ActiveState has created a Private PaaS that supports Perl and Python as well as Java, and is based on the Open Source CloudFoundry distribution, packaged and distributed in a VM image, or installed to a wide range of IaaS platforms (public or private).
ActiveState is well known in Open Source communities as packaging/distribution vendor for dynamic languages – Perl, Python and Tcl. A sort of Red Hat for dynamic development languages. It also has a Komodo IDE for these languages, and a strong pedigree in contributing back into the Open Source projects which it packages. Stackato is also essentially a packaging of these and other Open Source technologies. It’s an interesting take on the PaaS space – PaaS becomes a packaging problem – just like the Linux Distro. For the customer, the choice of PaaS/Distro is partly about the breadth in the package and partly the mix of pricing, support and warranty offered by the PaaS/Distro.
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
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.
It is interesting to see Edward’s comment that according to EMC/VMware, widespread production deployment of Cloud Apps is 3-5 years off. If that is the case the VMware CloudFoundry initiative should be focused on cutting-edge development rather than porting existing apps, and in much the same way that Microsoft has always courted developers, CloudFoundry should be the latest cool thing for developer productivity. It’s interesting to talk about this stuff in the abstract, and at the strategic level, but sometimes it’s worth understanding what happens when you need to make the decisions for yourself.
So, although I’m more of an Architect than a Developer I’m knocking up a prototype application – this isn’t a thought experiment I really am building a real prototype with a view to showing to a real enterprise customer (in fact several), but it’s not being built for one specific customer so there aren’t any pre-defined corporate standards on the technology that I have to build it on.
Rumors have intensified since our post back in June suggesting VMware might acquire SUSE Linux from Novell as part of a “fire sale” of Novell’s assets. Much of the rationale we articulated has been repeated in posts on other sites.
VMware would get, a widely-adopted operating system with great application and tool support.
VMware would have a long-term strategy to compete with Microsoft at the Operating System level in case Hyper-V became the dominant hypervisor under Windows.
VMware would have the last major layer in its SpringSource platform, now re-named vFabric
However, nobody has picked up on another point we made:
If VMware buys Novell, it can create an entire clone of Microsoft Azure without a single piece of Microsoft software in the stack.