All posts by Mike Norman

From 2009 to 2014 Dr Mike Norman was the Analyst at The Virtualization Practice for Open Source Cloud Computing. He covered PaaS, IaaS and associated services such as Database as a Service from an open source development and DevOps perspective. He has hands-on experience in many open source cloud technologies, and an extensive background in application lifecycle tooling; automated testing - functional, non-functional and security; digital business and DevOps. in 2014 he moved on to become Cloud Services Architect at JP Morgan Chase.

Secret Shopper Report – VMware CloudFoundry

To recap the story so far, I’m prototyping an application and deploying it to various PAAS environments. I am not getting any special help from any of the vendors in this exercise – you can think of me as a “secret shopper” for PaaS, although I don’t hide my identity. I am approaching each platform on its own merits, and in these posts I am recounting and contrasting my experiences and reaching some general conclusions about the PaaS market. Continue reading Secret Shopper Report – VMware CloudFoundry

Cumulogic Launches Highly Diverse PaaS Cloud

Over the last few months, we have identified a trend towards “diversity” in the PaaS provider marketplace. Platform as a Service has become Platforms as a Service, the providers are offering multiple choices at each layer of the platform infrastructure, and seeing their role as automating the provisioning of  properly configured instances as required at each layer of the stack.

On Aug 2nd, there was another entrant to this “diverse” PaaS provider marketplace  called Cumulogic,  a startup with a PaaS cloud positioned alongside Red Hat OpenShift and VMware CloudFoundry that we identified earlier. Continue reading Cumulogic Launches Highly Diverse PaaS Cloud

PaaS Platform experience – Red Hat OpenShift

As mentioned in a couple of recent posts, I have been building a prototype application using Open Source technologies that I plan to install on a number of available PaaS cloud platforms.  The application is written in Groovy (with some bits in Java) and built on the Grails framework. The choice to go with this set of technologies is documented in Why would a Developer choose VMware? and my experiences leveraging the Open Source ecosystem around Groovy/Grails is outlined in VMware’s SpringSource Ecosystem

Subsequent to those posts I still feel pretty comfortable about the technology choices, although I have had to move away from the “scaffolded” user interface provided by Grails and build some javascript widgetry that sits in the browser. For this I chose another technology I happen to be familiar with called Dojo. It’s essentially a set of compressed javascript files that can be served out from any web server, or even linked to dynamically at one of three externally-hosted sites. It can be used to make a web application look like a proper enterprise application with menus, tabbed panels, grids and charts etc. I glued it back into the Grails Controller/Domain layer via json and Xhr (Ajax). Continue reading PaaS Platform experience – Red Hat OpenShift

Cisco, Intel, and Citrix Re-invent OpenStack Networking for the Enterprise

As of its Cactus release (April 2011), the OpenStack Open Source Cloud infrastructure project had three main subprojects: OpenStack Compute (code-named Nova) for provisioning and managing large networks of virtual machines, OpenStack Object Storage (code-named Swift) for creating redundant, scalable object storage, and OpenStack Image Service (code-named Glance) for providing discovery, registration, and delivery services for virtual disk images. Over the last few months an additional sub-project codenamed Quantum has emerged  which deals explicitly with networking and has participation from networking giants Intel and Cisco as well as from Citrix. It’s a mechanism for defining network topologies aimed at providing Layer-2 network connectivity for VM instances running in clouds based on the OpenStack cloud fabric. It is designed to be extensible to allow higher-level services (VPN, QoS, etc) to be built on top, and to cleanly handle the “edge of network” problem (i.e., the binding of the cloud into the internet). Continue reading Cisco, Intel, and Citrix Re-invent OpenStack Networking for the Enterprise

Red Hat releases MRG 2.0 – messaging for the cloud.

We’ve touched on Red Hat’s Cloud strategy in a number of posts. To summarize they’re trying to play at all levels in the stack, from IAAS and PaaS through to hypervisor and of course operating system. All layers are open, and as you get further down the stack towards virtualization they are pushing KVM but they are clear that they have to co-exist with Microsoft and VMware.  In the IaaS layer they have DeltaCloud, which is nominally open but is really a Red Hat product with an open veneer. In the PaaS layer they have a stack of really good middleware from JBoss, and an openness to a whole bunch of Java/JVM and non-JVM languages.  They’re punting this out to the world as OpenShift.

So far, although there are nuances that differ from other vendors, the main conclusion is that each individual layer is comparable to offerings from competitors.  However, there is one layer that sets Red Hat apart from competitive offerings, known as MRG – Messaging Realtime and Grid, pronounced “Merge”.  If you’re wondering what this is, it seems also that some of are bits of Red Hat’s marketing department that haven’t got a clue either because the market positioning is a bit vague. Continue reading Red Hat releases MRG 2.0 – messaging for the cloud.

VMware’s SpringSource Ecosystem

As mentioned in my previous piece I’ve been doing some prototyping using SpringSource’s Grails. Grails can be thought of as the top of the stack.  If you pick up Grails you would naturally pull in the other pieces of SpringSource, including vFabric and ultimately CloudFoundry.   In a future post I will deal with what happens when you stick Grails onto CloudFoundry, but at this stage I’ve been assessing the health of the SpringSource Ecosystem. Continue reading VMware’s SpringSource Ecosystem

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