CloudBees revealed plans to discontinue its Java Platfom as a Service and focus instead on delivering Jenkins, the continuous integration system, roughly a fortnight ago. As a result, CloudBees will terminate RUN@cloud, its Java PaaS and focus instead on enterprise-grade delivery of Jenkins, the continuous integration platform for software development that streamlines the development, deployment and ongoing operational management of software applications. The CloudBees portfolio now features three products: (1) Jenkins Enterprise, an on premise, enterprise-grade version of the open source continuous integration server; (2) Jenkins Operations, which enables customers to manage multiple deployments of Jenkins; and (3) Dev@cloud, a cloud-based version of the Jenkins platform. CloudBees will assist customers to transition to other PaaS platforms through October 31, 2014, a couple of months in advance of the planned December 2014 discontinuation of RUN@cloud. Meanwhile, CloudBees announced a partnership with Pivotal Software to deliver Jenkins Enterprise on the Pivotal Network by year’s end.
The decision by CloudBees to transition away from PaaS toward continuous integration speaks volumes about the state of the contemporary PaaS landscape, which wrestles with the technological threat posed by Docker, whose containers enable portability across application stacks and environments in ways that resemble the preconfigured environments of PaaS platforms. As former AppFog CEO Lucas Carlson points out, however, there are notable differences between Docker and PaaS, and another reason for increased competition in the PaaS space involves the prominence of Cloud Foundry, stewarded by Pivotal. The bottom line is that the PaaS space is experiencing an exciting and profound transformation whereby only the most nimble, visionary and strategic vendors are likely to survive as the market goes through a shakeout in the wake of a redefinition of the very concept of the “platform,” as Carlson notes in a blog post. Carlson’s polyglot PaaS AppFog was acquired by CenturyLink in June 2013.
What should the cloud computing industry make of the recent partnership between CloudBees and Verizon to render the CloudBees PaaS available on the Verizon Cloud? The obvious point worth noting is that the partnership enables CloudBees to take advantage of Verizon’s brand, partner relationships and global IT infrastructure to more effectively position its PaaS within the larger cloud landscape. More specifically, the CloudBees-Verizon partnership allows the Java-based PaaS to position itself alongside a brand-name IaaS vendor that is rapidly developing partnerships with other technology partners to enhance the Verizon IaaS platform that was revealed in October and remains in public Beta. Note that this is not the first time CloudBees has partnered with an IaaS vendor. In 2012, for example, CloudBees announced the availability of a PaaS platform branded AnyCloud on IaaS platforms such as Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud Services. The larger point here is that the CloudBees partnership with Verizon is illustrative less of the impending demise of PaaS, and more of the consolidation of IaaS as a respected sales channel for PaaS, with the attendant consequence that completely standalone PaaS vendors with no IaaS-related partnerships are becoming increasingly rare in the industry. The bottom line, however, is that the coupling of IaaS and PaaS means that PaaS has finally, irrevocably arrived, albeit not in the standalone form in which it originally emerged, but as a critical extension and offering amongst its dominant IaaS cousin in parallel with separate, dedicated PaaS sales operations teams and infrastructures.
ActiveState has partnered with IaaS vendor CloudSigma to allow CloudSigma to resell its Stackato PaaS platform as part of its portfolio of cloud products. CloudSigma will offer ActiveState Stackato in order to cater to the needs of customers interested in cloud deployments that leverage Stackato’s “any cloud, any stack and any language,” PaaS platform. The partnership represents a strategic move by ActiveState to broaden the channel for Stackato’s distribution by collaborating with an IaaS vendor whose customers may wish to differentially utilize IaaS and PaaS platforms for discrete enterprise cloud projects and initiatives. ActiveState’s partnership with CloudSigma illustrates a growing trend in the PaaS space marked by the availability of PaaS platforms within third party IaaS infrastructures. Earlier this year, for example, CloudBees announced the availability of its PaaS platform AnyCloud on Amazon Web Services and other IaaS hosting environments. Similarly, the integration of Nimbula’s Nimbula Director 2.0 IaaS platform with 3rd party PaaS platforms offers the performance, scalability and management tools of a public IaaS cloud to private PaaS cloud deployments.
This week, PaaS vendor CloudBees announced the availability of AnyCloud, a platform that empowers customers to enjoy applications across a range of IT infrastructures including on-premise data centers and hosted data center environments. Whereas most PaaS platforms require the installation of software within a private cloud environment, AnyCloud enables customers to deploy applications in diverse environments such as Amazon Web Services, other IaaS hosting environments and enterprise data centers. AnyCloud manages the deployment of applications across different environments and thereby allows customers to differentially deploy applications in different hosting environments in order to:
• Comply with regulatory policies specific to a geographic region
• Comply with company policies about which data centers can be used for application deployment
• Minimize data latency and security issues
François Déchery, CloudBees Vice President of International Business Development, explained the significance of AnyCloud by noting: “As we worked with customers around the world, CloudBees was being asked more and more for deployment options across various IT environments and hosted providers – particularly in Europe. We decided to satisfy the demand for flexible deployment options in a very different way than our competition.” AnyCloud supports any JVM-language including Java, Spring, JRuby, Grails, Scala, Groovy and others.
AnyCloud illustrates the emerging co-implication of PaaS platforms within IaaS infrastructures. This week, for example, Nimbula’s IaaS Nimbula Director 2.0 platform revealed support for third party PaaS platforms including the VMware Cloud Foundry PaaS. Current CloudBees customers include Digg, The Gerson Lehman Group, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Netflix, Symantec and Yale University. CloudBees was founded in 2010 by Sacha Labourey, former CTO of JBoss.