Today in Cloud

VMware yesterday launched Cloud Foundry, an open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering aimed directly at competitors such as Salesforce‘s Force.com and Microsoft‘s Windows Azure. A blog post by VMware CTO Steve Herrod lays out the core proposition, and emphasises both simplification (of the processes around creation, deployment, and running of cloud-based applications) and choice (of developer frameworks such as Java and Rails, and of cloud infrastructure). GigaOM’s Stacey Higginbotham reckons that Cloud Foundry “is a pretty big deal,” and believes that this new development threatens community efforts such as OpenStack as much as established middleware providers like IBM. Over at CloudAve, Krishnan Subramanian claims that “VMware has completely disrupted the PaaS space with this announcement,” stressing the importance of Cloud Foundry’s ability to run on a range of public clouds, in a “downloadable Micro Cloud” and even on a developer’s laptop. With Cloud Foundry, VMware leverages the strengths of acquisitions such as SpringSource, RabbitMQ, GemStone and Mozy, and establishes itself as a serious contender in the cloud. For too long, PaaS has been the rather unloved runt of the Cloud stack (Infrastructure, Platform, Software/Applications), always seen as full of potential but rarely delivering anything compelling. Maybe Cloud Foundry changes that.