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.
Developers seeking to deploy applications through VMware’s Cloud Foundry Platform as a Service environment now have an option through Uhuru Software Inc’s Uhuru .NET Services for Cloud Foundry. Uhuru .NET Services for Cloud Foundry empowers Windows .Net developers and IT managers to deploy .NET applications on Cloud Foundry by using tools with which they are already familiar such as Visual Studio and Microsoft Management Console (MMC). VMware’s Cloud Foundry currently supports “Spring for Java developers, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby developers, Node.js and other JVM languages/frameworks including Groovy, Grails and Scala.” Uhuru .NET Services for Cloud Foundry extends the list of languages supported by Cloud Foundry to .NET and developers seeking to leverage the ease of deployment and customizability of the Cloud Foundry platform. Uhuru, a Seattle-based startup founded by Jawad Khaki (CEO) and Jawaid Ekram (COO), offers Uhuru .NET Services for Cloud Foundry as an open source product under an Apache 2 license. Uhuru Software’s broader suite of tools enables developers to deploy .NET applications on the cloud offering of their choice without being limited to VMware’s Cloud Foundry. The word Uhuru means freedom in Swahili, and in this context refers to the freedom of developers to build the products they would like on the platform of their choosing.