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Why HP Chose Stackato and Why It Matters
by Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller, December 14, 2012

Last week at the HP Discover conference in Frankfurt, Germany, HP’s Biri Singh announced—to some fanfare—the HP Cloud Application PaaS powered by Stackato from ActiveState. Needless to say, it was a big week for HP customers, a big week for ActiveState, and an even bigger week for enterprise PaaS customers. This partnership ensures that enterprise customers will get the three key things that they need to be successful: Consistency, Choice, and Security.

Stackato Delivers Consistency

Code to Cloud—ActiveState’s model for deploying a production application to the cloud—is an iterative process. Developers, system administrators, quality assurance analysts, and reviewers all play a role in the application’s lifecycle. Application deployment also needs to stand the test of pilots and proofs of concept. In this context, maintaining an identical environment from development to deployment is key to a successful and agile workflow.

Under the cloud regime, developers design applications in micro clouds or virtual machines that replicate the exact same language, framework, operating system, and web server used in the deployment environment.

This is a significant improvement from how tech teams operated in the old days. Back then, developers worked on an application from their desktop computer, and threw it over the wall to QA testers who attempted to replicate the development environment according to developers’ convoluted instructions. Once the QA team gave the green light, it would be up to the system administrators to deploy the application to the right staging and production environments.

The overall process was like an obstacle course, as Devs and Sysadmins constantly coped with misbehaving stacks of services, languages, and operating systems. Something was always out of sync, and developers had to track down missing libraries and operating system patches for the production server to work.

With Stackato, the deployment headache is over. Introducing a Platform as a Service (PaaS) layer deployed on any private cloud, Stackato delivers a micro cloud experience that makes the development process smooth and hassle-free. The HPCloud Application PaaS powered by Stackato offers a consistent environment and an agile application development workflow. Stackato makes application portability real. Developers can deploy their applications anywhere and anytime without re-engineering or re-testing.

Stackato Delivers Choice

As a dynamic language expert, ActiveState gives users extensive language coverage, including latest runtimes, high quality technical support, and in-depth documentation. Stackato supports Java, Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby, and Node.js, out-of-the-box. With the Heroku buildpack support, the ActiveState team has added a number of built-in buildpacks for languages such as Clojure, Go, and has enabled the developer community to extend language coverage even further with custom buildpacks.

Stackato stands out as a true polyglot, which is more than just offering runtimes. Stackato truly stands behind a language with the resources, experience, and technical expertise to successfully deploy a language, its frameworks, and dependencies in the cloud.

Stackato Delivers Security

In an age where business-damaging hacks are commonplace, enterprises view data protection as a high priority and seek to properly secure web applications from malicious attacks. Stackato addresses this vital need, and uses Linux Containers (LXC) (to provide a secure and isolated environment for applications hosted in the cloud.

The LXC infrastructure gives all applications a fair share of CPU and also keeps them on a tight leash. Not a single application can go rogue and take up the server’s entire RAM. The Stackato client allows a business to set a RAM allocation per application, ensuring that the server and other applications keep running, even if one application is misconfigured.

Stackato Delivers more Benefits

There are many more benefits to Stackato that will make this OEM partnership highly successful:

  • The Stackato’s Web Management Console makes deployment easy, manages the full PaaS lifecycle, and handles PaaS administration.
  • Stackato provides a restful API that lends itself to easy integration with existing infrastructure and tooling.
  • Stackato is built to be “white labeled” by design.
  • ActiveState was founded in 1997, and has years of experience as a trusted OEM partner.

HP has always been committed to open-source platforms, including OpenStack for infrastructure and Cloud Foundry for middleware. Stackato offered a strong foundation for enterprise customer application management and core compatibility with Cloud Foundry. Here at ActiveState, we are very proud that HP chose the white-label Stackato to power the HP Cloud Application PaaS offering on their public cloud. The new HP Cloud Application PaaS is truly the start of something big.

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Diane Mueller is a Cloud Evangelist at ActiveState. She has been designing & implementing financial applications at Fortune 500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane has been actively involved in development efforts of XBRL Open Standard (http://www.xbrl.org) since 1999.