Platform as a Service vendor dotCloud will be shutting down its operations on February 29 due to fiscal insolvency. dotCloud was purchased by cloudControl in August 2014 from Docker after Docker decided to focus exclusively on its containerization technology, to which it famously pivoted from a PaaS-based business model through the leadership and vision of Solomon Hykes. The demise of dotCloud marks a historic loss for the cloud computing community given that dotCloud was the company behind the team that spawned the idea to incorporate Docker’s container technology. dotCloud’s fiscal insolvency illustrates the depth of competition within the Platform as a Service space, which increasingly features competition between standalone PaaS players such as Engine Yard and Apprenda and larger vendors that are either based on Cloud Foundry or PaaS-platforms associated with behemoths such as Amazon and Microsoft Azure. dotCloud recommends that customers migrate their data to Heroku prior to February 29, 2016 to avoid service disruptions or data loss.
dotCloud Platform as a Service has been acquired by cloudControl, a German Platform as a Service vendor that is expanding its presence in the U.S. market. Under the terms of the agreement, dotCloud will retain its name as well as the functionality of its existing PaaS technology in the near future. In Q4 of this year, cloudControl plans to integrate its PaaS technology with dotCloud such that customers can access a preview version of a new version of dotCloud in conjunction with the original platform. Starting in Q1 of 2015, cloudControl anticipates migrating customers to the newly enhanced “next generation” dotCloud PaaS platform so that by Q2 of 2015, all existing dotCloud customers will have transitioned to the new version. dotCloud’s acquisition by cloudControl promises to inject an infusion of engineering and marketing vision into a platform that had been ailing ever since dotCloud pivoted on its PaaS strategy by transforming itself into Docker in 2013.
Although dotCloud started with the promise specific to a polyglot PaaS in 2010, the company failed to grow as planned and pursued an alternative business model by open sourcing the container technology built for dotCloud that is now known as Docker. While Docker continued to own dotCloud’s technology, the dotCloud platform itself languished in the wake of the company’s incorporation as Docker. As such, dotCloud’s acquisition by cloudControl promises to bring a fresh wave of innovation and commitment to a platform that promised much in the early years of its existence, even though it failed to deliver. The bottom line is that cloudControl’s acquisition of dotCloud means that the U.S. platform as a service space should now expect a revitalized entrant to the polyglot PaaS space that is owned by a company with ample experience in the PaaS space already. That said, cloudControl will have its work cut out for itself in order to render dotCloud competitive in comparison to PaaS vendors such as ActiveState and Apprenda, for starters.
PaaS vendor DotCloud today announced three additional functionalities for its PaaS platform, namely, vertical scaling, WebSocket support and support for MongoDB 2.0. DotCloud’s blog describes vertical scaling as an improvement in the “performance of a single service, most often a database” by way of the addition of new resources such as “RAM, CPU time, disk I/Os and more.” Vertical scaling is differentiated from horizontal scaling because of its focus on the addition of resources to a specific computing unit such as a server, whereas horizontal scaling is generally represented by the addition of servers to an existing server ecosystem. Typically offered by IaaS providers such as Amazon Web Services, vertical scaling is less common within the PaaS space. As such, DotCloud’s initiative to offer vertical cloud scaling builds upon a larger trend amongst PaaS vendors to deliver functionality that replicates the performance and scalability of IaaS vendors.
DotCloud also announced support for WebSockets that allows for bi-directional communication between web browsers and an application’s back-end database in real-time. WebSocket support is intended to enrich web-based application development, particularly as it relates to applications that depend upon frequent user interaction and feedback. Finally, DotCloud understands itself as “huge fans of MongoDB” and now supports MongoDB 2.0. In the wake of today’s announcement, DotCloud now supports multiple languages and technology stacks in addition to vertical scaling and support for WebSockets within a product offering that illustrates the increasing richness of the PaaS space.