I have high hopes on CloudFoundry (previous CloudAve coverage), VMware’s PaaS attempt, and consider the platform to be the standard for comparison in the PaaS space. Looks like it is not going to change anytime soon and last week showed that they are having ever increasing momentum in the market. No, they are not VMware’s cash cow but they are doing everything right to get the dominant marketshare in this space. From HP’s announcement to Joyent’s ecosystem play to positive Evans Data report, they are getting people excited big time. I am not a big fan of VMware in the infrastructure space but I am greatly pumped up on CloudFoundry. I will take this post to briefly discuss the news from last week which has got the CloudFoundry community excited.
HP to use CloudFoundry for PaaS
Last week Wired Magazine carried a story about how HP (disclosure: I had brief strategy discussion with HP on their public cloud strategy without any financial transaction and I was aware of their moves for sometime) is using CloudFoundry for offering PaaS to their cloud customers. Irrespective of what your opinion is about HP, this announcement is a big validation for CloudFoundry efforts and is a clear signal that enterprises can trust CloudFoundry PaaS layer for their needs.
HP has embraced the open source alternative to Windows Azure: VMware’s Cloud Foundry.
HP is currently running the VMware platform atop the cloud service it privately introduced to a small number of testers earlier this fall. In all likelihood, the company will eventually make good on its Windows Azure promise, but at the same time, it’s fully committed to Cloud Foundry, and the platform will be part of HP’s cloud service when it’s unofficially unveiled in the spring.
The move is a boost for VMware’s project, which seeks to provide a common way of building what are typically called “platform clouds.” VMware runs its own Cloud Foundry service — also in beta — and several outside outfits have deployed the platform in recent months, but HP is certainly the biggest name to do so. VMware aims to create a cloud “ecosystem” where applications can span disparate services — or even move from service to service.
Joyent joins CloudFoundry ecosystem
One of the biggest reason I got excited about CloudFoundry is that their framework is so flexible and open that anyone with expertise in any programming language framework can plug it into CloudFoundry. We already saw Appfog (previous CloudAve coverage), formerly known as PHPfog, joining CloudFoundry ecosystem as project lead for PHP and ActiveState leading the Python project.. They have strong expertise on PHP and they are putting it to use in the CloudFoundry project. Last week, Joyent announced that they will be joining as project lead for Node.js.
Joyent is proud to extend our stewardship of the Node.js open source project to Cloud Foundry,VMware’s open source platform-as-a-service. It’s with great pleasure that we take on the role of Community Lead for Node. We will be providing Cloud Foundry’s end-users with community support for Node.js and NPM. We will also make ongoing contributions for Node.js and NPM to keep them up to date and on the latest stable releases. One of our first contributions will be to add full server side support for NPM to the project.
A company like Joyent putting its weight behind CloudFoundry project bodes well for its future and can also act as an antidote against any “evil plans” which some people expect from VMware in the future. In fact, some people really worry that VMware will make CloudFoundry proprietary once they gain enough developer mindshare but I suspect VMware has any such plans. I have good reasons to feel that way. May be I should do it as a separate post another day.
More importantly, developers are warming up big time
Evans Data Corp took a survey of developers and they have rated CloudFoundry as the top cloud platform of choice in the user satisfaction survey. According to the press release,
Cloud Foundry achieved the highest overall score, while IBM’s cloud offerings ranked first among developers targeting private clouds, and Google ranked first with public cloud developers.
“The top three competitors were very close, with one appealing to private cloud development, one to public and Cloud Foundry™ appealing to both,” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data Corp. “This is important because many cloud deployments are hybrid clouds blending private, public and on-premises instances. Flexibility is key.”
The survey looked at fourteen different Cloud platform attributes and asked users to rate each one for the Clouds they use. Cloud Foundry was strongest in reliability, supplied development tools and price for service and storage among others, while IBM’s top scores included best security, proven expertise, and auto-scaling, and Google was seen as the vendor with the most market potential and best vision for the future.
It is still too early in the game. It will be premature to declare CloudFoundry the winner in the PaaS market segment but they are doing all things right and developers, businesses and, even, pundits are warming up to them. If you ask me if CloudFoundry will turn out to be a cash cow for VMware, I will say “it is doubtful” but I can say for sure that CloudFoundry is the way VMware will stay relevant in the cloudy world. Probably, it is a good topic for a separate blog post of its own.
Updated: I added the role of ActiveState in the CloudFoundry ecosystem. My apologies for missing it out yesterday.
- Cloud Foundry meets the enterprise with Stackato (gigaom.com)
- Joyent is Community Lead for Node.js on Cloud Foundry (joyeur.com)
- VMware’s Cloud Foundry Tops List of Best Cloud Development Platforms (devx.com)
- What is Platform as a Service (PaaS)? (clean-clouds.com)
- Exclusive: HP Runs VMware’s Open Source ‘Cloud OS’ (wired.com)