Q&A: Apcera SVP Neeraj Gupta on the Cloud and More

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 19, 2015

Among the companies differentiating themselves in the cloud computing space, Apcera is an interesting case study. Its secret sauce lies in a cloud policy-centric approach that helps enterprise cloud architects, developers, system administrators and the C-suite manage containerized workloads of all sizes, including Docker, for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Apcera is also a member of the OCI and has an open source project called Kurma, an operating system that allows containers to be managed and orchestrated by other processes. We caught up with Apcera’s SVP of Product and Engineering Neeraj Gupta (shown here) for an interview. Here are his thoughts.

Please tell us what kinds of solutions Apcera's platform is ushering in for users.
The Apcera platform enables users to deploy and orchestrate applications in an agile manner on the most popular public and private clouds, while still providing IT with the tools needed to manage, secure and govern infrastructure. Apcera supports applications of all sizes, languages and frameworks from a single shell script,  pre-built Docker image, or operating system. The platform also facilitates application assembly based on a microservices architecture. 

What is the platform based on, and what is Apcera's stance toward open source?
Apcera’s platform is mostly written in Go language. We are strong proponents of open source and have open sourced some of our products and key components. One notable open source product from Apcera is NATS (http://www.nats.io), our high-performance, simple and scalable cloud native message bus that powers some of the largest cloud platforms in production today. Not only is the product completely open source, but we also open sourced the website and documentation itself. Another notable open source product from Apcera is Kurma (https://github.com/apcera/kurma/), a next generation execution environment for a containerized host. Kurma is built on the notion that everything is a container. It is an operating system that allows containers to be managed and orchestrated by other processes. 

What advantages does your platform offer when compared to other cloud platforms?
The Apcera platform has several key advantages. These include multi-cloud (private and public) and hybrid cloud support; strong emphasis on trust, security; broad, extensible support for a large variety of languages, frameworks and runtimes; and pervasive policy support, automatically enforced.

This last item is an especially important differentiator. Our platform embeds a policy engine that allows an operations group to construct policies that can act as “guard rails” for the organization. Within these boundaries, developers can gain access to whatever resource they need without a constant back-and-forth with an operations group to get the work done. This enables entire organizations to move forward, faster and with more confidence.

Can you describe the steps involved in deploying Apcera’s platform? How much of a turnkey process is it?
If you’d like to try the Apcera platform, it’s as simple as a single Vagrant command (https://www.apcera.com/blog/how-to-get-started-with-apcera-using-vagrant/) on a laptop or spinning up a VM (https://www.apcera.com/getstarted/) in AWS, VMware or OpenStack. For larger, production deployments we have installation tools that automate deployment.

How does the platform work with legacy applications?
We have broad and extensible support for legacy applications to ensure that the same level of policy and governance applies to all infrastructure. .

Please describe how the Apcera platform works with AWS, VMware, OpenStack and other popular tools?
The Apcera platform sits above AWS, Google, IBM SoftLayer, VMware, OpenStack and other cloud providers. It lets you deploy your workloads to any of these providers, on-prem or off-prem, or move between any of them, using the same commands and with identical policy support. 

What else is Apcera working on?
Apcera’s product team has  produced a new series of tutorials that review the details on policy language and policy authoring. 

Did you want to add anything?
Check out our new NATS website, based on popular open source Hugo framework, http://nats.io/


Editor's Note: This post is the latest in our collection of interviews with some really interesting and influential tech people. Our series of interviews has included talks with Rich Wolski who founded the Eucalyptus cloud project, Ben Hindman from Mesosphere, Tomer Shiran of the Apache Drill project, Philip DesAutels who oversees the AllSeen Alliance, CEO of StackStorm Evan Powell, Tomer Shiran on MapR and Hadoop, the University of Washington team behind Grappa for data analytics, and co-founder of Mirantis Boris Renski.