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VMware goes open source with new Cloud Foundry platform
VMware takes on the likes of RackSpace's OpenStack and Facebook's Open Compute with a new, ultra-simple, open source PaaS.
VMware is squaring up to Salesforce.com and going-it-alone with a new open Platform-as-a-Service designed especially for cloud computing environments.
Cloud Foundry is being hailed by VMware as “a new generation” of application platform, delivered as a service from enterprise data centres and public cloud service providers. Essentially, it will give developers streamlined tools to build applications on public and private clouds, whether or not the underlying server runs VMware, in the simplest way possible.
The announcement pits VMware against the likes of RackSpace’s OpenStack but it also means VMware is competing against its own joint venture with Salesforce.com, the seemingly stalled VMforce. Not surprisingly then, the VMware rhetoric surrounding Cloud Foundry is strong.
“Cloud Foundry streamlines the development, delivery and operations of modern applications, significantly enhancing the ability of developers to deploy, run and scale their applications in cloud environments while embracing the widest choice of public and private clouds, industry-standard high productivity developer frameworks and application infrastructure services,” the company claims.
Certainly, at least, it already supports Java, Sinatra for Ruby, node.js and Ruby on Rails and other JVM-based frameworks, including Grails. Other programming frameworks will be supported in the future. It also supports MongoDB, MySQL, and Redis databases with planned support for VMware vFabric services. Cloud Foundary also supports deployment not just on VMware infrastructure but on non-VMware public clouds and demonstrated support for Amazon Web Services by cloud management provider RightScale.
The biggest surprise of the announcement might be the commitment to open source but VMware vice president of application platform strategy Rob Johnson said the company’s view was that, in the era of cloud computing, open technology was “more essential than ever”.
“Just as an open model enabled Spring to evolve as a solution ideally suited for the needs of the Java community it serves, Cloud Foundry’s open architecture and community process will enable developers to enjoy Platform-as-a-Service productivity and simplicity while extending the technology to their specific needs,” he said.
On his blog, RedMonk analyst Michael Cote said Cloud Foundry looked like one of those “good thinks I rarely expect big companies to do”.
“They’ve put together a ‘bring your own PaaS’ with wide language support and a VMware run instance you can use as well, if you don’t want to bring anything and just go directly to a cloud that has it all wired-up,” he said.
“The most critical thing for VMware to do is to let this ‘open is best’ philosophy play out in there application development strategy. VMware’s current fortunes were built on distinctly not that philosophy and it’d be easy for the kernel geniuses who must hold much of the corporate power to derail the application development strategy, which is a much different beast than virtualization and other business models closer to the metal than the glass.”
Cloud Foundry will be offered in multiple delivery models including as a VMware-operated developer service, an open source community PaaS project, a micro cloud and a version for enterprise and service providers.