By Brian Kathman, CEO and Co-Founder, and Jason Turim, CTO and Co-Founder of OpsCanvas.
After a year of being in “stealth mode” development and a successful public beta, We are thrilled to announce the general availability of our OpsCavas Draw & Deploy platform. We founded OpsCanvas with a specific primary goal: to simplify cloud deployments for software development teams, irrespective of their technical background. Specifically, we’re dedicated to reducing the complexity, costs, and efforts required for traditional cloud deployments. The OpsCanvas platform demonstrates and underscores our commitment to these goals. Our platform offers an intuitive visual interface designed specifically for developers, eliminating the need for extensive Infrastructure as Code (IaC) knowledge. With OpsCanvas, deploying your applications becomes a seamless and efficient process.
Getting to this point has been an eventful, informative journey. We thought we’d share a bit of background about how we got here and where we’re headed.
OpsCanvas: A Focused Journey
We encountered the challenges of current cloud deployment methods firsthand when we met at Signal Vine, a messaging and student engagement platform in education. We only had one experienced DevOps engineer, which quickly created huge bottlenecks for the engineering team. We overcame those challenges, but that experience motivated us to seek ways to make the deployment process as simple and intuitive as humanly possible without losing the power and flexibility of the cloud. The result? Our unique, visual, Generative IaC approach automatically generates and executes the necessary IaC required to deploy applications and self-service resources to the cloud securely and in conformance with industry best practices.
To be clear, Generative IaC is very different from the generative AI technologies garnering so much media attention. Generative AI uses “large language models” to generate text, images, and other media in response to plain-language prompts. However, Generative AI still has accuracy and ‘hallucinations’ challenges that cannot be tolerated when deploying software and infrastructure. Generative AI models can also be difficult to train, optimize, and manage, resource-intensive, and subject to bias, data security, and privacy issues. And chat is an inefficient way to describe an architecture.
A diagram is far more accurate and concise than other methods of capturing software and infrastructure requirements. Generative IaC is specifically designed to analyze characteristics of architectural diagrams and translate these automatically into accurate, secure IaC code compliant with proven best practices. The OpsCanvas platform then uses that code to enable, support, and manage the complete, effective, and efficient deployment of cloud resources.
In addition to our personal experiences, while building our platform and our company, we’ve spoken with and listened to scores of cloud development teams. Those conversations have made some basic truths crystal clear. DevOps teams are increasingly challenged to deliver cloud applications, modifications, and updates more quickly for timely, effective responses to changing business needs and opportunities. Companies pursuing DevOps efforts face nearly constant challenges to finding, affording, and retaining the engineering talent and other resources necessary for those efforts. Forecasts for the demand for these resources suggest that these problems will only get worse over the next decade.
Many of these teams have turned to IaC to help them deliver cloud resources more efficiently. IaC promises to ease and speed the development and deployment of cloud-based applications. However, most current IaC offerings, whether configuration tools, languages, or software development kits, are little more than building blocks. They still require significant upfront efforts and customization to meet specific business needs and will likely still require expensive, scarce, and highly skilled specialists to deliver their promised benefits. This can make those benefits difficult or impossible to achieve, especially for smaller SaaS companies with limited resources.
OpsCanvas: A Better Way for IaC
The Generative IaC technology at the heart of the OpsCanvas platform replaces manual coding and editing with application architecture diagrams. The platform then analyzes those diagrams and can automatically generate more than 10,000 lines of custom configurations in less than 30 seconds.
OpsCanvas also enables “one-click” automation of multiple deployment tasks, including provisioning managed services and network topologies and installing containerized applications and microservices. The platform can also easily deploy, clone, update, roll back, extend, and decommission cloud resources. The OpsCanvas team has designed and implemented these features to accelerate IaC development and successful application deployments to the cloud while reducing the need to learn an entirely new technology stack, operational overhead, and security risks.
Our early adopters and Public Beta participants tell us the “Draw and Deploy” approach enabled by the OpsCanvas platform also makes creating, modifying, and deploying IaC configurations more collaborative. By making the view of cloud applications more visual, OpsCanvas enables business decision-makers and non-technical teams to better understand the state of the company’s software running in the cloud. This helps to ensure that engineering teams’ efforts are laser-focused on delivering their software to the cloud and, ultimately, their customers.
OpsCanvas also improves the management of cloud development efforts. The platform provides development teams with a consolidated, comprehensive view of all application diagrams and which applications are running. Developers can also preview applications and launch a chosen application into a new environment with a single click. OpsCanvas also stores details such as a history of stored versions and deployment status for each application. This provides developers with an “audit trail” of each resource’s history for faster, easier identification and resolution of any issues.
OpsCanvas streamlines cloud deployments and simplifies the complexities typically associated with them. By leveraging our platform, businesses can reduce the need for expensive resources and knowledge of an unrelated technology stack to deliver cloud-based applications, modifications, and updates. The result is a fast and open deployment process that reduces errors and bottlenecks. DevOps teams are more efficient, productive, and happy application developers can deliver quicker, and business performance is improved.
OpsCanvas: IaC For Every Company in the Cloud
We’re convinced any company pursuing more efficient and effective cloud resource deployments can benefit by adopting the OpsCanvas platform. OpsCanvas automates intricate deployment processes, supports effective collaboration across technical and business roles, and incorporates established best practices for our user’s application development effort without the need for IaC proficiency.
Developers can deploy new environments quickly, avoid typical deployment bottlenecks, and focus their cloud resource development and deployment efforts on supporting the business. Development team leaders can empower their teams with easy, fast, collaborative self-service deployments, better security, and greater visibility into multiple cloud environments. Business leaders can help get and keep cloud development efforts closely aligned with business goals, needs, and requirements.
OpsCanvas can extend the accessibility of cloud resource deployments without further burdening DevOps teams. Product, customer success, or even sales team members can spin up software in limited-run environments for training, demos, or testing within strict deployment controls. OpsCanvas allows the broader business to benefit without adding unnecessary costs or risks.
OpsCanvas: The Journey is Just Beginning
We are proud and excited to make the OpsCanvas platform generally available and appreciate the participation and input provided by our early adopters and public beta participants. We look forward to expanding the OpsCanvas community and delivering the benefits of Generative IaC to all sizes and types of companies.
Join us on this journey as we continue to empower software development teams of all sizes to increase their contributions to the core value of their business by relieving those teams of the mundane, manual tasks that create delays and bottlenecks. To learn more, visit us online at https://www.opscanvas.com.