The partnership between Piston Cloud and VMware is not totally unexpected though, says Krishnan Subramanian, principal analyst at Rishidot Research, who tracks the cloud industry. There has been buzz about integration of OpenStack with Cloud Foundry given they are both open source projects and Piston Cloud is a natural company to take that leadership position, Subramanian says. Piston Cloud co-founder Josh McKenty is one of the co-founders of the OpenStack project. "These two companies fundamentally disagree on their core philosophies but this is more of a marriage of convenience," Subramanian says.
It's only natural, Subramanian says, for OpenStack to begin to integrate with a PaaS offering. As the IaaS market becomes commoditized, the real value for providers is in PaaS offerings, he says. OpenStack end-users, such as cloud service providers and large enterprises, will increasingly demand PaaS integration, Subramanian predicts. While there has been some discussion about OpenStack developing an in-house PaaS tool, Subramanian says that would have been a waste of resources if there are open source PaaS projects that OpenStack can integrate with, such as Cloud Foundry.
PAAS BACKGROUND: A world of PaaS-ibilities
Meanwhile, VMware is looking to enhance its open source credentials, Subramanian says. In the IaaS market, VMware is seen as a proprietary competing offering to OpenStack, but in PaaS it is looking to establish itself as an open source player. "Even though [VMware] released Cloud Foundry under open source license, there are still suspicions about VMware's hidden agenda among open source practitioners and pundits," Subramanian says. "By supporting this project, VMware wants to clear up any apprehensions that they will derail the CloudFoundry project in the future to suit their business agenda. In my opinion, I don't see VMware having any such agenda but even if they have, there will be forks and there are credible companies ready to lead the fork."
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social media. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.