Sebastian Stadil: A developer may choose to use Scalr and then they use Scalr for agility purposes. As adoption grows inside of the organization and their developers start using it as well, that’s when IT starts to use Scalr as a tool to enforce policies. Scalr is this platform that allows for the management of cloud resources. Developers use it to manage their cloud resources and IT uses this as a tool to enforce security policies.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s focus on this management stack for infrastructure-as-a-service, what are some of the open problems that you still see out there?
Sebastian Stadil: One of the problems that cannot be solved by any single vendor or any single person is that there’s a lot of variability in the enterprise in how infrastructure is managed. You might have a company that’s decades old and has the legacy of many years and decades. There are a lot of new companies that have very recent infrastructure and they don’t have that legacy. Then there’s everything in between. The way an enterprise will want to manage their resources and products is through its processes and its own culture.
One of the challenges that we see is that every enterprise wants something different from the cloud management platform [CMP]. There’s very little standardization of processes and that just makes it very difficult for best practices to be known.
Sramana Mitra: Is this an industry that is largely custom services oriented?
Sebastian Stadil: That’s a great question. If you take a very large organization, all these large organizations are broken down by all these different departments. These departments usually see only their own requirements and not the requirements of the industry at large. What happens is you have those point solutions that are made and those are, as you say, custom-made. The developer has a point problem and builds tooling to be able to solve that point problem. But then as cloud adoption grows, the amount of requirements increases. As more experienced developers are on the cloud, the more they start to converge towards a common set of best practices. Those common set of best practices is what Scalr and all the other cloud management platform address in this standardized product manner.
If you look in the cloud management platform that was built by one or two developers, then that’s much less of a platform as it is a simple software tool. As the company matures and starts to understand cloud best practices, then their needs for the CMP converge and they are able to better utilize CMPs. It’s like these two phases. Depending on where you are on the adoption lifecycle, you will see custom solutions or you’ll see standardized solutions.