Apcera scores big, undisclosed, investment from Ericsson for its enterprise IT platform

 Apcera, the once-stealthy startup launched in 2012 by VMware Cloud Foundry vet Derek Collison, is launching its Continuum product on Monday and is doing so with a “very big” investment from telcom giant Ericsson, which is buying a majority stake.

Neither Collison nor Jason Hoffman, VP of software for Stockholm-based [company]Ericsson[/company], would specify the size of the investment in [company]Apcera[/company] (see disclosure) other than to say it is one of the biggest ever in a platform company.

“Ericsson loves doing global tech rollouts all at the same time and that’s sort of the problem. It’s difficult to do things small. We’re going to put this [Continuum] in every telecom and multinational,” Hoffman said in an interview.

That money will come in handy since Apcera is attacking a huge problem: It’s aiming to provide a way not only to build and deploy applications with IT policy factored in from the get-go, but to apply policy and governance to existing applications as well.

The target market is global 1000 companies — that is, the biggest guys. Continuum’s promise is that it will be able to run myriad workloads on the infrastructure that’s best for them, orchestrate those workloads once they’re running, and enforce IT-imposed strictures so that, say, financial apps run only in a sanctioned way.


And, as most enterprise software and infrastructure companies have done, Apcera is embracing the [company]Docker[/company] container phenomenon. “We will be the most complete, secure and compliant system for deploying and orchestrating Docker images,” Collison, pictured above, said in an interview. Collison envisions a world of “composable” IT in which developers write new code if they have to, but use as much pre-assembled code as possible to put together the overall system.

Ericsson is navigating its path to cloud computing utilizing an array of tools inxcluding Mirantis OpenStack and CloudFoundry, but Apcera’s pitch has always been that IaaS and PaaS is not enough for big companies that run an array of old and new applications.

“There is a void in what [enterprises] need to enable hybrid and private cloud and it is not OpenStack — it is something more. Some of the PaaSes tried to fill that void, to go up the stack, but have come up short,” Collison said.

Hoffman is clearly a fan, pointing to the enterprise DNA in the Apcera team which includes industry veterans including Chief Security Architect Justin Smith,  who worked on Active Directory at [company]Microsoft [/company]and 0Auth2 at [company]Google[/company].

Hoffman said Ericsson has been running and “stress testing” Continuum for quite awhile.  “Derek  and that team did everything right this time that that they didn’t do right the first time,” he said.

Disclosure: Apcera is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.