On Wednesday, the Cloud Foundry Foundation announced news of a certification program that aims to ensure inter-operability and portability within the multi-vendor environment that leverages the open source Cloud Foundry Platform as a Service (PaaS). IBM Bluemix, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, CenturyLink AppFog and SAP HANA Cloud Platform represent some of the vendors that received the first seal of approval and certification from the newly launched program. The certification program constitutes a huge leap forward toward ensuring the portability of applications across vendors that offer PaaS platforms based on Cloud Foundry. By reducing vendor lock-in amongst users of the Cloud Foundry platform, the certification program signals the emergence of standards and recognized units of measure within the cloud computing space. The program promises to usher in a new era of certification and standards for inter-operability across cloud environments and thereby pave the way for greater collaboration between vendors and enhanced operational agility for cloud computing customers.
Cloud Foundry Foundation Announces Certification Program To Ensure Portability Amongst Cloud Foundry PaaS Vendors
Pivotal and Mirantis recently announced a partnership whereby Pivotal will support deployments of Pivotal Cloud Foundry on the Mirantis OpenStack platform. Meanwhile, Mirantis will resell Pivotal Cloud Foundry to its IaaS customers. The partnership between Pivotal and Mirantis reinforces the integration between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry by bringing together two leading open source technologies in the cloud computing space and delivering a full stack marked by infrastructure provisioning and management capabilities in addition to agile application development functionality. As noted in a Pivotal blog post, customers can deploy Pivotal Cloud Foundry on Mirantis OpenStack by following a runbook that streamlines its deployment. The collaboration between Pivotal and Cloud Foundry underscores the ascendancy of open source cloud computing technologies that are predicated upon transparent governance frameworks and the contributions of developers and organizations from all over the world. By offering Pivotal Cloud Foundry on top of Mirantis OpenStack, Pivotal and Mirantis render available an on demand solution that absolves companies of the hassle of integrating an application development platform into an infrastructure deployment. The partnership gives Mirantis the feather in its cap constituted by an enterprise-grade PaaS in the form of Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Correspondingly, Pivotal benefits from the increased sales channel exposure enabled by access to Mirantis customers. The real winner from this partnership, however, is OpenStack insofar as it continues to cement its reputation for having the ability to integrate with major PaaS, database and Big Data technologies as recently exemplified by the agreement between Oracle regarding its Database as a Service and Mirantis, and Piston Cloud’s announcement of Piston OS 4.0.
Today, Pivotal announces that Pivotal Web Services will render Pivotal Cloud Foundry available in conjunction with Amazon Web Services as its hosted infrastructure. By making Pivotal Cloud Foundry available via a virtual appliance that supports its deployment on Amazon Web Services, Pivotal extends its support for IaaS platforms that currently include VMware vSphere, VMware vCloud Air and OpenStack. As a result of its support of Amazon Web Services, Pivotal embraces the creation of hybrid cloud infrastructures for Cloud Foundry that feature a combination of VMware or OpenStack-based on premise environments as well as Amazon’s famed public cloud infrastructure. In addition to its availability via one-click integration with Amazon Web Services, Pivotal Cloud Foundry is available as an Amazon Machine Image in the AWS Marketplace. The screenshot below illustrates Pivotal Cloud Foundry’s integration with Amazon Web Services alongside a bevy of other integrations and tools for managing a Pivotal Cloud Foundry deployment:
Now generally available, Pivotal Web Services with Enterprise support manages an AWS instance on behalf of the customer, thereby absolving customers of the challenge of managing the AWS environment as it scales and morphs in relation to the demands of application and data ingestion.
James Watters, Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Platform Group at Pivotal, remarked on the significance of today’s announcement as follows:
With the latest Pivotal Cloud Foundry release, Pivotal becomes the first major middleware vendor to include managed public cloud capacity in a software subscription at no additional cost. By offering hosted public cloud along with dedicated self-install on either public or private clouds, Pivotal Cloud Foundry provides the instant-on affordable capacity Line of Business (LOB) executives need with the robust security and automation features IT can also bring to private clouds. With today’s release, LOB and IT can finally agree on a single platform.
Here, Watters notes how Pivotal includes support for Amazon Web Services in a Cloud Foundry subscription at no additional cost. Moreover, by supporting a private cloud, Watters remarks on how Pivotal delivers enhanced operational agility to Line of Business teams that may have an interest in leveraging a public cloud for development purposes in advance of the decision to transport their applications back to the on premise environments specific to their organization. All told, Pivotal’s support of Amazon Web Services for its Cloud Foundry distribution aptly exemplifies the quintessence of Pivotal’s mission of enhancing enterprise agile application development by means of cutting edge technologies at the nexus of cloud computing and application development. In addition, Pivotal’s support of AWS for Pivotal Cloud Foundry dramatically enhances the potential for Cloud Foundry-based application portability and moves the needle of cloud native application development toward enhanced interoperability and the adoption of open standards for contemporary computing.
NephoScale became the latest IaaS vendor to use Cloud Foundry as the basis for a Platform as a Service offering by announcing the Beta release of CloudPaaS, today. CloudPaaS supports Ruby, Python, PHP and Java/Spring in addition to database services that include MySQL. CloudPaaS allows NephoScale customers to take advantage of preconfigured application stacks for development without the challenges of provisioning and configuring infrastructure prior to deploying a platform for application development. Like many IaaS-PaaS bundles, CloudPaaS intends to entice customers to take advantage of the company’s NephOS IaaS platform as customers become familiar with its platform and customer service.
James Watters, Head of Cloud Foundry Product, Marketing and Ecosystem at Pivotal, remarked on the significance of NephoScale’s selection of Cloud Foundry version 2 as the basis for CloudPaaS as follows:
Hosting providers are increasingly adopting Platform as a Service in response to developer demand. Cloud Foundry dramatically lowers the barrier for ecosystem participation in the PaaS market to meet the growing demand from developers. NephoScale’s decision to leverage Cloud Foundry supports our vision to deliver a platform that significantly reduces development cycles and accelerates time to market for developers and cloud operators alike. Enterprises seeking to leverage Cloud Foundry can now consider NephoScale for both public and private deployments.
Here, Watters elaborates on how Cloud Foundry “lowers the barrier for ecosystem participation in the PaaS market” in a way that renders it increasingly difficult for specialized PaaS vendors to compete against a commercialized PaaS offering based on Cloud Foundry. Bolstered by partnerships with IBM, Piston Cloud and VMware, Cloud Foundry’s rise in the PaaS space has been remarkable in recent months, particularly given news of its integration with OpenStack and the associated announcement that Piston’s Joshua McKenty would join its advisory board. The key question for the PaaS space now is whether private, proprietary PaaS vendors will be able to gain traction or whether Cloud Foundry-based PaaS platforms will become the de facto standard given the promise of their interoperability with other Cloud Foundry-based products and integration with OpenStack.
Dell is incubating a new platform as a service offering built upon the Cloud Foundry PaaS infrastructure. The product, Project Fast PaaS, claims enhancements to the Cloud Foundry PaaS project. Project Fast PaaS boasts compatibility with Ruby, Node.js, Java, PHP and Python in addition to support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB and Redis databases as well as the RabbitMQ messaging system. An open-source solution, the product additionally features compatibility with application development frameworks such as Django, Grails, JavaWeb, Lift, Node, Play, Rack, Rails, Sinatra and Spring. Participants must already subscribe to Dell’s IaaS enterprise public cloud, Dell vCloud, in order to preview Dell’s Project Fast PaaS offering.
Dell’s investment in Project Fast PaaS illustrates the emerging currency of the VMware-EMC Cloud Foundry PaaS platform as the de facto standard infrastructure for Platform as a Service offerings. ActiveState’s Stackato, for example, which is similarly based upon the Cloud Foundry platform has recently been licensed by HP for HP’s Cloud Application PaaS offering. The other trend represented by Dell’s PaaS offering consists of the willingness of heavyweight tech behemoths such as Dell and HP to supplement their IaaS public cloud offering with a PaaS solution of some kind. IaaS customers are likely to want a PaaS offering as well, and correspondingly, PaaS may well end us serving as an originator for IaaS customers. The industry should expect to see more IaaS-PaaS combination offerings as public cloud vendors, in particular, strive to accommodate demands for preconfigured development frameworks from their customers alongside their IaaS platforms.
Piston Cloud Computing announced a new engineering initiative to develop an interface between OpenStack and VMware’s Cloud Foundry. Piston proposes to develop the interface and incorporate it into a subsequent release of its flagship product pentOS™. The interface will be recommended to OpenStack as a project for incubation after submission to the OpenStack satellite community. The integration of OpenStack and Piston Enterprise OS will leverage the recently announced Cloud Foundry Bosh management tool, which streamlines the process of deploying Cloud Foundry across heterogeneous cloud ecosystems. “An open source tool chain for release engineering, deployment and lifecycle management of large scale distributed services,’” Cloud Foundry BOSH is is intended to negotiate differences between IaaS systems in order to enable Cloud Foundry PaaS to run smoothly on any IaaS cloud infrastructure.
Piston’s initiative to integrate OpenStack with Cloud Foundry illustrates the currency of open source cloud computing and the increasing convergence of IaaS and PaaS platforms. Cloud Foundry, for example, already supports integrations with VMware’s vSphere and Amazon Web Services. Going forward, IaaS customers are likely to demand integrated PaaS offerings as a complement to their base IaaS platform in cases where they would prefer to spin-off a deployment in a ready-made technical environment tailored to a specific development language or set of specifications.
In an effort to gain market share in the Platform as a Service cloud computing space, Jaspersoft announced it had reached an agreement with Red Hat to bundle its community edition for free with Red Hat’s PaaS OpenShift. Jaspersoft’s availability within the OpenShift platform is intended to entice developers and administrators to embed Jaspersoft business intelligence analytics into their applications. Developers who progress from the free, community Jaspersoft edition to a subscription version will be able to migrate all of the code used in the community version. Karl Van den Bergh, Jaspersoft’s Vice President of Product and Alliances, noted that Jaspersoft’s integration with Red Hat constitutes the “first of several [partnerships] that demonstrates our leadership in BI for PaaS.” Jaspersoft’s strategic alliance with Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS platform illustrates an emerging sub-market within the cloud computing space separate from cloud security, namely, business intelligence applications integrated with PaaS or IaaS cloud offerings. Gooddata, for example, offers BI development capabilities within the Amazon Web Services environment. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Jaspersoft is additionally targeting VMware’s Cloud Foundry as a possible seeding ground for its BI software as well as Salesforce.com’s Heroku.
The PaaS market currently features products such as OpenShift (Red Hat), Cloud Foundry (VMware), CloudSwing (OpenLogic), Engine Yard Cloud (Engine Yard), Heroku (Salesforce), Azure (Microsoft), Google App Engine (Google), Cumulogic PaaS (CumuLogic), dotCloud, and Appfog. Although PaaS revenues are currently miniscule in comparison to IaaS, the market is expected to grow rapidly in the next five to ten years from Gartner’s projection of $707.4 million in 2011 PaaS revenues.