In my mind at least, PaaS is the area of cloud computing that is seriously exciting right now – while what can be achieved with a SaaS app has pretty much been tapped out, and infrastructure becomes more and more commoditized, it is PaaS where people are doing amazing things and providing real paradigm shift for developers and businesses.
CloudFoundry is one PaaS that is close to my heart, in the few months since they were launched by VMWare, they’ve already built some real momentum for product that is up and running and not just another big companies vaporware. CloudFoundry touts themselves as “the industry’s first open PaaS”. it supports Spring, Rails and Node.js applications (among others) in a growing trend towards multiple language/framework support. Since launching they’ve been quick to add functionality, they support MySQL, MongoDB and Redis databases and recently introduced the RabbitMQ messaging service as a free public beta.
A proof point of this came out this morning when it was announced that CloudFoundry had achieved another validation point by being selected as PaaS by the following distribution partners;
- Canonical: Cloud Foundry client and server to be available as Ubuntu packages beginning November 10th
- Dell: Cloud Foundry to be installed and configured over open source Crowbar framework via Crowbar barclamp
- enStraus: Cloud Foundry to be added to enStraus’ service catalog enabling for its deployment and management on any of its 18 clouds
- Opscode: Cloud Foundry to be published on Opscode’s community site and integrated into Opscode Hosted Chef (OHC) – allowing for configuration and deployment of Cloud Foundry with one command
I had a brief chat with James Watters form CloudFoundry to get the low down on the deal and talk about more strategic issues. I put it to him that it seems like CloudFoundry is rapidly becoming the open source PaaS of choice, in a similar way to how OpenStack is becoming the choice at the infrastructure end of the stack. I wondered about this and specifically the tension that might exist within VMWare corporate HQ. It was just a hunch but CloudFoundry’s OpenSource focus gives them more obvious commonality with OpenStack than it does for VMWare – I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall when the CloudFoundry decision was made. Watters was complimentary of what OpenStack was trying to do, but I got a sense from him that he’s proud of the fact that CloudFoundry is delivering actual product, real partnerships and is being adopted as core technology for companies (more on this to come). I also got the impression (although it remained unsaid) that despite having a bunch of partners signed up, OpenStack is yet to deliver any degree of substantive real product.
Regardless of the politics around the industry, I’m impressed by what CloudFoundry is achieving, and look forward to seeing it used as the PaaS of choice in a number of different settings.