Apigee: APIs Enable the Hybrid Cloud

Sarah Thomas
News Analysis
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms
6/9/2014



NICE, France -- TM Forum Live! -- Michel Burger left his role as chief architect at Vodafone last year because, while the operator had the right priorities -- APIs, analytics, and hybrid cloud -- it was much too slow moving to make real progress on them.

It's a common theme amongst wireless operators, but it led Burger to take on the role of lead architect, service provider, at Apigee Corp. instead. Here he's still focused on the role of APIs and analytics in the hybrid cloud, but he's hoping to bring the two together a lot faster. (See Apigee Banks $60M for APIs, Analytics.)

Hybrid cloud, as Burger explains it, is the operators' move to a massively distributed data center in which IT resources are everywhere and the cloud services are run closer to the device. As an analytics and API vendor, Apigee sees a role for itself as a hybrid cloud broker, helping the operator decide which resources to use based on how they are exposed and the analytics around them. (See Apigee Acquisition Brings Analytics to APIs and Apigee Puts InsightsOne Acquisition to Work.)

Burger said Apigee is working with service providers on exposing their IT resources and talking to their SDN. It's not, he said, interfering with a low-level broker like VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), but is complementary as Apigee would send the information to the controller to decide what to do and establish the path.

"It's not just 'I want an IT resource in a data center in the west or east coast,'" Burger explained. "It's more 'I want one with this amount of latency, with this regulation,' etc."

This represents truly agile IT, he explained. Analytics indicate which network resource to use, and the broker connects to the right API, whether it be public, private, internal, or external. Apigee doesn't necessarily want to own the resources, but connect to all of them. Right now, it's a role that is not being fulfilled, he said, and that's something he knows from both his time at Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and at Apigee. (See Vodafone Leads Open Global App-Store Push.)

"There is an opportunity for someone to extract the API and then, second, meditate the communication between these different elements," Burger said.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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