You couldn’t blame AppDynamics co-founder Jyoti Bansal if he took some time off after selling his company to Cisco for a cool $3.7 billion in January. But Bansal is an entrepreneur and he didn’t stop to enjoy the moment. Instead, he did what entrepreneurs do — he looked for a new problem to solve. Today, he announced two new projects .
For starters, Bansal teamed up Rishi Singh, former DevOps platform architect at Apple. Together they are launching a company out of stealth today called Harness, which aims to do no less than automate continuous code deployment. Bansal saw a problem as all good founders do, in this case, a new way of delivering applications.
Unlike the old days where you would create a program, test and deploy it, then work for months or years on the follow up, today’s programs are being updated regularly, sometimes daily. That creates a whole set of problems for the companies deploying code in this fashion.
Writing scripts for launching the new code has become a cottage industry, Bansal explained, and much of this work is in his view could be automated by the correct tool. He says Harness is designed with machine learning underpinnings to automate the code delivery process. It’s automating the automation scripting process.
“What we are bringing is smart automation. You don’t have to write automation scripts. You specify what you want to achieve [in Harness] and [it’s] smart enough to do it for you. What could take a few months to write in scripts, we can generate in minutes, in the time it takes to model ,” Bansal explained.
Harness is designed to allow companies to move fast without breaking things, he said, a challenge that just about every company is facing right now. While tools like Chef and Puppet have been designed to automate these processes, they require many engineering worker hours to create and maintain. Bansal says his company wants to eliminate the script by letting you define the delivery parameters, determining what’s normal behavior and flagging or fixing what’s broken. You can also bring the scripts you’ve created if you wish.
The company also announced $20 million in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures and BIG Labs.
You may be wondering what BIG Labs is. Bansal didn’t want to stop with solving a single problem, so he’s created his other idea, an incubator called BIG (Bansal Idea Group) Labs, whose purpose is to test out big ideas. It’s a startup testing ground to solve hard technology problems. If they find a solution, they may try to grow it into a new company. If not, they’ll discard the idea and move on. Harness is the first BIG Labs project, but Bansal hopes to launch other companies in the future.