Private PaaS Update – Stackato 2.0 and Cumulogic 1.0

ActiveState Stackato and CumuLogic are private PaaS.  Over the last few weeks Stackato has moved to a 2.0 version and CumuLogic has moved out of Beta to a 1.0 release.  CumuLogic 1.0 is a Java-only PaaS with support for Amazon, HP Cloud Services, and private clouds including Citrix CloudStack, Eucalyptus, OpenStack and VMware vSphere.   Stackato has a similar range of public and privae IaaS on which it operates (vSphere, KVM, XenServer, OpenStack, EC2 AMI, HP CS) but it has a much  broader set of language compatibilities  including .NET.ther new features in Version 2.0 are a centralized web-based management console and some support for charge-back (i.e. billing) through API.  Performace management is through integration with New Relic. There is  additional security support in multi-tenancy by using Linux Containers (LXC).

CumuLogic 1.0 focuses on three key functional areas:

Application Development

ActiveState refers to its  “market leadership in PaaS polyglot compatibility”  by which it means the broad range of languages – There are the obvious suspects – Java, Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, plus Clojure, Scala, Erlang and various Heroku variations.  In addition, a major new feature in Vesion 2.0 is support for .NET applications through the integration of Iron Foundry.  The server side components of  which run on the Windows 2008 Server Core.  This allows you to deploy and manage Windows applications within the same PaaS as Java Applications, although you do need Windows Servers as part of the mix.  In some ways you can see it as a competitor to Azure, which of course now has IaaS-level linux support to add to it’s .NET PaaS. Alternatively Stackato will provide you with a Mono runtime which might run .NET on a Linux server – although this isn’t part of the standard download.

Developers can create a new cloud-based application using their preferred IDE – no proprietary SDK required insuring portability, and deploy their application with a single-click deployment in any cloud.

Application Migration
Existing Java applications can be migrated from physical or virtual environments with minimal-to-zero code re-write to leverage the elasticity and economics of the cloud.

Application Management
The application management function includes all the enterprise-ready features out-of-the-box, including high availability and self-healing, monitoring and real-time application-level usage metering.

Neither company is doing a public PaaS, although both offer sandbox installations for you to play with and CumuLogic has a deal with Contegix to offer a hosted version.  The main business model is sales of the private PaaS itself. In developing their platforms the two companies have taken very different approaches. CumuLogic has built its own technology which is closed source and focussed on the mainstream Java marketplace, and this platform is subject to a commercial licence. ActiveState have taken a “packaging” model, collecting together various bits from the open source community and providing what is essentially a value-added distribution of CloudFoundry, and this plaform is subject to an open source licence with payment for support.

Both products are still fairly early in the marketplace, and will of course, compete with Red Hat OpenShift, other versions of CloudFoundry (including VMware), a number of other PaaS solutions,  and hand-built solutions on IaaS. CumuLogic is in charge of its own destiny and can add features to its product as it sees market demand emerging. In contrast Stackato is clearly becoming very feature-rich very quickly by integrating third party open source technology, but at the expense of some control. It is worth noting before adopting Stackato for .NET that Iron Foundry is a fork of Cloud Foundry that isn’t yet “blessed” by VMware, who ultimately retain control of CloudFoundry. So the key issue here is what VMware is going to do with it’s Cloud business – which Bernd recently discussed. Once that is resolved, something else may emerge as the preferred CloudFoundry/.NET integration.

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