This is great news for cloud users and a major milestone in the industry. Most cloud providers create their own (closed) IaaS, PaaS and other *aaS, but CloudFoundry brings a new and refreshing message to this industry.
Being an open source project and integrating quite a few other powerful open-source solutions, CloudFoundry can create a whole that’s larger than the sum of its parts – it supports multiple frameworks, cloud providers and application services, providing developers with maximum flexibility and freedom of choice (no vendor lock-in!).
CloudFoundry’s stack includes virtualization technology, application platforms for Java and Ruby, a few data storage solutions, and a cloud management framework. In my view, it offers a more comprehensive solution than other previous attempts at similar initiatives (such as OpenStack).
With CloudFoundry, VMware demonstrates the value of their investment in SpringSource as an application platform and how well the application layer can bond with the infrastructure layer to build a more robust foundation for the cloud.
These days, VMware is demonstrating their stack on a live cloud, which will definitely boost evaluation by developers and enterprises that are looking for a more streamlined and flexible cloud development-to-production on-boarding process. Hopefully, this will increase adoption of the CloudFoundry stack in both private and public clouds.
CloudFoundry also has another possible side effect on the growth and distribution of the cloud environment: Many infrastructure companies such as Telco’s, web hosting giants, and similar companies that keep crunching the numbers with license costs and operational costs, just can’t make it work. CloudFoundry may just be the solution to enable them to jump more quickly on to the cloud-providers cart, and offers cloud services on top of their existing infrastructure.
To quote from one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes – “The Bottle Deposit:”
NEWMAN: Wait a minute. You mean you get five cents here, and ten cents there. You could round up bottles here and run ‘em out to Michigan for the difference.
KRAMER: No, it doesn’t work.
NEWMAN: What d’you mean it doesn’t work? You get enough bottles together…
KRAMER: Yeah, you overload your inventory and you blow your margins on gasoline. Trust me, it doesn’t work.
JERRY: Hey, you’re not talking that Michigan deposit bottle scam again, are you?
It seems like VMware might just provide the right-sized truck with free gasoline to make it work…
Compared to Microsoft Azure, this is a completely different ball game. Azure is not open source and it is also very much bound to (and by) Microsoft technologies. Mobility and flexibility is not an option in such a setup, and customer lock-in is guaranteed. The same goes for Salesforce.com. With CloudFoundry, cloud users and infrastructure providers could take advantage of a flexible and growing ecosystem to facilitate their cloud endeavors.
As a player in the cloud database domain, Xeround is independent from any specific cloud environment. Our technology is cloud-agnostic in the sense it can run on any cloud service provider. One of the most important values we bring to our customers is allowing them the flexibility to choose between various clouds or moving from one cloud to another with no need to change their application code or setup. CloudFoundry provides similar freedom of choice by allowing their users to migrate their CloudFoundry-based applications between cloud providers.
These days, we are working on integrating Xeround DBaaS with CloudFoundry to enable CloudFoundry customers to benefit from the most advanced database technology in the cloud. Since Xeround’s database is MySQL compatible, any MySQL-based application running on CloudFoundry can be easily migrated to a highly scalable, highly available and fully managed database service, with all the “comfy” features that can make “life in production” so much easier.
I think CloudFoundry is a great strategic move by VMware, which will surely position it as a top cloud player in the market. Look forward to Xeround on CloudFoundry soon!