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OpenStack:Unlocked podcast Ep 19: Sumeet Singh, AppFormix

Nick Chase - August 03, 2016
Those of you who have been watching these podcasts from the start may recognise this podcast’s guest – today we are talking to Sumeet Singh, the CEO of AppFormix, about cloud management and optimization, and the use of AI for these applications, and the OpenStack Days Silicon Valley event next week.

AppFormix’s software

We started off by getting Sumeet to quickly describe the software that AppFormix has developed. Traditionally, most people operate their cloud through a process of break and fix. However, AppFormix has developed software that optimizes your cloud use by layering on top of your cloud and constantly monitoring and analyzing it. While the product presents itself as a self-service experience it can be turned on to an automated mode once developers have learned to trust it.

AppFormix and Rackspace

When we last spoke to Sumeet, AppFormix was just launching their products and they had picked up some great clients. Sumeet said that one particularly great client they had worked with liked them enough to recommend them to Rackspace. This resulted in Rackspace calling them and ultimately resulted in a partnership between the two companies, whereby all of Rackspace’s customers have their accounts optimized through the AppFormix software.

Points of optimization

Next up Sumeet discussed how applications are constantly changing and the demands that are being placed on infrastructure are constantly changing. As new applications are developed infrastructure needs to be more and more automated and needs to work in real-time.
Sumeet described two types of optimization: One is top-down – if you want to deploy an application you use an algorithm or load balancing to figure out how many pods that application needs. But, he stated that what AppFormix does is bottom up – optimizing and orchestrating the resource layer. Figuring out how to deploy pods to nodes, where to, and then monitoring them to see how they use resources, and to ensure nodes aren’t physically damaged.

The Nirvana Outcome

Sumeet described to us what he considered to be a Nirvana outcome - the best DevOps experience. He said that fundamentally IT teams want to get out of the way of the developers. For this you want an infrastructure that is easy to use and on which they can easily deploy their apps and that the infrastructure will run reliably. In addition, you want to enable IT teams to run in a more efficient way and give them a self-service way to understand the performance of their application and take action on it themselves.
Sumeet also said that AppFormix allows developers to do just this, and said that developers can consume the analysis in real-time, seeing how loaded a pod is and how many transactions are being run on the pod, in order to make better decisions.

Two Separate Futures

John suggested we were heading in two separate directions: one where applications don’t care about infrastructure at all, and, another where applications very much do care about infrastructure and make decisions based on software like AppFormix.
Sumeet agreed with this but said he felt the two could co-exist. For people who use entirely public clouds it’s a binary decision, but if you operate private infrastructure there’s an extra layer you can optimize.

The customer experience

We also quickly discussed how AppFormix is an example of just how important a great product and great customer experience is, as it was through a client of theirs who was a Rackspace customer that they got off the ground. Sumeet discussed how he hadn’t known that the original customer was a Rackspace customer and didn’t realize for a long time how the situation had evolved, but agreed that your product is really important; OpenStack is driven by the community. If the community doesn’t love your product, you're sunk.

The upcoming OpenStack Days Silicon Valley conference

All of us discussed the OpenStack Days Silicon Valley taking place next week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. It’s an exciting event and tickets are still available, but the event does sell out every year – so get in quick.
Sumeet suggested that as an incentive to come (in addition to great food from the food trucks) he’ll be leading a discussion with Craig McLuckie from Google and Brandon Phillips from CoreOS talking about OpenStack and Kubernetes. If you have questions you’d like to Sumeet to ask tweet them @mirantisIT or @NickChase.

Thank you for listening and reading!

To find out more about Appformix you can visit their website or email Sumeet directly at sumeet at appformix dot com.
If you have any comments about today’s podcast or have suggestions about things you’d like to hear about on future podcast episodes, send your suggestions through – we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us via news at openstacknow dot com,  or tweet us via @mirantisIT or @NickChase.

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