The rate at which DevOps teams that rely on cloud services from Render will be able to discover new tools is about to increase significantly, thanks to Render’s new alliance with Manifold, a provider of a marketplace-as-a-service platform.
Render already offers logging, monitoring and other DevOps tools, and will use the Manifold technology to create its own marketplace. Render CEO Anurag Goel said the partnership will provide his company with a platform that enables instant access without having to navigate as many configuration steps because Manifold has automated those processes.
Goel said Render has been growing at a rate of 50% per month by focusing on the needs of developers, a strategy that has resulted in more than 100 million http requests a week on the Render platform. That approach has allowed the company to differentiate its cloud platform from much larger rivals such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, which are not as focused on the developer experience, he said.
Manifold CEO Jevon MacDonald said Manifold has focused its efforts on building a marketplace that allows smaller cloud service providers to offer tools and applications with a user experience that rivals any of the marketplaces provided by the big three cloud service providers but without having to build and maintain that marketplace themselves. Manifold also works with each provider of tools and applications on the marketplace to automate the configuration process, he said.
Over time, marketplaces have proven to be critical for cloud service providers because they provide the foundation on which developer ecosystems are created. The easier a cloud service provider makes it for DevOps teams to discover new tools and applications, the larger that ecosystem tends to become.
Obviously, AWS, Microsoft and Google have massive DevOps ecosystems in comparison to Render. However, with the rise of cloud-native platforms such as Kubernetes, it will become much easier for DevOps teams to build applications on one cloud platform and deploy them on another. To attract developers of cloud-native applications, Render has built a containerized platform as an alternative to legacy platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment.
Render is betting that cross-platform strategy for building applications becomes more commonplace, more developers will opt to build applications on cloud platforms specifically focused on providing a superior developer experience. Current Render customers include smaller startups such as 99designs, Gatsby and Indie Hackers by Stripe.
As developers start to shift toward cloud-native technologies, it remains to be seen how many DevOps teams will be willing to consider alternative cloud platforms. The major cloud service providers have built business models around providing as little support as possible. While it may not be possible for cloud service providers to support each DevOps team with an expensive support contract, there does appear to be plenty of room for cloud service providers to create a richer developer experience that goes beyond a basic one-size-fits-all approach.