Cloud Foundry alternatives

Cloud Foundry
Cloud Foundry is analternative open cloud platform as a service, providing a choice of clouds, developer frameworks and application services. Initiated by VMware, with broad industry support, Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy and scale applications. It is an open source project and is available through a variety of private cloud distributions and public cloud instances, including CloudFoundry.com.



Here are the latest news about Cloud Foundry:

11.10.17 Cloud Foundry adds native Kubernetes support


Cloud Foundry, the open-source platform as a service (PaaS) offering for enterprise made an early bet on Docker containers, but with Kubo, which Pivotal and Google donated to the project last year, the project gained a new tool for allowing its users to quickly deploy and manage a Kubernetes cluster (Kubernetes being the Google-backed open-source container orchestration tool that itself is becoming the de facto standard for managing containers). The project is now taking Kubo, renaming it to “Cloud Foundry Container Runtime” (because who needs cute names, after all), and making it a core part of the Cloud Foundry platform. Unsurprisingly, Google and Pivotal worked with Cloud Foundry on building this integration.


2012 Surprise! VMWare has joined OpenStack


Recently we found out that the open cloud platform alliance OpenStack includes several members from EMC. It was a surprise, because EMC owns VMWare - the direct competitor of OpenStack. We thought that it was a little misunderstanding in the Swedish family EMC-VMWare. But this wasn't the last surprise in this story. In the end of the last week, VMWare personally became the "Gold member" in OpenStack. (Recall, OpenStack was founded two years ago in order to struggle against the dominance of Amazons's public cloud and VMWare's data-center cloud management systems). Together with VMWare two more giants: Intel and NEC joined OpenStack on Friday. So now, on the cloud platform market we have the confrontation: Amazon vs "Everyone else". You may think that the forces are not equal, but ...

It's likely that VMWare's entry hardly strengthen OpenStack. First, VMWare is not going to stop developing its (competing) solutions vCloud cloud platform and Cloud Foundry. The company is considering it's contribution to OpenStack as an diversification of investments in cloud platforms. Second, it's probably just a political (or marketing) step by VMWare. Because its main virtualization-competitor Citrix has recently quit OpenStack. So it's an excellent opportunity to turn the whole cloud market against the rival.

In result, OpenStack may not just become the Soviet Union but the Soviet Union with political games. At first glance, such organization can't be effective.


2011 SaaS vendors using third-party PaaS as their own

SuccessFactors Cloud Foundry
An interesting new trend is emerging: SaaS vendors start to use third-party PaaS services as platforms for their own clients and partners. Let's first consider the ordinary situation. For example, there was such SaaS provider as Salesforce. And it provided the online CRM system. The system was growing but the customers wanted more and more new features. Then Salesforce management thought: "we can't implement so many features, and it's not right to make the system too complicated. Let's better create a (PaaS) platform, and let our customers and partners create add-on apps and functions themselves. That's how Force.com appeared. And many others SaaS vendors headed the same way: Google, NetSuite, Intuit, Box.net ... But not all SaaS-providers are so mighty to create own PaaS platform. Or maybe creating own PaaS-platform - is not the smartest option. Why not use one of the existing PaaS-services, such as Force.com?

That's what Workday, Infor and Concur decided to do last summer. They created SDK and interfaces for Force.com and offered their customers and partners to build applications on Force.com and use the data inside their systems. And a few days ago another SaaS-giant SuccessFactors (which is the champion in SaaS-implementation size) has partnered with VMWare to use its PaaS-Platform CloudFoundry.


2011 VMware wants to revolutionize PaaS market

VMware Cloud Foundry
We have already noted that PaaS (Platform as a Service) - is the future of cloud platforms. For now the PaaS market is dominated by Salesforce (Force.com), Microsoft (Windows Azure) and Google (Google App Engine). Recently Amazon also entered this space with AWS Elastic Beanstalk. Of course VMWare also has its own plans regarding this market. Like Amazon, VMWare still paid more attention to another cloud technology - IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Its product vCloud enables service providers and enterprises to create cloud platforms that mimic Amazon EC2. But, frankly speaking, VMWare hasn't achieved great success in the IaaS-space so far, because it didn't offer something revolutionary. Having analyzed these mistakes, the company is now entering the PaaS market. And here it really wants to make a revolution.

Few days ago VMWare unveiled online service Cloud Foundry and the eponymous "portable" PaaS platform. The mane feature of this platform is that it's completely free and open-source. According to the developers, it can work anywhere - on a single server, in the enterprise data center, in a public cloud (e.g. Amazon or vCloud), as well as on several of these infrastructures, forming so-called "federated cloud." Thus, it's eliminating the main drawback of existing PaaS-solutions - locking to a single provider.

The second feature of Cloud Foundry - is its extensibility. For example, Google App Engine only supports Python and Java. Windows Azure - primarily designed for use with Microsoft's .NET framework. But VMWare Cloud Foundry initially supports Spring Java, Rails, Sinatra and Node.JS and allows you to integrate other frameworks. So the platform does not limit developers in their tools and infrastructure software. Moreover, for the convenience of developers, VMWare will soon release a micro version of Cloud Foundry, that can be installed on any PC.

It is also interesting that the Cloud Foundry will compete with a joint project of VMWare and Salesforce - VWForce (which is now a part of the Force.com). Probably now these two companies diverge and each will go its own way to the top of the PaaS-market.