It’s been a year since VMware launched Cloud Foundry. This was an important milestone for VMware in establishing itself as a platform company. VMware has been on an acquisition spree to consolidate its offerings to woo the developers. It started with RabbitMQ, GemStone and finally SpringSource. But announcing Cloud Foundry was a masterstroke from VMware to tackle the competition that exists in the form of Microsoft and Amazon. How did it fare in the first one year of its existence? Read further!
VMware put two rock stars, Derek Collison and Mark Lucovsky on the job to create an architecture that would truly democratize PaaS. What they came out with is not just yet another PaaS but a meta PaaS (the marketing term from VMware for this is Open PaaS) that can run anywhere from a developer notebook PC to a massive Public Cloud. I called it meta PaaS because it is a framework for any vendor to implement a PaaS based on their preferred language, framework and runtime. Microsoft and Google spent a lot of dollars and resources to design Windows Azure and Google App Engine. An average platform company cannot match the engineering brilliance and the complexity of Windows Azure or Google App Engine. So, till Cloud Foundry became available, the prominent PaaS players remained to be Microsoft, Google, SalesForce.com, Engine Yard and Heroku. But in the last one year, there has been a huge proliferation of PaaS players and most of them have built an offering based on Cloud Foundry. This has made me wonder if VMware is the new Microsoft in the PaaS World?
VMware has taken a leaf from the OpenStack book. If OpenStack has democratized IaaS by becoming an open source and hypervisor agnostic Cloud Controller, VMware did exactly the same by offering a platform independent PaaS framework. Just like OpenStack is powering big names like HP and AT&T, some well-known platform companies are consuming Cloud Foundry. It is all set to commoditize PaaS by turning every low-end hoster into a potential PaaS player. Undoubtedly, both OpenStack and Cloud Foundry disrupted the IaaS and PaaS landscape in the last one year.