CloudBees, founded in early 2010 with developers in US, Europe and Australia, today announced the acquisition of Stax Networks, the Java Application platform running on top of EC2. This acquisition accelerates CloudBees’ RUN@cloud PaaS strategy which is slated for release in January 2011. Regular readers of this blog know that I am strongly pushing the theme “PaaS Is The Future Of Cloud Services” whenever I get a chance and CloudBees fits straight into this theme and, in a way, they have a better PaaS solution than the existing ones. In fact, we can call CloudBees as Heroku for Java. If Marc Benioff is reading this post, I would suggest him to ditch VMForce and straightaway buy CloudBees for a more open and democratized PaaS Strategy.
What is CloudBees, BTW?
CloudBees is aiming to be a full fledged Java PaaS provider. But they go beyond just being a platform services provider and offer a cloud solution for the entire lifecycle of Java applications. They have split up this vision into two offerings:
- DEV@cloud – It is a fully integrated development environment available as SaaS for developers. The most interesting part of this offering is the integration of Hudson based continuous integration solution (I will later explain why this is important). It also comes with private and secure Git and SVN repos as well as Maven repo. It is priced at an affordable level for developers with a usage based fee for Hudson agent
- RUN@cloud – This is their planned PaaS offering expected to be available in January, 2011. This is where today’s news comes into picture. Stax Networks offers platform services on top of Amazon EC2 for Java EE developers. By picking up Stax Networks, CloudBees is well positioned to build a more robust Java PaaS offering
When their RUN@cloud is released, it will have metered pricing. Initially, their PaaS offering is going to run on top of Amazon EC2 but they plan to run it on top of many different IaaS providers to offer an IaaS agnostic platform for developers. More importantly, it will help CloudBees not reliant on one IaaS vendor in this Amazon-Wikileaks era.
Why is CloudBees interesting?
CloudBees is interesting for many reasons including:
- Their development environment offers Hudson as a service. For those who don’t know, Hudson is a Continuous Integration solution which applies continuous quality control as developers write their code and submit the changes to the repository. Developers know pretty well about the integration hell in a collaborative development environment where the changes needs to be integrated and quality tested every time. By deeply integrating Hudson into their development environment, CloudBees are saving enormous amounts of productive time for the developers and they are going to love it
- Unlike Google App Engine and other PaaS providers, CloudBees PaaS doesn’t put any restrictions on how the developers should code. They can do it as they are used to doing in the traditional development environment and push it to CloudBees PaaS
- Unlike VMForce or VMware’s other PaaS strategies, both Java EE and Spring developers can use CloudBees PaaS. This is very unique to CloudBees Platform and I am sure lots of Java developers are going to like this freedom
- One of the biggest concerns for PaaS is vendor lock-in risk. With CloudBees, you avoid being forced on a single IaaS vendor or hosting provider because they have plans to offer their Platform Services on top of many other IaaS providers. More importantly, just as in the case of Heroku, you can take the code and run in a traditional development environment
When I spoke to CloudBees, I was thoroughly impressed with their vision and strategy. Their current CEO was former CTO of JBoss and they have the necessary technical expertise to build a robust Java platform. By offering a complete lifecycle as a service, they are making the life of the developers easy. An ideal PaaS solution should abstract away the underlying complexity without imposing any platform specific restrictions or lock-ins. CloudBees is trying to achieve just this goal and I have a feeling that they are going to be an interesting platform provider going forward. Once again, if Marc Benioff is serious about democratizing the enterprise app development, he should take a look at CloudBees and their vision.
- CloudBees launches Java cloud (infoworld.com)
- News Analysis: Salesforce.com Buys Heroku For $212M – Shows Commitment To Next Gen Apps (enterpriseirregulars.com)
- CloudBees Raises $4 Million From Matrix Partners For Java Cloud Computing Play (techcrunchit.com)
- The Value of the Freedom to Leave the Cloud: Salesforce and Heroku (redmonk.com)
- Cloudbees Raises $4 Million From Matrix Partners For Java Cloud Computing Play (techcrunch.com)
- CloudBees’ Java Dream Team Lands $4M From Matrix Partners (nytimes.com)
- CloudBees’ Java dream team lands $4M from Matrix Partners (venturebeat.com)