Blog Post

Pivotal snags devops pioneer Andrew Clay Shafer as senior director of technology

Few people know the niceties of devops, agile development and their associated advantages better than Andrew Clay Shafer. He co-founded Puppet Labs (see disclosure) before going on to work at Cloudscaling and Rackspace(s rax) on various OpenStack projects.

He has also collaborated with Pivotal for some time, but now he is officially joining the company as senior director of technology reporting to Scott Yara, head of products. Pivotal is the EMC(S emc) and VMware(s vmw) spinout building a platform for next-gen applications. CEO Paul Maritz’s pitch is that big companies, in order to stay competitive, need to reimagine and rebuild their apps from scratch rather than retrofitting their existing, often decades-old, IT. News of Shafer’s appointment was announced at Oscon 2014 on Monday.

Part of Pivotal’s mandate is to push Cloud Foundry as a cloud-agnostic platform as a service. “There’s a confluence of cloud computing capabilities and web apps being brought into the enterprise and devops and agile development…these are all narratives and we have a chance to bring all that together in a packaged way that no one’s done before. I love how Cloud Foundry manages all that,” Shafer said in an interview last week.

So Shafer will evangelize and work with the community on Cloud Foundry, but his mandate goes beyond that to all of what Pivotal is doing. Pivotal comprises an array of technologies from its parent companies, including EMC’s Greenplum data analytics, Pivotal Labs’ agile development tools, Cetas analytics services and VMware’s vFabric — which encompasses SpringSource Java frameworks and Gemfire data caching.

Andrew Clay Shafer
Andrew Clay Shafer

As part of his mandate, Shafer will help explain how all of that stuff is being put together in a useful way. He acknowledged that there is a perception of Pivotal as an island of misfit toys. But that misses the point, he said.

He said all of those piece parts — the agile development expertise of Pivotal Labs, the deployment frameworks and the continuous delivery model are now hugely relevant for enterprise software development and deployment. “You can’t have apps without data. Why can’t Pivotal put it all together in a way that focuses on your business domain?”

That’s what Pivotal has to demonstrate to all the potential IT buyers out there.

Disclosure: Puppet Labs is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.