VMware enters platform as a service with open source spin

VMware launched Cloud Foundry, an effort to enter the increasingly crowded platform as a service (PaaS) market.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

VMware on Tuesday launched Cloud Foundry, an effort to enter the increasingly crowded platform as a service (PaaS) market. The difference with this effort is that VMware is going open source to grab share in cloud computing environments.

Chalk this announcement up to VMware's ever-changing evolution. VMware got its start as a virtualization vendor, but is moving up the software stack as the hypervisor becomes a commodity.

With is PaaS effort, VMware will be playing in a market that includes Amazon via its Elastic Beanstalk and Salesforce with its Heroku acquisition. Simply put, every large tech player including HP and IBM will have some flavor of PaaS.

In a nutshell, Cloud Foundry is a public and private cloud app platform. Partners include RightScale, 10Gen and others. VMware is positioning Cloud Foundry as a way to play point guard to multiple application services and frameworks.

Cloud Foundry will be delivered via multiple vehicles and support MongoDB, MySQLS and Redis database. The plan is to also support VMware's vFabric services. Languages covered include Spring for Java, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra for Ruby and Node.js. Other Java frameworks will also be supported.

VMware also noted that Cloud Foundry isn't tied to VMware infrastructure, a notable departure. That said, Cloud Foundry will support VMware cloud environments. In other words, VMware is going to the ecosystem route to keep itself relevant in cloud management.

Among the ways VMware is delivering Cloud Foundry:

  • A VMware operated service. VMware will offer Cloud Foundry as a service.
  • An open source project. The Cloud Foundry effort is now open source and licensed under an Apache 2 license.
  • A "micro cloud" will be a downloadable instance of Cloud Foundry delivered as a virtual instance on the desktop. This effort, available in the second quarter, will allow for testing locally.
  • A commercial version of Cloud Foundry for enterprises that want to offer PaaS services. This version will be a future release.

Overall, Cloud Foundry sounds promising. VMware has a shot in the market since many other platform efforts primarily fall in the aspirational category today.


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