PaaS Judo: With Cloud Foundry Ippon Deploys in 2 Minutes Versus 2 Weeks

April 15, 2014 Adam Bloom

featured-casestudy-ippon-hostingIppon Hosting CTO, Ghislain Seguy, recently shared a profound point about Cloud Foundry, “What used to takes 2 weeks now takes 2 minutes on PaaS. In addition, Cloud Foundry is the leading choice for open source PaaS from my perspective. Before, our development environments often took 2 weeks to set up, and an integration or test environment would take more. Now, our development environments take 2 minutes, and my infrastructure team is freed up to work on more strategic efforts. Going forward, we are going to help our development and hosting customers benefit from the speed to market supported by Cloud Foundry and Pivotal CF PaaS solutions.”

Ghislain is no stranger to deploying infrastructure. He has spent over 15 years leading technology teams, largely with open source solutions. In 1999, he founded a hosting company focused on PHP and MySQL. It sold in 2007 to an open source oriented digital consultancy, and he acted as COO for several years after the acquisition. In 2011, he started a cloud application company around server log analysis, and, in 2013, he decided to join Ippon Hosting, founded by French Judo Champion turned technology entrepreneur Stéphane Nomis. The company delivers open source and Java application consulting, training, and hosting solutions in France and the United States. Given its heritage, Judo principles play a key role in the company’s culture and approach, and the company’s name means “one full point”—the highest, winning score in Judo.

Ippon’s Strategy for Hosting, Open Source App Development, and PaaS

In Ippon’s view, PaaS is a future imperative for companies doing application development, delivery, and hosting. “Java application development and traditional hosting remain core components of our business, and, as the PaaS market emerges, we see automated deployment as a critical component to help customers create efficiency and get to market faster. As we launch our PaaS solution for developers at Devoxx France this week in Paris, we will initiate our PaaS hosting offering. We want to be the first to provide our customers with a stack of applications on Cloud Foundry,” explained Ghislain. Much like the PaaS view of Fjord IT, Norway’s green data center, Ippon’s leadership has seen the market evolve through virtualization and how Java and open source have continued to advance in maturity and popularity. They plan to help companies move to open source, cloud, and PaaS solutions with an initial offering built for developers and a roadmap that includes Java, Ruby, NodeJS and PHP runtimes, Liferay Portals, Elastic Search, and Cassandra.

In addition, Ippon knows the hybrid hosting model is important as pointed out by several key PaaS statistics. They plan to host Cloud Foundry inside their data center while allowing customer runtimes to operate on both public and private clouds. Ghislain shared, “The hybrid model is one of the main reasons we chose Cloud Foundry. We will be able to run applications anywhere—in our own data centers or on Amazon Web Services, VMware, Google Cloud, OpenStack hosts, and others.”

Picking an Open Source Winner—Comparing Cloud Foundry, OpenShift, and Solum

It would be easy to say that Ghislain is well versed in open source software (OSS) decisions as his first company was a host for PHP and MySQL. As CTO of Ippon Hosting, he recommends technologies and leads development in an R&D capacity in addition to managing the IT team.

“At Ippon, we are focused on open source hosting and development. In our view, open source is the only way we have a future in a strategic decision and direction. When we looked at the PaaS market in December of 2013, we saw only three viable solutions—Solum, OpenShift, and Cloud Foundry. Solum was really started in November of 2013, so it was too immature and was the first to be eliminated. We also wanted to avoid a strong link to other products because it would allow us move quickly and have the freedom to change solutions in the future. In the case of OpenShift, it was too closely related to RedHat products. As well, we also needed to see a strong development community. Cloud Foundry had a strong advisory board at the time and was anticipating a more open governance model as announced in February. There were a lot of big players coming on board like IBM, EMC, HP, Intel, Verizon, and some smaller players too. The community was showing a lot of momentum with a strong development cadence. Overall, this became a pretty easy decision for us. We thought Cloud Foundry had the most support and least risk for our goals and objectives,” said Ghislain.

Building Solutions Quickly and Speeding Deployment with Cloud Foundry

Part of Ippon’s approach is proving to companies that PaaS is a new way of thinking with a big impact. Just with development environments, they are already convinced of the advantages and see how companies like Rakuten have cut their deployment costs and cycles down by 90%.

Initially, Ghislain assigned a Java project manager to set up a single environment on his laptop for evaluation purposes. Without knowing anything about Cloud Foundry, he downloaded the open source version and had it up and running within a day or two all on his own. To build expertise and show the benefits of PaaS to Ippon customers, Ghislain’s team decided to then use Cloud Foundry to deliver all their development environments internally. So, their first instance of actual PaaS use services internal operations, and Ghislain described the implementation, “Again, we now deploy development environments in minutes instead of days. On our internal Cloud Foundry PaaS, we only have about 200 applications running on a few servers for development environments. So, it’s not that big yet. Again, we found that Cloud Foundry is surprisingly quick to deploy, and our development environments began deploying automatically from CloudFoundry after a couple of weeks of effort.”

Deliver and update applications at velocity and scale

While Ghislain’s team used the Cloud Foundry open source bits for the evaluation and internal development platforms, they turned to the commercially licensed Pivotal CF and the Pivotal consulting team to get help building their first externally provided PaaS solution. “In three weeks, the Pivotal team has helped us put together our first beta release for a public facing Cloud Foundry PaaS. This is how open source software is supposed to work. Our decision to use Pivotal CF here really helped speed the set-up and reduce risk on the project. We are really excited to attend Devoxx and give away beta development environments to our customers via PaaS. We love the Cloud Foundry solution, and it clearly saves us a lot of time. Customers are going to be interested in how much time and money it can save them too. In our world, this will definitely ‘score an ippon’ with our customers.”

Learn more about Pivotal CF, Cloud Foundry, Ippon, and Devoxx:

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