VMware Counters Windows Azure With Cloud Foundry
VMware has launched Cloud Foundry, an open source platform-as-a-service designed for cloud service providers.Without mentioning Microsoft Windows Azure by name, it sounds like VMware Cloud Foundry is VMware’s attempt to counter Microsoft’s platform as a service (PaaS) efforts. But how does VMware Cloud Foundry differ from OpenStack? We’ve got some initial perspectives.
With Cloud Foundry, VMware is aiming to provide a “new generation” application platform, giving developers a way to streamline the deployment and scalability of their cloud applications — while also enabling a greater flexibility to choose between public and private clouds, developer frameworks, and application infrastructure services.
According to VMware’s press release, Cloud Foundry leapfrogs PaaS offerings that force developers into using a specific or non-standard framework, potentially running from a single vendor-operated cloud. That sounds like a thinly veiled jab at Microsoft Windows Azure.
So while PaaS is key to the future of cloud application development, vendor lock-in runs prevalent as workloads and software can’t be moved from one cloud to another. But Cloud Foundry supports any number of popular, open frameworks and databases like Ruby On Rails and MySQL. VMware even claims Cloud Foundry supports non-VMware environments.
There are four different ways to use VMware Cloud Foundry:
- hosted by VMware;
- as an open source, community download that’s especially useful for testing and evaluation;
- as a Micro Cloud virtual appliance; and
- most relevantly, a forthcoming commercial edition for enterprises and service providers.
VMware says that the service provider edition will also enable portability across hybrid clouds, meaning that an enterprise can deploy internally and migrate to a vCloud provider’s platform.
At least on paper, it sounds like VMware Cloud Foundry is aiming to do for PaaS what OpenStack is doing for IaaS. But where OpenStack is taking on Amazon EC2, VMware Cloud Foundry has Windows Azure in its sights. As always, adoption is the real measure of a product, so we’ll see if developers buy VMware’s open source line.