The CEO of competitor API Management provider Mashery recently mentioned a post I wrote discussing tradeoffs of infrastructure vs service based solutions when it comes to API management. Unintentionally, my original post has apparently hit a nerve.
Oren suggests that a “true” cloud solution can only be SaaS-based. While Amazon Web Services among others may take umbrage at that definition I am also a little confused by Oren’s statement since by most definitions Mashery is not a SaaS. Typically, a SaaS provides self-enrollment and self-service aspects. Mashery may let you manage your APIs in the cloud like Layer 7 or Apigee but it doesn’t do this without help from engagement consultants. In that way they are more akin to IBM than Salesforce.
In the end, our customers don’t get too caught up in cloud semantics. Some of our customers want to own a solution, others “rent”. Some want a solution in their datacenter, others on a public cloud. We understand that different deployment models are needed to accommodate different needs. If a cloud deployment is what you are after, try several vendors, verify what you get and compare each solution’s strenghts.