VMware turns PaaS inside out with an open-source “Cloud Foundry”

VMware, the makers of proprietary cloud-enabling software has embraced the open-source movement and launched an OPEN “Platform as Service (PaaS)” called Cloud Foundry which is sure to turn some developer heads in the exploding cloud computing arena.

Virtual Internet currently offers VMware enterprise solutions to it clients, one of the first hosts in the UK to do so. The baremetal hypervisor was created by VMware in 1999 and helped make virtualization sexy again after languishing a bit in the late 80s and early 90s.

CloudFoundry.com is offering a free sign up to developers and supports multiple frameworks, multiple cloud providers, and multiple application services all in a cloud scale platform.

Developers can engage the platform in a number of ways including the future direction of the ‘service’ by sharing their ideas on the parallel website, Cloudfoundry.org.

CloudFoundry.com’s primary objective is to provide a multitenant PaaS to developers, powered by vSphere.

“Cloud Foundry is ideal for any developer interested in removing the cost and complexity of configuring infrastructure and runtime environments for their applications. Developers can deploy their applications to CloudFoundry.com using their existing tools and with zero modification to their code,” said VMware.

ZDnet reports that “VMware’s decision to launch Cloud Foundry as an open source project demonstrates the company’s grasp that while its virtualization technology leads the pack, the cloud will be led by many.”

Meanwhile Roger Bodamer, VP for 10gen remarked that “We are seeing explosive growth in cloud adoption of MongoDB and we are excited to see key industry players such as VMware expand the options for cloud application development.”

Some other independent blogs out there were not as complementary of the new open PaaS cloud with Brian Profitt, IT World stating that although “VMware’s offering to the community, while interesting and useful, is still just another attempt to circumvent developer and vendor interest in Red Hat’s cloud offerings. The competition between VMware and Red Hat has become a fierce rivalry in this tech sector. Industry watchers know this, and every once in a while someone at either company slips their smiles about cooperation and lets their true feelings show.”

The Red Hat PaaS site describes its current service in the following manner: “Many PaaS offerings introduce a new, proprietary application development environment. Others deliver a PaaS based only on simple developer frameworks, limiting choice and application portability. Red Hat delivers flexibility and choice.”

The drivers for CloudFoundry.com came nearly 20 months ago when VMware acquired SpringSource, with the goal of “Simplifying IT”.

The flexible platform even has something called a Micro-Cloud, which shrinks the cloud back to earth to sit on a developer’s laptop allowing a version of Cloud Foundry to run on a single virtual machine. Result: developers can build and test their applications on their own machine, identical to the development environment on CloudFoundry.

All developers (and business owners) remain wary of vendor lock-in and an open-source PaaS theoretically allows developers to inspect, evaluate and modify the software based on their own needs.

Let’s see how the competition responds!

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