Cloud Foundry: Taking PaaS to a New Level

Recently I posted about how Amazon continue to release innovative Cloud Computing services at a rate that is not matched by their competitors. Google, Microsoft and many others have been very slow in comparison. This week things changed. VMware have announced Cloud Foundry, something that totally disrupts the current Platform as a Service (PaaS) landscape.

Cloud Foundry is not a new concept. I posted on this some time back when it was a PaaS for Java developers. Since then VMware have entered agreements with Google and Salesforce.com to further widen the scope of the PaaS offering but nothing concrete was released from these partnerships. This week things changed in a BIG way. VMware released Cloud Foundry, and in its new form it has the potential to be THE PaaS of choice for all developers. This is a sweeping statement given Azure, Google App engine, Amazons Elastic Beanstalk amongst others are the competition.

So why am I so excited about Cloud Foundry ? Let me try and explain. Current PaaS offerings typically have the following characteristics :

  • Tied to a particular environment e.g Azure (.NET), Google App Engine (Java Python), Elastic Beanstalk (Java)
  • Vendor Lock-in, lack of cloud portability
  • Fixed development environment e.g Viusal Studio for Azure
  • Deployed on a Public cloud only

These are just some many considerations/concerns. So what does Cloud Foundry offer in comparison ?

  • Developers free to use whichever framework and programming language they choose
  • Potentially deployable to any cloud infrastructure
  • Developers use whichever development environment they choose
  • Deploy to public or private clouds

Cloud Foundry has been made open source and can run on any Cloud infrastructure including Amazon AWS and many others. This means that developers can choose whichever programming language, development environment they wish, build their applications and then deploy to whichever cloud they like with NO modification to the code base. In its current form, Cloud Foundry supports the following languages, Java, Groovy, Ruby and Node.js. Others will follow shortly.

In summary, VMware have released a Cloud platform that has the potential to totally revolutionise the PaaS landscape. This is important as it enables developers to do what they do best – develop in the language and framework of choice and have no concerns about deployment environments, operating systems etc. The release is in beta form and you can subscribe to get a free account at cloudfoundry.com. I have subscribed and will let you know how I find the platform.

For anybody who is interested in Cloud Computing and how it can benefit your organisation, for instance, as a developer how can PaaS help me ?, what is the difference between Microsft Azure, Google App Engine, Force.com, Elastic Beanstalk and others as well as gain hands-on experience of the tools why not consider attending Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course. An industry leading cloud computing practitioner will present the course and be on hand to answer all your questions.

Chris

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