Willem van Biljon, co-Founder and Vice President of Products of Nimbula, stopped by to introduce his company and explain their plans. A quick summary is that they gathered some of the team that created Amazon's EC2 to develop and offer what they would present as a complimentary product. Nimbula's goal is making it easy for those considering a deployment of EC2, a platform as a service (PaaS) product, to "blend on-premise applications with those deployed in the cloud." This would make it possible for companies to deal with stringent regulatory requirements by keeping some critical parts of their workload on site on their own systems while using EC2 for other, less critical, workloads.
Since Willem constantly referenced EC2, I quickly began to believe that Nimbula was trying to create an API for API match for EC2. When I probed to find out if that impression was correct, it quickly became clear that wasn't their goal at all. They have created their own APIs, management software, identity management software and the like so that applications developed for Nimbula's environment could be easily transferred into and out of EC2 as required. While an interesting approach, I have my concerns.
Will organizations develop to APIs from a start up, no matter what its pedigree, or will they just continue to use application frameworks and tools they're already using in house? One thing is certain, Nimbula has already persuaded some large organizations to use the beta test software in pilot projects.
The ideas presented were interesting and somewhat persuasive. I'll have to watch Nimbula to see if they can move these pilot projects into production and gain other clients for their framework, their management software and the like. They face competition from others offering tools that plug into Amazon's EC2 including suppliers such as Oracle, Novell, Sybae, and Jitterbit.
If you're thinking about an EC2 implementation, you might fight Nimbula's thoughts persuasive.