Cloud Startup AppFormix Launches Channel Program With Rackspace In Its Corner

Typically when startups launch partner programs, they sign a handful of smaller VARs to bring their products to market. But AppFormix dived into the channel on Friday with a heavyweight in its corner.

As the first reseller to formally join the new AppFormix Channel Partner Program, enterprise cloud provider Rackspace will be embedding and deploying the San Jose-based startup's cloud service optimization software to all its private cloud customers.

Signing Rackspace, a major force in OpenStack distribution and management, is a big win for the company founded only three years ago, said founder and CEO Sumeet Singh, and positions AppFormix to commit fully to a channel distribution strategy.

[Related: 5 Ways Rackspace Is Transforming Its Business Through Cloud Partnerships]

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So far, AppFormix has been selling its software direct. But with the launch of its channel program, "moving forward our predominant model is going to be to go through partners," Singh said, "especially Rackspace."

San Antonio, Tex.-based Rackspace is a dream partner, he said.

"They are the founders of OpenStack," Singh said of Rackspace. "And we built this software initially to really simplify the operations for OpenStack."

But like Rackspace, AppFormix is focused on hybrid environments, Singh told CRN, and can monitor and optimize several other cloud infrastructures.

AppFormix' technology can assess bare-metal servers, container workloads orchestrated by the Kubernetes platform originally developed by Google, and the big three public clouds: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

The platform's analytic tools offer cross-layer visibility, measure resource utilization, and monitor application performance for better orchestration of hybrid cloud environments.

The software can identify bottlenecks and reallocate resources—such as reconfiguring CPU resources available to virtual machines—in real-time, as well as perform long-term capacity planning, running projections that identify which applications will become starved of resources to avoid future problems.

Bryan Thompson, senior director of product management at Rackspace, told CRN the AppFormix software will help Rackspace optimize the hundreds of private OpenStack clouds it manages for enterprise customers.

"For us, this was very much a product-driven partnership where we have an established and growing practice around our Rackspace private cloud," Thompson said.

AppFormix software will be included with Rackspace's native OpenStack deployments, as well as the Red Hat OpenStack distribution the company also resells.

With a more-granular real-time view of cloud performance, down to the hardware layer, and greater inspection and resource forecasting capabilities, Rackspace will offer more value to its customers, helping those businesses seamlessly scale their operations, Thompson said.

The next phase of the partnership, Thompson said, will introduce a premium version of the AppFormix tools that provide Rackspace's private cloud customers greater visibility into their environments.

The partnership is "enhancing our capabilities as the world's foremost operator of OpenStack technologies," Thompson told CRN.

AppFormix, in recruiting a partner base through its new program, is also leveraging a partnership it struck with another name-brand vendor that imparted on the startup a unique capability in the market.

Earlier this year, AppFormix partnered with Intel to become the first software vendor to take advantage of the capabilities of new chipsets introducing Resource Director Technology (RDT), Singh told CRN.

"Our software is currently the only software that can leverage the new instruction set Intel came up with that can reallocate CPU resources," Singh said.