IBM and Pivotal will collaborate on the open-source Cloud Foundry PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) platform.
Cloud Foundry has a somewhat convoluted history for a relatively new product. In December 2012, VMware announced that it would spin off several business units into a new entity, the Pivotal Initiative, which would be headed by EMC chief strategy officer Paul Maritz. Cloud Foundry was one of those business units, along with Cetas, VMware’s vFabric, and employees and resources from EMC’s Greenplum and Pivotal Labs organizations.
Cloud Foundry’s open-source framework supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ (an enterprise messaging system), MongoDB, and a variety of custom services. It also backs applications written in JVM-based languages such as Java and Groovy.
IBM plans on integrating Cloud Foundry into its open cloud architecture. “This paired with open source and standards such as Open Stack, OSLC, and TOSCA brings the industry closer to an interoperable cloud,” Daniel Sabbah, general manager of Next Generation Platforms for IBM, wrote in a statement.
As part of the agreement, Pivotal and IBM are working on technology that enables developers and IT pros to deploy programming languages and frameworks to the Cloud Foundry platform; early projects include a preview version of WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core, a lightweight version of the WebSphere Application Server.
IBM will also join a variety of Cloud Foundry users and vendors on a “community advisory board” established by Pivotal, which will continue to guide the Cloud Foundry brand. “We believe that the Cloud Foundry platform has the potential to become an extraordinary asset that many players can leverage in an open way to enable a new generation of applications for the cloud,” Paul Maritz wrote in a statement.
This isn’t IBM’s first foray into the open-source cloud: in March, Big Blue announced that OpenStack would undergird its cloud services and software. OpenStack is an open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform developed as part of a joint effort by Rackspace and NASA, launched in 2010. As part of that OpenStack announcement, IBM unveiled SmartCloud Orchestrator, which lets companies unite public and private cloud resources onto their infrastructure via a streamlined graphical interface.
If IBM can unite a variety of partners and developers under an open-source banner, it stands a better chance of competing against tech giants such as Amazon that offer proprietary cloud-infrastructure platforms. But that also depends on those partners and developers going one step further and choosing IBM’s products as part of their open-sourced infrastructure.
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