Cerebrata Is Now Part of Cynapta Software

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Cynapta has acquired Cerebrata from Redgate. In the post, I will talk about who we are (to set the context) and what this acquisition means for you as a user of Cerebrata products. We will also talk about the future direction we’re taking.

Who We Are

You may already know this but I founded Cerebrata back in 2007 and we built Azure tools there. Cerebrata got acquired by Redgate in 2011 and after working with the amazing team there for 18 months we parted ways as I wanted to do something different, so I set up Cynapta to explore more opportunities for tools to help Azure developers. After trying a number of things for the next year or so, I started building Cloud Portam, and I’m proud to say that it is one of the leading tools for managing Azure resources. Both Cerebrata and Cloud Portam are mature and robust tools designed with one simple goal – Make your life as an Azure developer easy! I would like to believe that we’re doing a good job at it (you as a user are the final judge of that though).

What does this acquisition mean to you

At Cynapta we are solely focused on making your job as an Azure developer easier by providing best of the breed utilities. Azure Management Studio and Cloud Portam are live examples of that.

This sort of change can be disruptive for a product – I remember some people had concerns when Redgate took over Cerebrata, and I’m sure some people will have some concerns now.

I will assure you of one thing: as a Cerebrata user, things have not changed one bit for you as a result of this acquisition.

There are a few things I would like to highlight in case you are concerned about that.
Firstly, we intend to invest substantial time and effort into the development of AMS. Most of the team that was part of Cerebrata development remains with the product and these team members have been with Cerebrata for quite some time now. The team is coming to the end of some work on big underlying changes which I’ll discuss more below, so you should actually see the rate at which we add new features improve!

If you’re concerned about the level of support you will get, please don’t. We’re entirely dedicated to providing you the best Azure tools, and that includes the quality of our support. The original team is still in place, and we will do everything we can to address any issues you report as quickly as possible. Furthermore because I have been involved with Azure for many years now, you now have someone who speaks your language (in a manner of speaking) :).

If you still have some concerns, please feel free to reach out to me. I can be reached at gmantri @ cerebrata.com. I will try my best to alleviate your concerns.

Azure Management Studio (AMS) & Cloud Portam

I am pleased to announce that all AMS paid users get a 1 year complimentary access to Personal Edition of Cloud Portam. I would strongly encourage you to check out Cloud Portam.

We want you to have best tooling available to you for managing your Azure Resources. There are certain scenarios where AMS would be a better fit (e.g. dealing with local resources, cloud services etc.) while there are certain scenarios where using Cloud Portam makes sense (e.g. browser-based so that you can manage your Azure resources from everywhere). Furthermore there is some functionality which is present in only one of the tools. We believe that having access to both AMS and Cloud Portam would enable you to be more productive when it comes to managing your Azure resources.

With unfettered access to both of them, I’m confident that you will use the tool which make sense to you to deal with a particular scenario. I am really looking forward to have you use both products.

The way this complimentary access would work is that you would need to sign up for Personal Edition of Cloud Portam using your Microsoft Account or your Azure AD/Office 365 account. You get a fully functional 15 days trial when you sign up. At any point of time during your trial, please reach out to me for converting your trial account into complimentary account. When you do, please share your AMS license key so that we can verify the key. In the next few days, we will be introducing a functionality in Cloud Portam wherein you will be able to input your AMS license key and get your trial account converted into a complimentary one from inside Cloud Portam. You need not send me an email to get your account switched once we do that.

If you’re an existing Cloud Portam user, I encourage you to read the blog post about this acquisition on Cloud Portam’s blog as well: http://blog.cloudportam.com/cerebrata-is-now-part-of-cynapta-software.

What’s next for Azure Management Studio (AMS)?

You may be wondering about the future of AMS at this point. Let me assure you that AMS is very much alive and kicking.

I agree that there have not been many public-facing changes recently, but the team has been diligently working on support for ARM storage accounts. This has taken longer than we intended, but development is now finished and it’s almost ready to be released.

Now that this work is complete, we will be going through all the pending issues in User Voice and plan the development for the items. However I must say that not all features requested there will be implemented in AMS but wherever possible, you will have the feature in either AMS or Cloud Portam.

What about Azure Management Cmdlets (AMC)?

Unfortunately I cannot say the same about AMC :(. The last update to this product was some time ago, and Microsoft has all but replaced it with their own excellent PowerShell Cmdlets. With those things in mind, we have decided to shut down AMC product.

Please note that going forward you will not be able to download the product from our website. If you have purchased a license of the product, you will be able to use the product but no support will be provided on that.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns about us shutting down AMC.

And what’s the deal with Azure Explorer (AE)?

Redgate has decided to hold on to AE. They’ll be keeping hold of it, and nothing will be changing on that front, so you can continue to use AE as before.

Future Direction

Now let me take a moment and talk about our vision of where we want to be.

If you have been doing Azure development for some time now, I believe you will agree with me when I say that Azure is evolving at a breakneck speed. From just 3-4 services in 2008, now Azure has over 50+ services that you can use. Ideally we would want you to manage all of the services through our tools. It may take us some time to get there but we will get there. So expect to see some new features light up in either of our tools.

One interesting thing that has happened with Azure (and also with Microsoft) is that it no longer about Windows anymore (Microsoft changing the name from “Windows Azure” to “Microsoft Azure” is a live testament of that). They are embracing open source and other platforms. As a tool vendor building for Azure, I strongly believe we need to do the same. With that in mind, we’re planning on building new set of tools which will be based on current direction Azure is taking (especially with their whole Azure Resource Manager and Role-based access control mechanism). These tools will have to be cross-platform so that you’re not restricted to Windows only. Our responsibility (and it’s a big one) would be to enable you on the platform of your choice.

One thing we have realized is that often times there are certain “things” you would want your tool vendor to do. A good example would be backing up your storage accounts. You would want to delegate that task to someone as long as you are sure that the task will be done. We want to be that “someone” for you who will do the job for you. With products like “Service Fabric”, “Functions”, and “Azure Batch” etc. in Azure, Microsoft has made our job rather simple. So expect us venturing into that in near future.

Now I don’t want to set any false expectation. I do realize that our goals are ambitious and it will take us some time to get there but one thing is sure that we will get there. We are also counting on your support big time during our journey. We want to work on things which makes your job easier. We hope that we will get your support all the way.

Summary

To summarize this post, let me reiterate (one last time): for you as a Cerebrata user things have not changed. In fact, we hope that this acquisition would result in better things for you as far as managing your Azure resources are concerned. We have grand plans for our tools and we will need your support to achieve our goals. If you have any questions or concerns about this acquisition, plans for our existing products and future roadmap, please (actually pretty please with cherry on top) reach out to me at gmantri at cerebrata.com.

I want to take this moment to thank you for being a Cerebrata user and I hope that you choose to continue our relationship while we build tools and services that will help you make productive when working with Azure.

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