Engine, the public cloud Platform-as-a-Service that simplifies writing, deploying and scaling applications and mobile app back-ends so developers can focus on their app rather than worry about its underlying systems and services.

It picked Google App Engine because half of the Internet touches an App Engine service every week and AppScale figures it's ripe for the picking. There are three million App Engine apps and 350,000 App Engine developers, many of whom may be feeling locked in about now.

The widgetry that Chandra, AppScale's CTO, has been working on for the last three and a half years lets users substitute multiple open source services or services from other public clouds or on-premise alternatives for App Engine services like NoSQL storage, SQL storage, object/blog storage, data caching, authentication, full text search, background multitasking and MapReduce.

Rollins, AppScale's CEO, says, "In the past year, we've interviewed hundreds of SMB and enterprise developers and CIOs about their experiences with public cloud platforms. They told us that they love the automation PaaS brings but hate the inability to control their own destiny, and future-proof their apps. These customers want to be able to move their apps across clouds without rewriting code, mix and match competitive public cloud alternatives, and leverage on-premise datasets and software investments. AppScale facilitates such portability and automates the failover and migration of apps and data."

AppScale will manage the newly plug-and-play services.

Krintz claims it "facilitates a significantly simpler deployment model than those offered by other approaches to PaaS, which require developers to learn and manually stitch together - and scale - stacks of software to implement their apps. Our focus on services enables us to offer products that the enterprise demands like automated failover, migration and disaster recovery across clouds. It also enables us to provide developers with a sweet spot between ‘NoOps' convenience and ‘DevOps' flexibility and control."

She says developers will be able to take their apps anywhere including Amazon, Azure, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace, Eucalyptus, CloudStack, OpenStack or no stack at all just a cluster with virtualization. It'll configure, deploy and scale that too. Users can stop and move or just fail over without any modification to their code.

The AppScale Cloud Platform is open source and free to use. AppScale will sell software products that plug into the AppScale Cloud Platform like ScaleSafe, which is now available for download. It provides high availability and portability for apps and data.

The company figures ScaleSafe pricing will be a small percentage of the customer's monthly bill from Google App Engine.

The start-up, which has an exclusive license to early work done at UCSB, will also provide training in Google App Engine and AppScale app development and deployment as well as tiered technical support and professional services. The price list is reportedly still in flux.

AppScale is armed with $800,000 in seed money from angel investors.

It expects to attract SMBs and enterprise companies.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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