6 tools to conquer multicloud management

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Scalr, RightScale, Red Hat, Pivotal, Morpheus, and Embotics take aim at multicloud deployment, management, and cost control

Life changed for programmers and operations teams when the cloud arrived. Instead of waiting weeks, months, and sometimes more than a year for new hardware to be purchased and provisioned, the cloud of servers makes it possible to get a new idea up and running in seconds with just a click or three.

Alas, every great leap forward usually comes with some backsliding. Now that anyone can start up a server in seconds, everyone is doing just that. The number of machines is proliferating and our jobs are now dominated by the task of herding the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of machines. Where we once could keep everything straight with a clipboard or a checklist in a Word or Excel document, now we need serious tools to juggle everything.

[ InfoWorld explains: What is multicloud? The next step in cloud computing. | Get started: Going multicloud? Avoid these 3 pitfalls. • Understand the multicloud management trade-off. | Keep up with the latest developments in cloud computing with InfoWorld’s Cloud Computing newsletter. ]
Programmers have solved this challenge as they solve everything: by creating another layer of code that stores bits in another set of tables in another database. In this case, the code is a hydra-headed tool sometimes called hybrid cloud manager that can connect to all of the clouds out there, create and destroy machines on its own, and at the same time fill its own database tables with lists of the machines and where they are.

These so-called multicloud or hybrid cloud management tools keep track of our machines and make it possible to orchestrate hundreds or thousands of instances so the work gets done by the cheapest, fastest, and best-configured option. They also make it possible to blend multiple public clouds with in-house servers to lower overall costs, improve security, enhance redundancy, and support world-wide operations.

Do you worry about “cloud lock-in?” That your code may run only on one cloud, leaving you with no alternatives? These hybrid cloud management tools are designed to prevent that from happening. Your developers should be able to ask for a cloud machine for a particular purpose, and the multicloud manager will deliver the best fitting option, whether it’s in your local hardware or in any of the supported public clouds. – Read more

Do startups have more trouble scaling SaaS from a technical or business perspective?

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The problem is they tend to bite you at alternating times.

Getting the first 50-100 or so customers rarely breaks a hack. But even just after that, downtime, data issues, etc. start to become material. In other words, just as you are getting sales finally figured out!

Then usually, things break again around a few million in ARR. Just when you have the salesteam first built 🙂 The bandaids on the hacks don’t scale another order of magnitude. Should we refactor? Rebuild? Or put bandaids on the bandaids?

Finally, everything tends to break again around $8m-$10m in ARR, unless you’ve put in place a great VP of Engineering by then. The CTO/co-founder’s limitations in hiring, scaling infrastructure, etc. begin to reveal themselves in all new ways. Right when you are ready to Go Big!

So as annoying as the answer is, it’s Both. And usually, right when the other one is finally working well.

You need to get all the VPs in place by $4m-$5m in ARR if you can. If you do, you’ll push past it. – Read more

L-SPARK Join Forces With Stripe To Help Canadian SaaS Companies Grow

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L-SPARK, Canada’s largest Software as a Service (SaaS) accelerator, has partnered with Stripe, the leading technology company building economic infrastructure for the internet, to facilitate Canadian SaaS startup growth globally. The startups from the L-SPARK accelerator program will gain access to merchant payment technology and will be able to better manage their businesses online with the help of Stripe’s online payment platform.

Canada has produced some of the top leaders in today’s SaaS marketplace, such as Shopify and Freshbooks. Yet, early stage Canadian SaaS companies often struggle to scale into globally competitive firms that generate large revenue. Already the premiere destination for Canadian SaaS startups, L-SPARK’s partnership with Stripe signifies the accelerator is doubling down on its efforts to help SaaS startups build and scale globally.

“This is an exciting partnership. As one of the first accelerators in Canada to become a partner, and as the premiere SaaS accelerator, this partnership opens up a lot of potential for our companies.” said Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director of L-SPARK. “SaaS companies depend on a reliable and global online payment system. Stripe provides not only a global facility, but a great partner for growth. We are honored and excited to become a Stripe partner.”

Stripe designs economic infrastructure on the internet, and businesses of all sizes use its software to accept payments and manage their businesses online. With Canadian eCommerce revenue expected to rise from roughly $30 billion CAD in 2018 to over $36 billion by 2021, the need for an online payment system for startups is vital.

Stripe’s merchant payment processing technology will become readily available to startups in the L-SPARK accelerator cohort. It gives these growing Canadian SaaS companies access to a world leader in online payments and helps to facilitate business relationships on the global market. For L-SPARK, partnerships with global leaders like Stripe increase the value the accelerator can offer its portfolio of companies, and the startups will benefit from the development of a working relationship with a global corporation.

“Partnering with L-SPARK in Canada will help us further our push for the removal of online commerce barriers around the world,” said Alex Litwin, Account Executive at Stripe, “This collaboration, we hope, will help Canadian companies start up and scale up more quickly across the globe.” – Read more