GigaSpace Launches Second-Gen Platform for Cloud-Enabled Business Apps

Mar 08, 2011

Virtual application platform provider GigaSpace Technologies is launching an updated version of its cloud-enabled application platform, aiming to give enterprises and independent software vendors a way to harness the e-commerce capabilities of public, private and hybrid clouds with a more flexible, silo-free architecture specifically targeting business technology needs.

The second generation of GigaSpace's CEAP, coming out March 7, combines the company's eXtreme Application Platform--which just received its own 8.0 release in February--with the tools that enterprises and ISVs need to ease the development of platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service apps, allowing companies to build components that can scale up and down to meet fluctuating customer demands with consistent speed and reliability, according to Adi Paz, executive vice-president of marketing and development GigaSpaces.

GigaSpaces first released its CEAP more than two years ago, focusing then on allowing enterprises to scale applications from end-to-end and deploy them to public clouds. With the release of its second-generation platform, it is hoping to capitalize on the lessons it says it has learned from servicing a range of clients--from health care providers to financial services companies--as well as the more than 10 years the company has spent developing mission-critical application middleware solutions for a range of firms.

"We're excited to announce this new up-and-coming GigaSpaces platform, which is truly unique in that it offers an exclusive silo-free architecture to customers building their PaaS or SaaS environments, enabling them to gain unprecedented efficiencies and fast time to market," Paz says. "This new product offers a field-proven technology, minimizing the risks associated with the cloud, making former ‘mission impossibles' very possible indeed."

The latest generation of CEAP builds around core elements from the original product, while adding several new features geared toward enabling the same app functionality on private and hybrid clouds.

Its silo-free architecture is built on a converged end-to-end app and data environment designed to meet business technology needs, including the ability to harness cross-stack elasticity and multi-tenancy, enabling multiple client organizations to craft customized apps from a single instance of the software.

To give clients a clearer view of multiple tenants, GigaSpaces includes a comprehensive management console that aims to provide greater security and visibility. A built-in DevOps tools automates and manages the full lifecycle of the app middleware and resources through its day-to-day development, hoping to simplify the complex operational processes.

The second-generation tool also comes with out-of-the-box third-party middleware management tools like Tomcat, Cassandra and JMS, which can be used to automate and manage app middleware services throughout development and deployment. In order to allow companies to combine multiple languages and middleware solutions, the second-generation CEAP is designed with openness and ease-of-integration in mind, allowing for the platform to be integrated alongside existing tools to leverage public, private and hybrid clouds.

"Our first-gen platform, launched more than two years ago, focused on enterprise application scaling and deployment to the public cloud," says Nati Shalom, GigaSpaces' CTO. "The growing demand of our customers for enterprise cloud enablement and ISV SaaS enablement platforms was the primary driver for GigaSpaces' development of a targeted solution for this space in the first place." According to GigaSpaces executives, the move to integrate cloud capabilities into their platform seemed like the natural next step to build upon the experience the company has acquired over the last few years in helping companies deploy complex, multi-tier apps on a silo-free, elastically scalable platform. In doing so, they hope to allow organizations to focus their efforts on their key missions--finance or gaming, for instance--rather than keeping constant tabs on resources, service levels and downtime.

"In this new generation of our platform, we will be generalizing it to support the scaling and management of any middleware service, any cloud infrastructure, alongside fine and coarse-grained multitenancy support, and best in class management, monitoring and metering capabilities," says Shalom.

The typical GigaSpaces customer includes corporate giants with some serious functionality and data-management needs--firms like Dow Jones, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Reuters, Kohl's and Sears. For instance, client Pharmacy OneSource, which develops web-based software solutions for the healthcare industry, deploys GigaSpaces' enterprise playform to help scale the performance of its clinical surveillance SaaS and double the capacity of its existing data center, according to Pharmacy OneSource chief technology office Kaj Pedersen.

"They often start by plugging in GigaSpaces as a layer in front of their database to deal with the data-scaling concerns, and quickly expand their use of the platform to deal with the scalability across the rest of the application stack," says Shalom. With the latest cloud-enabled application platform, GigaSpaces is aiming to give its current clients an upgrade, while lowering the barrier to entry for companies that may not have been positioned to take advantage of the CEAP before. For instance, the new PaaS offering targets enterprises searching for a way to quickly and easily transfer their existing applications, starting with automation of manual processes, speeding up release cycles by ensuring continuous deployment and increasing efficiency by enabling better resource-sharing, all without needing to make major overhauls to their exisiting app portfolio.

On the ISV SaaS side, GigaSpaces is designing its platform to meet the needs of ISVs looking to shorten their time to market delivery, reducing cost margins by maximizing the number of customers who can be served by each machine in their infrastructure and smoothing the transition from their current solutions to a SaaS model.

GigaSpaces is hoping to secure itself a place alongside the growing number of cloud-enabled technologies deployed by companies in a wide array of industries, from finance and e-commerce to gaming, analytics and telecommunications. Already, the CEAP is at the center of several major partnerships between GigaSpaces and Tier I companies, including Cisco and Citrix.

The ISV SaaS and enterprise PaaS enablement platform hits the streets for the second quarter of 2011. Its additional features will be offered as an add-on for existing customers of its XAP enterprise scaling solutions.