SpringSource enables Java cloud apps

Company unveils the Cloud Foundry platform for enterprise cloud deployments

Java framework builder SpringSource  is set to provide enterprise Java developers a platform for cloud-based deployments with the unveiling on Tuesday of SpringSource Cloud Foundry.

SpringSource, maker of the popular Spring Framework, will enable applications to be deployed from Cloud Foundry to the Amazon EC2 cloud.

[ Last week, VMware bought SpringSource with an eye toward the cloud move. ]

"[Cloud Foundry] is an enterprise Java cloud where developers can create an account, sign in, and directly deploy Spring, Grails, or other Java applications directly within a public cloud," said Rod Johnson, CEO of SpringSource. Cloud Foundry is expected to be extended to the VMware vCloud cloud platform and might even find its way to other clouds, such as the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.

SpringSource has acquired Cloud Foundry, the company that developed the platform. The logic behind the technology is that it opens up deployment possibilities for small and medium-size enterprises that do not want to deal with their own infrastructure, Johnson said. "This gives them a self-service model where they can write an application and deploy it truly within minutes," he said.

Using a Web interface, developers can make choices such as how many servers to run or where their database configuration should be. The MySQL database will supported initially.

Primarily focused on Web application deployments, Cloud Foundry leverages Hyperic management technology acquired by SpringSource.  While already available in what was described as an alpha stage since January, Cloud Foundry moves to a developer preview release now.

In bringing established frameworks to the table such as Spring and Grails. SpringSource will attract developers looking for an on-demand development platform, said Michael Meehan, senior analyst for application infrastructure at Current Analysis. "The entire point this model of application development is rapid composition of short duration apps that run on an abstracted infrastructure. If you don't have good development frameworks then no one's ever going to use the platform," Meehan said.

At this stage, users of Cloud Foundry only pay Amazon EC2 charges. When it goes to general availability early in 2010, cloud-style usage pricing is expected.

Cloud Foundry differs from the Sun Microsystems Sun Cloud platform, which has been expected to be available this summer supporting Java, Ruby and Python development.  Sun Cloud could be liked to Amazon EC2 in that it is an infrastructure platform while Cloud Foundry operates at a higher level, Johnson said. Cloud Foundry might even one day be deployable on Sun Cloud, he said.

Like SpringSource, Sun also is in the process of being acquired, as Oracle is set to buy the company.

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