Engine Yard Interview With Tom Mornini, CTO And Co Founder

Engine Yard Interview

I had the opportunity to speak with Tom Mornini one of visionaries delivering unique and  valuable tools to clients via the “cloud”.  Tom co-founded Engine Yard to provide the infrastructure and support necessary to fuel the development of Ruby on Rails applications.  He has spent nearly 30 years as a software programmer and software architect and 20 years leading companies as a serial entrepreneur.

Prior to co-founding Engine Yard in 2006, he created FaceBridge Research, Inc, a billing service for video-over-IM systems, and InfoMania Printing and Prepress, Inc, an innovator in Internet print procurement. He also served as software architect at Quios.com, responsible for designing the platform that allowed the mobile messaging company to grow into a global provider with more than 130 employees.

Anthony Park:

Tom, how do you internally ensure that client data can be restored if you yourself are subject to a major threat to your datacenter?

Tom Mornini:

We back up customer data to Amazon S3. S3 is a distributed object store, which is designed to provide 99.99% (four nines) availability and 99.999999999% (11 nines!) durability.

If that doesn’t satisfy a customer’s needs, our professional services team can work with them to duplicate those backups to their data storage facility of choice. Once we complete our customer migration to xCloud (running on Terremark, our IaaS partner), we will no longer have a datacenter presence of our own.

Anthony Park:

When major players jump into the market with enormous resources both in development and marketing how does a small start-up protect a market share or niche today?

Tom Mornini:

Fred Brooks, in his seminal work “The Mythical Man-Month,” showed quite conclusively that large development teams rarely out-produce small teams. Speed and agility are built into Engine Yard’s DNA, and we’re working with Ruby on Rails, the highest velocity web development framework ever.

We do not discount the threat of larger competitors, and we do recognize that large companies clearly have some advantages over smaller startups, however, it’s important to remember that those companies were small startups at some point in their history. This gives us confidence that if we maintain our focus on customer needs we can outmaneuver these larger players just as they once did with their competitors.

Anthony Park:

What is the new paradigm of cloud business models if any? Put your “futurist hat” on and describe how you see the “cloud” evolving over the next ten years?

Tom Mornini:

One promising segment that I see growing very quickly is service offerings with APIs for functional blocks of applications. Perhaps the clearest example of this is Google Maps, but additional examples from smaller companies are popping up all over the place.

Engine Yard co-founder Lance Walley is CEO of Chargify, which handles the billing portion of nearly 2,500 applications, and has gotten to that number very, very quickly.

GeoAPI, now part of Twitter, is a shining example of this trend. Even though location-based services are a relatively new segment of application development, there are already several players that make it unnecessary for companies to implement geo-location services themselves. APIs are the future, and many applications built over the next few years will have very few human users, if any at all.

Nearly all of these types of businesses are being born in the cloud. Thinking has changed: it’s no longer forbidden to have large portions of your application code running outside of your control, somewhere out on the Internet. In this way, the cloud is changing the way people think, stripping them of the physical barriers that used to dominate their thinking. An application’s servers no longer have to all be connected to the same switch or exist behind a common firewall. Instead, application development is now taking on the shape of the Internet itself.

By Anthony Park

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comics
How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

Online Data Data storage is often a real headache for businesses. Additionally, the shift to the cloud in response to storage challenges has caused security teams to struggle to reorient, leaving 49 percent of organizations doubting their experts’ ability to adapt. Even so, decision makers should not put off moving from old legacy systems to…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…

The Key To Improving Business Lies In Eye-Interaction Tech

The Key To Improving Business Lies In Eye-Interaction Tech

Eye-Interaction Technology Analysts at Goldman Sachs predict virtual reality revenue will surpass TV within the next decade. More than just some gaming fad, VR represents a whole new way for organizations to train, research, and explore vast amounts of data. Despite its popularity, however, VR is still not in the hands of the majority, and…

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

ERP Deployment You know how ERP deployment can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, it is worth…