Sorting through enterprise IT's PaaS options
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Open source PaaS is now available on-premises. Whether it can successfully integrate with other platforms, however, remains to be seen.
Pivotal CF, part of a new platform from Pivotal, is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering that includes an enterprise distribution of Cloud Foundry running on VMware Inc.'s vSphere, OpenStack or Amazon Web Services behind a firewall.
Pivotal CF is generally available this week as part of the new Pivotal One suite. This is the first time Pivotal has offered an on-premises version of Cloud Foundry as private PaaS for enterprises, *but another company, ActiveState’s Stackato, also offers private PaaS based on Cloud Foundry. A new version of Stackato, v3.0, was released last week.
Cloud operators will be able to deploy horizontally scalable environments usually reserved for larger internal IT developer services using Pivotal CF, as well as develop, update and grow applications on a private cloud.
John Rymeranalyst, Forrester Research Inc.
"I think it's a good idea; it provides a nice attractive set of services as a platform," said John Rymer, an analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. "But this is about execution; it isn't about vision. We have to see if it really stands up and if they can have a credible strategy that provides that technology in a public cloud and in private installations."
Cloud Foundry being available in-house can only be seen as great progress for the industry, according to Gartner Inc. Vice President and Fellow Yefim Natis.
"A lot of people are using Cloud Foundry as a tool," he said. "It's a standard that's emerging. Cloud Foundry is the de facto standard and that's a very good thing."
Rymer added that the key will be just how well Pivotal CF can integrate itself.
"When someone pulls in other assets, how well will it stand up?" he said. "How well do the pieces work together? Integration is so important; it's going to have a lot to say to determine how good the developer performance is, how easy it is to scale it [and to] make it stable, and really provide a very stable platform."
Since Pivotal has the support of giants such as IBM, Verizon and General Electric, the hope is the partnerships further spur Pivotal's innovation.
"It could very well be [that] you end up with different forks that aren't related to each other, but IBM did substantial due diligence," Rymer said. "This is a platform to build platforms and it's flexible, which IBM loves. We will have to see. Pivotal CF is only part of the strategy."
Pivotal One suite features
Besides Cloud Foundry's private PaaS debut, Pivotal disclosed a number of additional features as part of Pivotal One.
Also made generally available include the distribution of Apache Hadoop; Pivotal AX, which provides automatic analytic instrumentation; RabbitMQ, an open source enterprise messaging system, and a MySQL is also being offered.
"This allows them in the collection of their software to deal with relational data, and also with unstructured data. Now you have Analytics as a Service," Natis said. "Assembling the platform that is focused on completing analytical platforming is visionary."
The messaging service is also needed to provide a complete platform, Rymer said.
RabbitMQ "as a Service" means that rather than a command-line install, it ships as a virtual appliance that can be plugged into vSphere, for example.
Pricing details for Pivotal One and Pivotal CF were not released.
*Information was added after publication.