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VMware Unveils Open Source PaaS Cloud Foundry

by Charles Humble on Apr 12, 2011 |

VMware has today announced the launch of an open source "Platform as a Service" (PaaS), Cloud Foundry.

"The shift to cloud computing is fundamentally transforming what businesses and consumers expect from applications, profoundly challenging traditional application development and infrastructure," said Tod Nielsen, Co-President, Application Platform at VMware, quoted in the company's press release. "Cloud Foundry delivers a dramatically simplified approach that embraces the diversity and speed of modern development that is at the heart of today's most successful applications while exploiting key trends in mobile, social and cloud computing."

VMware says the distinguishing features of the Cloud Foundry platform include the fact that it is built to be “multi-cloud”, to work between private and public environments, and the fact that it is built to work with a wide variety of application frameworks and development tools.

The platform lets you build applications with Java and other JVM-based frameworks such as Grails and Roo, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby (supported Ruby versions are 1.8.7 and 1.9.2) and Node.js. The platform plugs into application services such as RabbitMQ and GemFire, both now owned by VMware. RabbitMQ is an open source messaging platform, while GemFire provides distributed data management. Cloud Foundry also supports MySQL, MongoDB and Redis, with plans to add support for VMware's own vFabric application services.

Jerry Chen, Senior Director of Cloud and Application Services at VMware, told us that from a Java point of view any application that can be packaged as a WAR file and deployed to a servlet container should run on Cloud Foundry. The product does not support Java EE applications however.

The code is available on GitHub under an Apache 2 license, and VMware has launched a beta service based on the code at cloudfoundry.com.

During the webcast VMware also demonstrated a single-developer instance of Cloud Foundry on a virtual machine. Referred to as Micro Cloud, the product will be available Q2 2011. Chen confirmed to InfoQ that a version of this product would also be offered as open source.

In terms of revenue stream, VMware has plans to offer a commercial version of Cloud Foundry for enterprises who want to offer PaaS capabilities within their own private clouds, and for service providers who want to offer Cloud Foundry via their public cloud services. This commercial solution will enable enterprises to integrate the PaaS environment with their application frameworks and services portfolio, VMware say. Pricing information has not yet been released.

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single cloud instance by Brian Edwards

I would have called a "micro cloud" a Droplet. Is the vmW marketing department hiring?

Re: single cloud instance by Gavin Terrill

I like it! Better than "Vapour" that's for sure ;-)

Java EE6 Support by Sam BESS

Since you can use Java EE6 profiles, and package an entire app (with EJBs within), I think you could run it on a tc server instance, hence on cloudfoundry. Still have to try, but there's surely a way to crack this.

"The product does not support Java EE applications however." by George de la Torre

So, Cloud Foundry in not open and only endorses their view on what you could use, Yes, indeed, this was the fear after the demise of SUN, "Java my way" will settle in...

So wonderful to have AWS!

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