Chief Strategist & Founder, Appistry
I (the sort of old guy standing up in the middle) am a co-founder of Appistry, the company that has long pioneered what has come to be know as cloud application platforms (some prefer PaaS). I currently serve as an advisor to the company, having recently begun to spend more time on some activities that are outside of the bounds of Appistry proper. One of the catalysts for this transition was the publication earlier this year of my first book, the Executives Guide to Cloud Computing (co-authored with the inimitable Eric Marks, long time SOA pundit and CEO of Agile Path).
The idea that became the cloud application platform (or PaaS, or as it was previously known the application fabric … whatever we call it, the idea of a simple substrate for any application that is 1) reliable, 2) arbitrarily scalable both up and down, and 3) based entirely on commodity infrastructure is well worth pursuing) is rooted in three distinct past lives—classic HPC computing in the late 70s to early 80s, highly parallel and distributed computing (especially as applied to AI-based learning, planning, and problem solving systems) in the late 80s and early 90s, and enterprise-grade transactional systems in the mid to late 90s. It was a very deep frustration with the persistent complexity and high cost of building, deploying, operating, and supporting these highly scalable enterprise-grade systems that led to the fundamentally new approach of the application fabric.
I’ve helped build a few companies in the past, including PaylinX, a leader in the payment solutions market. The award-winning PaylinX Payment Server enabled transaction processing and control for Internet and electronic commerce applications. PaylinX was acquired by CyberSource (NASDAQ CYBS) in July 2000. Prior to PaylinX, I was President and co-founder of Tapestry Computing, a regional systems integrator and reseller that grew to become the 20th largest Oracle reseller in North America. Before that was with SBC (now AT&T) R & D, Monsanto, Sandia National Laboratories, and Intelligent Computer Systems.
My academic background includes EE degrees from the University of Missouri and Stanford University, as well as lecturing on artificial intelligence at Washington University in St. Louis.