Friday, June 03, 2011

MuleSoft Takes Full-Service Integration to the Cloud with iON Platform, iApps Marketplace

Transcript of a sponsored podcast on MuleSoft's new iON cloud integration offering that provides new hosted integration abilities for enterprises, SaaS providers and system integrators.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Join the iON beta program. Sponsor: MuleSoft.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect.

Welcome to a sponsored podcast discussion on how enterprise application integration (EAI) as a function is moving out of the enterprise and into the cloud. So called integration platform as a service (iPaaS) has popped up on the edge of the enterprise. But true cloud integration as a neutral, full service, and entirely cloud-based offering has been mostly only a vision.

Yet, if businesses need to change rapidly, as the cloud era unfolds, to gain and use new partners and new services, then new and flexible integration capabilities across and between extended applications and services are essential.

The older point-to-point methods of IT integration, even for internal business processes, are slow, brittle, costly, complex and hard to manage. Into this opportunity for a new breed of cloud integration services steps MuleSoft, a market leading, open-source enterprise service bus (ESB) provider, which aims to create a true cloud integration platform called Mule iON.

MuleSoft proposes nothing short of an iPaaS service that spans software as a service (SaaS) to legacy, SaaS to SaaS, and cloud to cloud integration. In other words, all of the above, when it comes to integrations outside of the enterprise.

We'll learn here today about MuleSoft iON, how it works and its pending general availability in the summer of 2011. We'll also delve into the potential for an iON marketplace that will provide integration patterns as shared cloud applications, with the likelihood of spawning constellations of associated business to business ecosystems.

Here to define the vision for a full-service cloud-based integration platform solution are two executives from MuleSoft. Please join me now in welcoming Ross Mason, Chief Technology Officer and Founder, MuleSoft. Welcome, Ross.

Ross Mason: Hi, Dana.

Gardner: We're also here with Ali Sadat, the Vice President of Mule iON at MuleSoft. Welcome, Ali.

Ali Sadat: Hi, Dana.

Gardner: Ross, tell me a little bit why have things changed so much that a fundamentally new approach to integration is required?

Mason: There are a number of drivers in the marketplace pushing us toward integration as a service and particularly iPaaS. First of all, if we look back 15 years, integration became a focal point for enterprises, because applications were siloing their data in their own databases and for business to be more effective, they have to get that data out of those silos and into a more operational context, where they could do extended business processes, etc.

What we're seeing with cloud, and in particular the new wave of SaaS applications, is that we're doing a lot of the same mistakes for the same behaviors that we did 10 years ago in the enterprise. Every new SaaS application becomes a new data silo in the cloud and it’s creating an integration challenge for anyone that has the data across multiple SaaS providers.

New computing models

And it's not just SaaS. The adoption of SaaS is one key thing, but also the adoption of cloud and hybrid computing models means that our data also no longer lives behind the firewall. Couple that with the drivers around mobile computing that are enabling our workforce and consumers, when they are on the go, again, outside of the firewall.

Add the next social media networks and you have a wealth of new information about your employees, customers, and consumers, available through things like LinkedIn and Facebook. You've also got the big data explosion. The rise of things like Hadoop for managing unstructured data has meant that we end up pushing more data outside of our firewalls to third party services that help us understand our data better.

There are four key drivers: the adoption of SaaS applications; the movements by using more cloud and hybrid models; mobile is driving a need to have data outside of the enterprise; and then social media and also big data together are redefining where we find and how we read our information.

Gardner: So, it seems to me Ross that the older ways of doing this were plausible when we had the majority of integration points inside the firewall and maybe just a handful or a couple of external points. But what’s happening is the shift, as you are describing about these trends, is making it increasingly more points outside than inside.

It strikes me that we're moving the fulcrum or the balancing point of the number of integrations that need to be supported further and further toward the edge -- and then ultimately outside the organization. So do you agree with that? Is this for your average enterprise that we’re going to start to see this avalanche of outside integration points?

Like it or not, any company of any size has some if not most of its data now outside of the firewall.



Mason: Absolutely. We describe it internally as the center of the enterprise gravity is shifting. The web is the most powerful computing resource we’ve had in the information age, and it’s starting to drag the data away from the enterprise outside into the platform itself. What this means for enterprises is, like it or not, any company of any size has some if not most of its data now outside of the firewall.

I'm not talking about the Fortune 2000. They still have 95 percent of their data behind the firewall, but they’re also changing. But, for all of the enterprises and for forward-thinking CIOs, this is a very big and important difference in the way that you run your IT infrastructure and data management and security and everything else.

It turns a lot of things on its head. The firewall is constructed to keep everything within. What’s happening is the rest of the world is innovating at a faster speed and we need to take advantage of that inside enterprises in order to compete and win in our respective businesses.

Gardner: It also appears that there will be a reinforcing effect here. The more that enterprises use cloud services, the more they’ll need to integrate. The more they integrate, the more capable and powerful the cloud services, and so on and so on. I guess we could anticipate a fairly rapid uptake in the need for these external integrations.

Mason: Absolutely. We’ve been blown away at MuleSoft at the demand for iON already. We think we might be a bit early in carving out the iPaaS market, but the response we're hearing, even from our largest organizers, is that most have lots of needs around cloud integration, even if it's just to help homogenize departmental applications. [Join the iON beta program.]

New enterprises

B
ut, we're talking to a lot of other CIOs who are looking at the cloud as the way they're going to go in the next three years, and they look at everything as being cloud-based versus on-premise if possible. We see this a lot in the new enterprises that have grown up in the last five years as well.

Gardner: And, MuleSoft has been a leader with an open-source model. How do you see the open-source values and benefits aligning with some of these cloud effects, as we’ve been describing?

Having a platform that’s open and freely available and that they can migrate off or on to and manage themselves is extremely important.



Mason: The open-source model is absolutely critical, and the reason is that one of the biggest concerns for anyone adopting technology is who am I getting into bed with? If I buy from Amazon, ultimately, I'm getting into there with Amazon and their whole computing model, and it’s not an easy thing to get out.

With integration, it’s even more of a concern for people. We’ve looked through the vendor lock-in of the 1990s and 2000s, and people are a little bit gun-shy from the experiences they had with the product vendors like Atria and IBM and Oracle.

So, when they start thinking about IaaS or the cloud, then having a platform that’s open and freely available and that they can migrate off or on to and manage themselves is extremely important. Open source, and particularly MuleSoft and the Mule ESB, provides that platform.

Gardner: Ali, let’s move to you. If you don’t mind, let’s talk a little bit about the problem set. Certainly, the vision is there, the market drivers are there, and the opportunity executing on this then becomes the issue. So how do you see process enablement happening? How can different types of integrations now come into this neutral cloud domain, and what sort of integrations are we talking about?

Sadat: It’s a pretty interesting problem that comes up. The patterns and the integrations that you need to do now are getting, in a sense, much more complex, and it’s definitely a challenge for a lot of folks to deal with it.

We’re talking not only to cloud-to-cloud or enterprise-to-enterprise, but now extending it beyond the enterprise to the various cloud and the direction of data can flow either from the enterprise to the cloud or from the cloud to the enterprise. The problems are getting a little more challenging to solve.

The other thing that we’re seeing out there is that a lot of different application programming interfaces (APIs) are popping up -- more and more every day. There are all kinds of different technologies either being exposed to traditional web services or REST-based web services.

We’re seeing quite a few APIs. By some accounts, we're in the thousands or tens of thousands right now. In terms of APIs, they're going to be exposed out there for folks who are trying to figure out and how to integrate. [Join the iON beta program.]

Gardner: Given that there is this variety of integrations and more types of integrations across different types of organization, where do we give the capability for managing this? It’s one thing to put the integration execution functionality in the cloud, but what about the driving tools, the ability to define and create the integrations and to manage them? What do you propose for that?

Hybrid world

Sadat: It’s something a hybrid world, and I think the answer to that is a hybrid model, but it needs to be very seamless from the IT perspective. The difference between integration running on premise or in the cloud shouldn't matter as much, and the tooling should be the same. So, it should be able to support both a cloud-based management, and also be able to manage and drive us in the enterprise, and set up on-premise tools.

Gardner: I see. So, we’re looking at open but familiar, agnostic in terms of the hosting environment or perhaps multiple environments, and then the secure and compliant mission-critical characteristics that most organizations are now familiar with and have created the means to support.

Tell me how this works with iON. What’s changing? What would I, as an engineer in an enterprise IT department, see differently about this?

Sadat: One of the things you’ll see about iON is a lot of familiar components. If you have been a Mule user or Mule ESB user, you will see that at the heart of iON itself. What we're providing now is the ability to be able to deploy your solutions, your integration applications to a cloud and be able to manage it there, but we also are going to give you the capability to be able to integrate back into the enterprise.

There will be some very similar aspects of Mule that you’ll see as part of iON and also some very new components. The pieces that we're going to take away are the infrastructure. Trying to manage, download, and install all of those things naturally just goes away by the nature of that being cloud.

What we're providing now is the ability to be able to deploy your solutions, your integration applications to a cloud and be able to manage it there.



Gardner: Here's the question I get a lot from folks. If the tooling is similar and if the underlying technology being an open-source stack is similar, why can’t I just use my existing enterprise point-to-point, EAI functionality for this extended enterprise cloud activity? What’s the answer to that?

Sadat: The answer to that is a great analogy. If you look at their current applications why can’t I just take my Oracle and SAP application, stick it into Amazon Web Services (AWS), and call that a cloud.

Let me walk you through a quick example here. A lot folks have been deploying Salesforce as an application. It has definitely been very popular, probably number one out there. Now, they want to integrate this back into their SAP applications.

If I want to do a real-time integration between Salesforce and an SAP, how do I enable that? If I poke holes from my firewall that’s going to definitely expose all kinds of security breaches that my network security folks are not going to like that. So how do I enable that? This is where iON comes into play.

We’re going to sit there in a cloud, open up a secure public channel where Salesforce can post events to iON, and then via a secured connection back to the enterprise, we can deliver that directly to SAP. We can do on the reverse side too. This is something that the traditional TIBCOs and WedMethods of of the world weren’t designed to solve and they weren’t even thinking about this problem when they designed and developed that application. [Join the iON beta program.]

Across boundaries

Gardner: Okay, so businesses are going to need to find ways of integrating across these boundaries, taking advantage of more services that become available but managing the data across them. What needs to be completely different about your vision of a neutral cloud based capability or platform?

Suppose we could ask, why not just use what Salesforce provides you and let that be the integration point? Why would you separate integration cloud capability?

Sadat: Integration, as a whole, is much better served by neutral party than just going by any one of the application vendors. You can certainly write custom code to do it, and then people have been doing it, but they've seen over and over that that doesn’t necessarily work.

Having a neutral platform that speaks to APIs on both sides is very important. You’re not going to find Salesforce, for example, adopting SAP APIs, and vice versa. So, having that neutral platform is very important. Then, having that platform and being able to carry out all the kinds of different integration patterns that you need is also important.

We do understand the on-premise side of it. We understand the cloud side of the problem. We're in a unique position to bring those two together.

Having that platform and being able to carry out all the kinds of different integration patterns that you need is also important.



Gardner: Let’s go back to you, Ross. Please define for me what you consider the top requirements for this unique new neutral standalone. I guess you could call it the Switzerland, the ESB of ESBs, the integration of integration points. What do you think are important characteristics for this to have that maybe you can’t do for your SaaS provider and you can’t do on-premises?

Mason: I'll start with the must-haves on the PaaS itself. In my mind the whole point of working with a PaaS is not just to do integration, but it’s for a provider, such as MuleSoft, to take all the headache and hard work out of the architecture as well.

For me, a true PaaS would allow a customer to buy a service level agreement (SLA) for the integration applications. That means we are not thinking about CPUs, about architecture, or I/O or memory usage, and just defining the kind of characteristics they want from their application. That would be my Holy Grail of why a PaaS is so much better?

For integration, you need that, plus you need deep expertise in that integration itself. Ali just mentioned that people do a lot of their own point to points and SaaS providers do their own point integrations as well.

We spend a lot of money in the enterprise to integrate applications. You do want a specialist there, and you want someone who is independent and will adopt any API that makes sense for the enterprise in a neutral way.

We’re never going to be pushing our own customer relationship management (CRM) application. We're not going to be pushing our own enterprise resource planning (ERP). So, we’re a very good choice for being able to pull data from whichever application you're using. Neutrality is very important.

Hugely important

Finally, going back to the open-source thing again, open source is hugely important, because I want to know that if I build an integration on a Switzerland platform, I can still take that away and run it behind my firewall and still get support. Or, I just want to take it away and run it and manage it myself.

With iON, that’s the promise. You’ll be able to take these integration apps and the integration flows that you build, and run them anywhere. We're trying to be very transparent on how you can use the platform and how you can migrate on as well as off. That’s very important. [Join the iON beta program.]

Gardner: Before we get into the details of your recent news, help me understand what you just mentioned about these patterns and these applications. If they're portable, as you are describing, then it seems to me that you’re creating an ecosystem, almost an opportunity in the market, for a new type of independent software vendor (ISV) or services vendor.

Describe for me how you'd expect a community-based approach or market-place based approach to happen with these integration patterns. What will motivate people to want to get in there and do the hard work creating them in the first place?

Sadat: The marketplace approach works because of the domain expertise you need for all these various applications. It’s hard for a neutral player to have enough deep expertise in every application that’s out there and every business process to build it out. You have seen number of vendors have tried, and even the ones who owned the applications have tried and failed.

It’s hard for a neutral player to have enough deep expertise in every application that’s out there and every business process to build it out.



If you look at the Oracle AIA and the PIP approach, they tried to build it all themselves and it just doesn’t work. Having a marketplace where people with their own intellectual property and their own expertise come out and build these solutions and offer it out to customer is a much more viable approach.

Gardner: Do you see this as a way for organizations to share this on an open-source community basis, where one hand washes the other or is there a business model, where creating integrations and being in a systems integrator role is a business and encourages more participation?

Sadat: I think you’ll see both. That’s one of the great things about the cloud and the Internet today. You can probably do a Google search and find pretty much any piece of code that you want and use it. But, at the same time, there’s an opportunity here for folks to be able to build and package some of these intellectual properties that they have as a series of integrations between applications and offer that as a service that they can charge for.

We’ve seen a lot of system integrators (SIs) who are throwing out their own custom solutions and sourcing it on AWS or somewhere else. We see those folks coming to us, and since we’re going to be providing this platform, they can run it, manage it, and monitor it all from our solution. We also give them the capability to monetize that on the same platform.

Gardner: Now that we’ve got a sense of the general problem and vision for what’s needed and a sense of what your requirements are, let’s look at the timing. You’ve come out on May 23 with the announcement about iON and describing what you intend.

Furthermore, you’re going to be coming out a little later with the general availability of iON as a platform in July. And then you’re going to be delivering some of the first iON applications shortly thereafter. So help me understand, Ali, why you’re doing it in this fashion? This is, I suppose, the basic crawl, walk, run approach. Is that it?

Public beta

Sadat: That’s correct. We started with our private beta, which is coming to an end. As you mentioned, we’re releasing a public beta. Pretty much anybody can come in, sign up, and get going in a true cloud fashion. [Join the iON beta program.]

We're allowing ourselves a couple months before the general availability to take in feedback during the beta release. We’re going to be actively working with the beta community members to use the product and tell us what they think and what they'd like changed.

One of the other things we’re doing soon after the general availability is releasing a series of iON applications that we'll be building and releasing. These will be both things that we’ll offer as ways to monetize certain integrations, but also as reference applications for partners and developers to look at, be able to mimic, and then be able to build their own applications on top of it.

Gardner: Okay. What does iON consist of? What are we talking about in terms of what you’re going to be offering for those people that go into a beta or look towards a general availability? What is it they are going to get?

Sadat: At the core of it, they get Mule. That’s pretty essential, and there’s a whole lot of reasons why they do that. They get a whole series of connectors and various transports they can use. One of the things that they do get with iON is the whole concept of this virtual execution environment sitting in the cloud. They don’t have to worry about downloading and installing Mule ESB. It’s automatically provided. We'll scale it out, monitor it, and provide all that capability in the cloud for them.

Once they’re ready, they push it out to iON, and they execute it. They can then manage and monitor all the various flows that are going through the process.



They just need to focus on their application, the integration problems that they want to solve, and use our newly released Mule Studio to orchestrate these integrations in a graphical environment. Once they’re ready, they push it out to iON, and they execute it. They can then manage and monitor all the various flows that are going through the process.

Gardner: Are there multiple tiers of integration or are you going to be a full-service integration provider at the start. Is there a crawl, walk, run approach to the depth and breadth of the integrations as well?

Sadat: Well, you know one thing about the cloud is that folks want to go out and buy all kinds of different applications that represent probably best of breed for each. You go buy CRM for Salesforce and perhaps go to SAP for ERP or maybe one of the Oracle applications. But, when it comes to integration, you don’t want to go the best-of-breed approach and then try to integrate all those different integration solutions. It just doesn’t make sense.

So, it’s important for iON to support all the different tiers of integrations. There are just three data-level integrations, synchronization at the process-level, and also the UI level. We're not necessarily going to compete with every vendor that makes their bread and butter in any one of those tiers and compete on every minute functionality that perhaps is going to be used maybe once or twice. But, we are going to provide probably 80-90 percent of what you need out of the gate with iON.

Gardner: You mentioned that what you get with this is Mule. Maybe this is a good time, Ross, for you to give us a brief history of Mule and MuleSoft and why you've become a leader. What's the amount of penetration you've got globally for those folks who might not be that familiar with your open-source legacy.

Wider integration

Mason: MuleSoft started originally as an open-source project that I started back in 2003. I'd been working as an architect in various banks in the UK, and we'd seen a need for a much better and wider integration than we were doing at a time, which was more of and enterprise information integration (EII)-based integration.

The project started in 2003. We went to version 1.0 in 2005 and we got massive pick up pretty much across all verticals and our customer roster echoes back to that as well.

The interesting thing about MuleSoft, the reason why we've done so well in the space, is that we stayed very true to a couple of key principles. One was simplicity. Just being able to integrate something well and easily and simply is hugely important.

There is a statistic that says we spend probably $1 on applications and we spend $7 on integration in the enterprise. We aimed to reduce that cost by providing much cleaner, simpler, and easy to use tools to developers without too much knowledge.

We stuck with that philosophy of simplicity all the way through, and it helped carry us through lots of other phases and now with the cloud. It’s a very nice fit, because if you're integrating with many more applications, you've got to make it super simple for people to do so. MuleSoft has made great strides to do that, coupled with the fact we've always been promoting a non point-to-point integration approach.

We stuck with that philosophy of simplicity all the way through, and it helped carry us through lots of other phases and now with the cloud.



Our software does all the heavy-lifting for you. It will decouple your data and application logic from your runtime. It scales very well, and we have some of the biggest companies in the world running Mule with mission-critical applications. In fact, we have about 3,000 production deployments that we track right now, so it’s probably one of the largest ESB deployment bases that is out there on open source.

We've got very good penetration and we continue to try and innovate and push the envelope forward of what you should expect from a new integration provider. That’s why we're going down this iPaaS route, because we believe we are the best vendors to do the job. [Join the iON beta program.]

Gardner: Ali, we’ve mentioned that moving into the cloud is an opportunity with your being neutral and discussed why that’s important. It seems to me, however, that there is also a channel opportunity that not just enterprises will be looking to this. There is a whole ecosystem of different hosting providers, managed-service providers (MSPs), SaaS providers, colocation providers, all of whom have a vested interest in allowing companies to move their applications and data to be portable to explore and experiment with these different hybrid computing models.

Do you expect that iON in the cloud is going to be something that not only would be appealing to enterprises but also to these other players in the ecosystem, and how will that work?

Sadat: We see that as a huge opportunity for iON. Today, they don’t have a whole lot of choices in terms of being able to build and embed OEM services in a cloud fashion into various applications or technologies that they are building. So, iON is going to provide that platform for them.

Embeddable platform

One of the key things of the platform itself is that it is very embeddable. Everything is going to be exposed as a series of APIs. SIs and SaaS providers can easily embed that in their own application and even put their own UI on top of it, so that underneath it it says iON, but on top, it’s their own look and feel, seamlessly integrated into their own applications and solutions. This is going to be a huge part of iON.

Gardner: Well, it's one thing to describe something, but what can you tell us about folks that have been in your program, that have explored integration as a service from a cloud provider perspective or source? Are there any examples that you can provide for us? What they have done with it and what it's done for them?

Sadat: Sure, we can talk about one of the partners that it’s looking to probably be on iON as one of the first adopters from a SaaS provider and this is PeopleMatter. If you're not familiar with them, they are a very fast growing SaaS provider. They provide an HR solution for the service industry. This is for restaurants, hotels, small organizations that provide service and there is a lot of churn in terms of employees coming and leaving.

So, they simplify that model. As you can imagine, the clientele that they are working with is not going to be as sophisticated. Probably it might be a restaurant chain that owns 10 restaurants, but has a very simple IT infrastructure if any.

So, iON is going to be able to provide a quick integration. It will be something that will be embedded in their application that they can offer to their customers as a very seamless piece of their solution. Their customers are not going to be exposed to integration complexity, and it’s going to be something that you just pick and choose and integrate directly with their applications without having any issues.

It will be something that will be embedded in their application that they can offer to their customers as a very seamless piece of their solution.



Gardner: How do you charge for something like that? Who is involved? With your open-source approach you charge around support, maintenance, and professional services. When you move to a cloud environment and offer a pure neutral integration hub or PaaS integration hub in the sky, who gets charged and on what basis? Is it per transaction? How does that work?

Sadat: That will depend. The platform itself will have a pretty simple pricing model. It’s going to be composed of couple of different dimensions. As you need to scale out your application, you can run more of these units of work. You'll be able to handle the volume and throughout that you need, but we are also going to be tracking events. So this is, in Mule terminology, equivalent to a transaction. Platform users will be able to buy those in select quantities and then be able to get charged for any overage that they have.

In terms of how they expose that to their customers, it will be totally up to them. They can choose to embed that into their application cost or they can charge it as a different service. One thing we've done with iON is make it very easy to consume and grow with the application provider.

It’s not going to be a huge upfront cost and a lot of unknowns in the different models of pricing for things like connectors, and connections, and those kind of things. We've made it very simple to consume the integration and also be able to charge it back to your customers, if you need to.

Gardner: It sounds like that’s very flexible. So, it could accommodate a variety of different models. I'm sure there is going to be almost as many business models as there are integration patterns, when it comes to cloud. This is all fairly uncharted territory.

Easy to consume

Sadat: Absolutely, and this is going to be one of our differentiators out there. We're trying to make it very easy to consume and be able to come into the iON community to use our services without having to worry about the huge cost of integration that currently you are going to be charged with the various venders out there.

Gardner: Looking at the future to try and understand why IaaS will become more important, I wonder about the rapid uptake in mobile, where the enterprise itself is almost redefined. People can use different devices to access different applications, regardless of the location, using mobile networks and data networks. How does that influence this? I'll ask this to Ross first. How does the mobile trend in particular affect the need for the neutral third-party integration capability?

Mason: Mobile consumers are consuming data, basically. The mobile application model has changed, because now you get data from the server and you render on the device itself. That’s pretty different from the way we’ve been building applications up till fairly recently.

What that means is that you need to have that data available as a service somewhere for those applications to pick it up. An iPaaS is a perfect way of doing that, because it becomes the focal point where it can bring data in, combine it in different ways, publish it, scrub it, and push it out to any type of consumer. It's not just mobile, but it’s also point-of-sale devices, the browser, and other applications consuming that data.

Mobile is one piece, because it must have an API to grab the data from, but it’s not the only piece. There are lots of other embedded devices in cars, medical equipment, and everything else.

The enterprise needs to be able to share its data with integration outside of its own firewall in order to create these applications.



Gardner: That’s an interesting point. The web of devices -- the Internet of sensors,. It seems as if it’s almost a requirement that all that data has to go to the cloud first, before it goes directly back to an enterprise. So having an integration point for and by the cloud would start to make more sense. Now, we’re not going to go down this path of caching and data lifecycle quite yet, but at least the integration capabilities of linking and managing the flow of the data becomes crucial.

Mason: Absolutely. If you think about that web, it needs to talk to a centralized location ,which is no one enterprise. The enterprise needs to be able to share its data with integration outside of its own firewall in order to create these applications.

Gardner: Now you’re going to be hosting this, I believe, on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) at first, but you have plans to be more ecumenical in terms of where you host. Is that correct? How is that going to work?

Mason: Yes, we are. We started with Amazon EC2 because, it’s still the most ensured cloud platform doing real elastic compute, even though they had a recent outage a couple of weeks ago. People weren't architecting correctly versus Amazon. It wasn’t really Amazon’s fault. They have availability zones to help us manage data across different data centers, and everyone was using it.

If you look at Rackspace, they don’t have that capability in their cloud offering. They have it in their managed hosting. We’re interested in Rackspace, and we’re talking with them. They seem to be a bit behind the curve still on all requirements, but we’ll be reassessing again in the next three to six months, and we’ll probably be joining the OpenStack initiative as well. [Join the iON beta program.]

Gardner: Ali, back to you, how do you get started? If I've been listening to this podcast, reading about it on a blog, and I want to know more about one iPaaS generally and more specifically about iON, what would you recommend for resources?

Sadat: Today, you could definitely go through our website, start reading about iON itself, and get yourself acquainted with MuleSoft. Using the same website, you’ll be able to click on a single button and easily get your own tenants within iON and start working and playing with it. Over the months, we’ll release more documentation, more features, and by general availability, we should have our pricing model also out there.

It's definitely an easy way to get on it. Just go to the link. If you any questions, we’ll have contact information, where you can send us some direct feedback. There’s a huge community around Mule itself, and now we’re going to build one around iON that they can also leverage. There are about a 100,000 developers who already use Mule in one way or another or have knowledge about it. So, there’s a huge community. You can start leveraging by building your own applications on top of iON.

Gardner: I'm afraid we are about out of time. You’ve been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast discussion on how enterprise application integration as a function is moving out of the enterprise and into the cloud.

I’d like to thank our guests. We've been here today with Ross Mason, the CTO and Founder of MuleSoft. Thanks so much, Ross.

Mason: Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: We’ve also been here with Ali Sadat, Vice President of iON at MuleSoft. Thank you, Ali.

Sadat: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks for listening and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Join the iON beta program. Sponsor: MuleSoft.

Transcript of a sponsored podcast on MuleSoft's new iON cloud integration offering that provides new hosted integration abilities for enterprises, SaaS providers and system integrators. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.

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