Attracted investments from 3 venture capital funds, 150 thousand users around the world, a real competitor of RedHat, VMware, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other world IT-monsters - this is a brief list of achievements that Jelastic gained just 4 years since its foundation.
At recent conferences the presentations of Ruslan Synytsky, Jelastic Founder and CEO, aroused great interest among the participants. They asked almost everything - about the technology, about which updates are planned in the near future, how to get free resources for small projects, how to build large-scale enterprise solutions in the cloud, and so on. So here are some answers Ruslan provided to the IT Expert and that might be also interesting for our users and readers.
What is Jelastic?
Jelastic is a platform that allows you to greatly simplify complex engineering problems while deploying applications, written in different programming languages (Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, Node.js, and others), into the cloud. More specifically, to build a scalable complex environment, with just a few clicks. At present, the engineer needs to know how to build a highly scalable environment, but not necessarily do it manually. Our platform lets developers focus on creating an application and not worry about buying servers, setting the environment, configuring OS, application servers and databases, about downloading code or other administrative tasks.
Jelastic provides greater flexibility for developers and thus leaves open the possibility for the administrator to control the application lifecycle and infrastructure changes. In other words, Jelastic today is a hybrid solution that provides the capabilities of platform and infrastructure simultaneously. In addition, we have advantages that other Platform-as-a-Services do not have - automatic vertical scaling, complete isolation of resources due to very efficient container virtualization, almost no restrictions while working with the file system, ability to migrate applications between servers without stopping containers and much more. Why did we make such a hybrid solution? Because people want both of them (platform and infrastructure) to solve their problems. That's why Jelastic can now be installed as a private cloud on your own hardware, or used as public clouds all over the world.
Often the decision to use a particular platform requires approval from company's executives. What, in your opinion, should attract them in Jelastic?
There are two directions. If the CEO wants to save on infrastructure using a cloud solution with the service provider, our platform can help. The manager can integrate their IT-infrastructure into the cloud. Additionally, he will get such advantages as less time for applications development, lower cost of their maintenance, reducing the necessary internal expertise to build highly scalable applications. Why? Because everything is provided in-the-box with full automation inside. If we are talking about the Director, who does not want to take their infrastructure to the cloud, but wants to get the necessary level of automation within their company, they can deploy Jelastic on their own servers and get the same benefits from the advanced automation of IT processes. The engineers will perform tasks faster using Jelastic, and respectively the company will benefit (as cost of engineers today is great and every hour of their work is expensive).
The second important point - Jelastic provides high density of applications within the infrastructure. So a user can deploy 2-3 times more applications on the same infrastructure using Jelastic. Our unique algorithm allows optimal load distribution. The system can automatically find unused resources and bring them back into the cluster, so they can be used by other people. Efficiency ratio is increased by 2-3 times.
Which companies use your services?
These are different companies. Primarily application developers, IT consultancy, outsourcing companies, system integrators, hosting companies, as well as providers of telecommunication services, banks, government organizations. Basically, these are companies that have their own internal R&D teams.
We have two types of users - partners and end users. Partners include, for example, hosting providers, systems integrators, outsourcing or other large companies. Service providers, in their turn, sell Jelastic to end users - developers and SMBs. Integrators are dedicated to provide our product as a private cloud for enterprise customers. And outsourcing, telecommunications or government organizations use Jelastic for their own needs and simplify development internally within the company.
I can specify some names. For example, Siemens - they use public cloud with one of our partners in Germany. Moreover, some Oracle employees prefer using Jelastic (we found out about this by chance at JavaOne). In general, our customers are companies of different levels, including telecommunication companies in Luxembourg, a car manufacturer in Germany, government agencies in the United Kingdom, the largest hosting service provider in Brazil, systems integrators around the world (for example, Centerprise in the UK, GMV in Spain, as well as Sigma Software in Ukraine - they all are using Jelastic).
You mentioned government agencies and banks. Are they willing to work in the cloud?
Indeed, government agencies and banks will never give their data to the cloud. But we solve this problem easily - for such clients we have a private cloud. The client can install Jelastic on top of the bare metal. When banks or government agencies will have their own private cloud, they will realize that the cloud is very profitable, and automation improves the quality of business processes. Then they will start working on partial migration of the non-critical data in the public cloud and as a result will happily perform this because there is no need to keep and maintain a fleet of servers. Many companies are already doing this today.
How do you ensure security?
Security is guaranteed with technologies proven over the years. Firstly, each application is isolated from each other. We use isolated virtual containers, so one application can not affect the other, because it has some set of restrictions. Of course, user can adjust these confines, but within reasonable limits.
Second, we have our own security gateways, as well as control system protection. Usually cloud solutions provide a significantly higher level of security than companies have internally. Why? Because small companies often have no serious security audit. When any patch with security fixes is released, service providers make immediate updates of the entire infrastructure and software to quickly fix the problem. This is already passed on to service providers.
What recent improvement was more difficult to implement?
Now almost everything is not given easily. The easiest functionality was already realized a long time ago. The most difficult is to move fast, adding new features and providing the same high level of quality. A usual dilemma - speed or quality. This is not so easy to choose. Today, after all, we give priority to quality rather than speed. Although we are moving very quickly in comparison with other companies. The second difficult task is updating the platforms of our partners. Their number is growing and we cannot hire a new employee for each client, that is why the processes are automated. The platform is a very complex product, so such automation requires many resources to perform updates without downtime and in many regions simultaneously.
What updates are planned? What can the customers look forward to?
Recently we announced Docker standard support and soon this implementation will be available at all production environments. Docker is a packaging and orchestration system that requires container technology to function. With the integration of Docker standard across the Jelastic platform, users will now have more flexibility and options while installing any stack, application or system. Soon we will also add the support for .NET applications and thus cover all the major programming languages. In addition to that, we provide geo-distribution of the apps, i.e. you can deploy an application to several data centers just in a few clicks. We are adding more functionality and more applications for corporate clients, also integrating with Software Defined Storage, which can significantly increase the platform's high availability.
You do not provide hosting services, but only the platform - has this approach paid off?
When we started the project, we planned to provide services similar to our competitors. But then we thought that maybe it would be boring to do the same thing as the others, so we decided to focus on a franchising model. We provide software, expertise, marketing materials, service materials and support in-a-box that allows companies in various countries to offer both public and private clouds based on Jelastic. The approach paid off. Today, large companies from the USA are trying to take the part of the market away from the smaller companies in different countries. At the same time, end customers prefer to work with a local service providers. But when it comes to the question of "Should I work with a local service provider with obsolete service, or with a foreign provider that gives modern facilities and saves me money?" then customers begin to think. And when it is possible to use the modern range of services provided by local ISP, it is clear that this is exactly what the client would prefer. We get a lot of positive feedback that helps system integrators and hosting service providers to reach the next level of modern cloud services. This is our mission.
And that's all folks! If you would like to take Jelastic for a test drive, simply visit our free trial page and choose among various hosting providers from around the globe. We'd love to hear your thoughts on our platform!