CloudFoundry: The New Kid On The PaaS Block

Hammer and Anvil

CloudFoundry launched this week with a lot of hoohah.  It certainly puts it up to Azure and Google App Engine in the PaaS space, but I don’t think Amazon have much to worry about. The ability to build a concrete implementation of a hybrid cloud with the same stack running inside the firewall as outside is the most compelling aspect.

My belief is that the company to crack hybrid clouds will be the big winner in the cloud space and this is the best shot yet (as long as you are using Java, RoR or Node.js).

They didn’t say much about their messaging/queueing offering and I think this is because the integration points between the most popular messaging platforms and CloundFoundry’s supported programming environments is not cleanly defined i.e. can RabbitMQ be used with Java and can can SwiftMQ be used with RoR, more importantly, are they used in this way?

The critical success factor for CloudFoundry will be how easy is it to add new core components. The Open Source approach means that the private cloud guys can hack their own components in, but how easy will it be to get VMWare to allow other components into the mix. Conspicuously absent were, Cassandra, PHP, Python/Django, Oracle and Postgres. Of course anything from Win32 stable was persona non-grata leaving a lot on the field for Microsoft to pick up.

The dirty little secret of course is that CloudFoundry is actually the best invention ever for selling vSphere and vCenter virtualisation to the private cloud gang. Even if, for instance, RedHat were to port CloudFoundry to KVM it would be an implict endorsement of VMWare’s strategy, and RedHat doesn’t like endorsing competitors strategies.

Of course the real vendor in a quandry here is IBM. Late to the private cloud party and desperately rebadging the last decade’s technology as cloud (P690 anyone?).  Late to the public cloud party and finding it impossible difficult to sell a retail product (ever watch an elephant try to use chopsticks) . Now blown out of the water by an Open Source offering in a space which IBM would consider its own personal high ground when competing against Azure.

Expect a flurry of acquisitions as the also rans play catch up. Nice dice VMware!

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