Informatica Launches PaaS For Data Integration In Latest Release Of Informatica Cloud

This week, Informatica revealed the latest edition of its data integration software Informatica Cloud in the form of Informatica Cloud Spring 2012. Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 features the Informatica Cloud Developer Edition, a platform as a service for data integration that empowers developers to create connectors between on-premise or cloud-based applications and the Informatica Cloud. Whereas Informatica Cloud comes pre-built with connectors to select databases and applications, the Informatica Cloud Developer Edition promises to extend Informatica Cloud’s universe of connectivity by giving developers the tools to build connections between their enterprise data repositories and the Informatica Cloud data integration platform.

Connectors currently available on Informatica Marketplace feature applications such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Twitter and Zuora. The Informatica Cloud Developer Edition provides a data integration platform for developers to build connections as outlined in Informatica’s press release below:

Informatica Cloud Developer Edition enables SIs and ISVs to build, customize and deliver native connectivity to any cloud or on-premise business and social applications that have published Web Services APIs. With the new Cloud Connector Toolkit, developers have access to a Java-based API to quickly create high-performance connectors that run as sources or targets within Informatica Cloud

As long as the relevant application targeted for connection to the Informatica Cloud has a “published Web Services API”, developers can leverage a Java-based API provided by the Informatica Cloud Developer Edition to “create high-performance connectors that run as sources or targets within Informatica Cloud.” Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 also features Cloud Integration Templates that provide developers with pre-built templates for integrating data between and across select data repositories. The templates can be embedded within applications and then loaded to the Informatica Cloud or published in the Informatica Marketplace.

Connections that developers build between applications using the Informatica Cloud Developer Edition can also be sold in the Informatica Marketplace to like-minded enterprises seeking similar integration tools. Importantly, the Informatica Cloud Developer Edition illustrates the emerging popularity of PaaS solutions. By providing developers with a tool for creating customized data integration connectors between data sets and applications, Informatica Cloud promises to capitalize on a market appetite for platforms that empower enterprises to customize data integration to their own specific business needs. Because those same cloud connectors can be resold, Informatica’s PaaS promises to create an ever-expanding marketplace of reusable tools that expand data integration capabilities with its base product, Informatica Cloud.

ActiveState Launches Stackato 1.2 PaaS With Enhanced Resource Sharing And User Access Control

On Tuesday, ActiveState launched yet another mini-release of its PaaS Stackato platform in the form of Stackato 1.2. Stackato 1.2 gives customers greater control and flexibility over their deployments. For example, Stackato 1.2 provides customers the ability to leverage “file-system-dependent applications like Drupal CMS to share storage between multiple instances.” Moreover, Stackato 1.2 features enhanced app store functionality such as one click deployment of selected applications from the management console. Jeff Hobbs, ActiveState’s VP of Engineering and CTO remarked that “Stackato 1.2 is all about control”:

It’s the only Cloud Foundry-based PaaS solution to offer group and user-specific controls, a powerful tool for enterprises looking to maintain transparent oversight of cloud application development and deployment processes. With Stackato 1.2, IT administrators can set memory, service and application quotas for individual users, or even groups.

Yesterday’s release highlights an aggressive development roadmap in 2012 for Stackato marked by support for OpenStack, Linux KVM and Citrix XenServer and the general availability of a Stackato PaaS platform that can deploy applications on “any language, any stack” and “any cloud.” Enterprises that are wary of public clouds can take advantage of Stackato’s ease of deployment to create a private cloud with performance monitoring technology from New Relic and, as a result of the 1.2 release, the capability to more finely monitor access controls amongst their constituent users at either an individual or group level. The release of Stackato 1.2 marks an exciting moment for PaaS given that the space is suddenly beginning to come of age as revealed by the open-sourcing of Red Hat’s OpenShift code on Monday.

Red Hat Open-Sources OpenShift PaaS And Calls For Cloud Without Vendor Lock-In

It’s official. Red Hat has open-sourced the code to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) product OpenShift as of Monday. The commercial Linux distributor open-sourced the code for its OpenShift Origin product under an Apache License version 2. Developers can now download OpenShift Origin for free and deploy applications on their laptop or behind a firewall. Developers can also deploy OpenShift Origin on top of OpenStack, the open source IaaS platform that has the support of over 160 organizations including Red Hat itself, which is a Platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation that presides over its governance.

OpenShift Origin is open-sourced within the context of a “meritocratic community project, regardless of developer affiliation.” Red Hat’s commitment to a meritocratic governance model for contributions to OpenShift Origin’s code base recalls the OpenStack Foundation’s pledge of a “technical meritocracy” with respect to OpenStack’s software development.

Red Hat will serve as the principal contributor to OpenShift Origin in the early stages, but invites input from the developer community at large. Red Hat’s wiki on the OpenShift Origin community reminds readers of the company’s historical commitment to “the open source way” as follows:

Red Hat is the initial main contributor to OpenShift Origin, and is the initial donor to the community. Red Hat does not intend to unilaterally dictate roadmaps, to institute self-serving governance models or to censor critical commentary. Please remember, the people who work at Red Hat do so because they also believe in the open source way.

Red Hat underscores its intention not to “unilaterally dictate roadmaps” or “institute self-serving governance models” but rather to foster a development environment marked by “good faith, merit, open development, working community, and well written code.

Red Hat’s blog post announcing the open-sourcing of OpenShift Origin elaborated on its philosophy of meritocratic code development by taking a thinly disguised jab at VMware and its control over the open source Cloud Foundry PaaS platform:

The cloud in general, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and PaaS implementations specifically, should not be vehicles that promote vendor lock-in, nor should they be under the control or “guidance” of vendors. For the cloud to remain open and vibrant, implementations should be truly open, not only in license, but in governance. The OpenShift Origin project sets a high bar for PaaS offerings, developed and governed by developers, for developers.

Here, Red Hat implicitly questions the open-ness of VMware’s Cloud Foundry given the disproportionate influence had by VMware over the Cloud Foundry project. With these notes about the importance of true open source cloud computing, Red Hat appears to be quietly gearing up for a major entry into both the PaaS and IaaS spaces. OpenShift Origin is intended as the product that will lead developers and organizations “upstream” to its commercial variants of OpenShift such as OpenShift Power, which runs on Red Hat’s IaaS platform CloudForms. Moreover, Red Hat’s commentary about IaaS and PaaS platforms that avoid vendor lock-in hint at the beginnings of a marketing platform that positions the Raleigh-based Linux giant as a major player in the OpenStack space.

Piston Cloud To Develop Interface Betwen OpenStack And Cloud Foundry As IaaS Converges With PaaS

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.

IaaS Startup SingleHop Closes $27.5 Million In Funding From Battery Ventures

Just when it seemed that Amazon Web Services had swallowed all hope for startup IaaS companies, IaaS vendor SingleHop, Inc. announced the finalization of a $27.5 million round of funding led by Battery Ventures with participation from the American Chartered Bank. Founded in 2006, SingleHop specializes in IaaS cloud computing undergirded by automated cloud management software. The company was ranked the #25 fastest growing business in the U.S. in 2011 by Inc. magazine, a significant increase from its #58 spot of the previous year. The $27.5 funding raise represents SingleHop’s first institutional capital raise and promises to position it for explosive growth that builds upon record earnings of $22 million in 2011, a 75% increase in comparison to revenues from 2010.

Dave Tabors, General Partner at Battery Ventures remarked on SingleHop’s positioning in the IaaS space by noting:

“SingleHop is well positioned given the rise in cloud computing and demand for outsourced IT services. With its automated technology platform, the company has carved out a unique position in the market. Customers are happy and sticking around, and that’s a direct result of the company’s business model, coupled with superior technology and a smart leadership team. We’re really looking forward to helping this company scale.”

SingleHop CEO Zak Boca elaborated on Tabors’s remarks on the company’s “automated technology platform” by underscoring how SingleHop was unique in the IaaS space “because all of our services are provided through our proprietary and fully automated platform.” Called LEAP, SingleHop’s technology platform automates the process of deploying and remotely managing servers from a range of computing devices.

Notable data points about SingleHop include the following:

• Clients in 114 countries
• Three data centers—two in Chicago, and one forthcoming in Phoenix
• 100,000+ servers
$22 million in revenue in 2011
• $9.7 million EBITDA in 2011

Chicago-based SingleHop has managed to sustain significant growth during a time period marked by the arrival of bevies of IaaS vendors onto the cloud computing scene. Analysts and enterprise buyers would do well to watch this vendor unfurl its product differentiation as the IaaS market matures, particularly now that it is backed by a venture capital firm that participated in the success of the likes of Akamai, Bladelogic, Groupon, Guidewire Software and Opscode.

Linux Foundation Announces CloudOpen, Technical Conference On Open Source Cloud Computing And Big Data

The Linux Foundation recently announced CloudOpen, a technical conference dedicated to open source cloud computing and big data. The conference is intended to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas about the use of open source cloud and big data technologies. The inaugural CloudOpen technical conference will take place from August 29 to August 31, 2012 in San Diego, California. The conference expects to showcase content of a technical nature related to products such as, but not limited to “Chef, Gluster, Hadoop, KVM, Linux, oVirt, Puppet, and Xen.” The Linux Foundation is currently soliciting Calls For Proposals (CFPs) by June 1. Sponsors of CloudOpen include Dell, Citrix, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, Puppet Labs and SUSE.

CloudOpen is unique amongst cloud computing conferences because of its explicit focus on open-source technologies. The conference enables collaboration and conversation amongst open-source cloud professionals at a historical juncture where CIOs, development managers and software developers are increasingly used to navigating hybrid IT infrastructures featuring a combination of proprietary and open source solutions. Because many open source cloud and big data technologies are new or have only been recently deployed in combination with other solutions, technical resources are likely to benefit tremendously from the conference’s design of facilitating lateral conversations about topics such as best practices, regulatory requirements, deployment challenges, integration with 3rd party software, automation, inter-operability, APIs and ongoing operational challenges.

The Linux Foundation announced CloudOpen in the wake of weeks of recent conversation about open source cloud computing products Eucalytptus, OpenStack and CloudStack. First, Eucalyptus reached a deal with Amazon Web Services such that AWS officially endorsed its API for promoting inter-operability between the Eucalyptus private cloud and the Amazon Web Services platform. The deal means that Eucalyptus customers can migrate data between their data centers and the Amazon Web Services platform by using Eucalyptus APIs that are compatible with Amazon Web Services products such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Then, Citrix open-sourced CloudStack to the Apache Software Foundation despite having made a prior commitment to using OpenStack for CloudStack’s IaaS technological platform. Meanwhile, OpenStack has continued to make waves given the launch of its Foundation, Rackspace’s Beta launch of a commercialized OpenStack platform as well as an endorsement from Puppet Labs. Expect the open source cloud and big data juggernaut to gather steam this spring and summer. Red Hat, for example, will open-source the code for its Platform as a Service, OpenShift, at the Open Cloud Conference from April 30 through May 3.