BetterCloud Uses Google App Engine and Compute Engine to Provide Insights, Management and Security Tools for Google Apps

BetterCloud, founded in 2011, is a leading provider of security and management tools for organizations that are using Google Apps and other cloud office systems. More than 50,000 organizations turn to BetterCloud for critical insights, automated management and intelligent data security. BetterCloud has an inside view into what IT administrators need to easily manage and secure their Google Apps domains.

Challenge

When BetterCloud set out to develop its security product for Google Apps, the company needed a platform to build the product in the cloud. The BetterCloud team understood the challenges that Google Apps admins face after talking to these admins about their use of the Google Apps suite. Knowledgeable about what their customers needed, BetterCloud was ready to begin building their solution but needed the right platform. The ideal platform would get an environment up and running quickly, support scalability and not require upfront capital investment in hardware and infrastructure, but finding an answer with all the necessary components wasn’t straightforward.

Solution

In building out their product, BetterCloud, the team turned to Google App Engine because it offered them the data security and storage they needed to build a rich security and management tool, without having to run their own data center. By outsourcing the infrastructure, they were able to get their product to market faster and are now able to keep on scaling it as customer demand grows.

“As a startup, we wanted to devote our energies to building a compelling product, not managing servers,” says David Hardwick, CTO of BetterCloud. “App Engine allowed us to do just that; we were able to keep our focus on BetterCloud for Google Apps and its features, launching the first version to the Google Apps marketplace in just six months.”

App Engine worked seamlessly for BetterCloud, so the team decided to shift additional operations to Google Cloud Platform. Originally, the company ran some of its build infrastructure on Amazon Web Services, but the ease of App Engine convinced them to move to Google Compute Engine to scale faster and more efficiently. They now use Google Compute Engine to manage their virtual machines.

Results

With App Engine, the team can scale BetterCloud for Google Apps to companies with more than 100,000 Google Apps users, without worrying about adding servers or load balancing. App Engine provides developers with resources to handle billions of transactions per day without needing a dedicated database administrator or infrastructure employee. BetterCloud can easily set up multiple environments for integration, testing and staging that match production.

Running builds on Compute Engine is quicker than before and continues to improve customer experience. BetterCloud is able to make improvements to custom-developed services 20X faster. That speed advantage also applies to their data loss prevention engine within BetterCloud for Google Apps, which empowers organizations to discover if sensitive or personally identifiable information is being shared and then set policies to enforce compliance. Compute Engine can review hundreds of documents every second, so BetterCloud can alert customers immediately if sensitive data is shared inappropriately or externally.

“The combined powers of App Engine and Compute Engine provide us with the infrastructure we need, so our team can focus on building a product that solves our customers problems,” Hardwick says.

For example, the team recently built a Domain Health and Insight Center dashboard on App Engine and runs the workloads on Compute Engine. The dashboard alerts IT admins to security risks and performance optimizations that could impact the efficiency and security of Google Apps. Hardwick concludes, “We’re now working with 50,000 businesses with a combined 30 million users, and we’re building that growth, and the popularity of BetterCloud for Google Apps, all on Google’s infrastructure.”

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