VMware announced today a new cloud application platform called Cloud Foundry, designed to provide developers and organizations alike with ample choices in how cloud applications are created, delivered, and maintained. The company is also making available an open source version of Cloud Foundry, as well as a virtual appliance that developers can run on their Macs and PCs.
"Flexibility" is the operative word in describing Cloud Foundry. The concept is that a developer can create an application in any framework he or she chooses. Through Cloud Foundry, that application could be connected with any number of application infrastructure services -- say, a cloud-based relational database or an in-house database -- and be exposed to users via any number of public or private clouds.
The allure for developers, per VMware, is that they can code an application one time in their language of choice -- the current list of supported languages includes Spring for Java, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby, and Node.js -- as well as other JVM-based frameworks, such as Grails, without having to be concerned with how the application fits into a specific IT environment.
Rather, the organization that ends up adopting the application would use Cloud Foundry to connect that code with the application infrastructure services of their choice, such as messaging and data services. Not surprising, Cloud Foundry works with VMWare's vFabric services, which include cloud messaging, elastic data management, load balancing, and performance management. At first, VMWare will provide basic services, such as a relational database, but will expand the menu. Other initial choices include MySQL, Redis, and MongoDB; RabbitMQ will soon follow. Once the application is connected with the necessary services through Foundry, a company can choose to present it through whichever public or private clouds it wants.
Appealing to the open source crowd, VMware announced an open source version of Cloud Foundry. Available immediately at the Cloud Foundry website, this project is under Apache 2 license and enables developers to inspect, evaluate, and modify Cloud Foundry software based on their own needs.
Also as part of the announcement, VMware said it will soon release a tool called Micro Cloud, a complete, downloadable instance of Cloud Foundry contained within a virtual machine with which developers can more easily build and test applications.
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