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Apcera pitches escape from IT hamster wheel

More container management capabilities, more security

Apcera, a San Francisco-based maker of container management software, on Tuesday plans to update the Apcera Platform with capabilities to help enterprises deal with containers more effectively.

Apcera's software allows companies to deploy and manage cloud-native and legacy applications using on-premises, hybrid, or cloud infrastructure. It simplifies container workflows, orchestration, scheduling, storage, and networking.

The Apcera Platform supports policy controls to ensure that companies have control over their workloads. It also supports what the company calls "network nano-segmentation," which puts multi-cloud network communications – routing, load-balancing, NAT, firewalls, and other functions – under granular policy controls.

It also allows enterprises to govern complex infrastructure as a single cluster.

New platform features include:

  • The ability to pull from more Docker registries with Amazon ECR support.
  • Enterprise authentication enhancements through support for Keycloak and AD/LDAP.
  • Enterprise audit log enhancements.
  • Automated provisioning on all major IaaS providers.
  • Simplified cluster upgrades.

Both the company's Enterprise and Community Editions are getting better at interfacing with Amazon, Google and Microsoft cloud services. The platform now supports:

  • App Tokens and Authentication, which obviate the need for authentication through an external identity system.
  • The Event System API, for accessing Apcera cluster data about resource usage, network bandwidth, and other system changes.
  • Multi-Resource Manifests, for automating the creation of Docker images and other tasks.

In a phone interview with The Register, Jay Lyman, an analyst with 451 Research, said Apcera's focus on container management, orchestration and security puts the company in a very hot area.

"The focus on security is good," said Lyman. "That's a top concern for enterprises, particularly as they move beyond testing containers. The other interesting thing is Apcera's stated support for existing and legacy applications and services. When I talk to enterprises, they're interested in new applications ... but those companies are always thinking about that other stuff, the legacy applications they want to modernize."

Mark Thiele, chief strategy officer for Apcera, in a phone interview with The Register, said Apcera aims to help companies "get off the hamster wheel" of IT, where most energy is spent just keeping existing infrastructure running.

"It's really hard to address and build on innovation if you're carrying all that technical debt," he said.

Apcera, Thiele said, can help customers manage applications in containers effectively, whether on-premises, hybrid, or public cloud infrastructure is involved.

"We're helping to relieve some of that cost-of-ownership overhead from their legacy environments and putting them in a position to accelerate their digital transformation," he said. ®

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