Earlier this week at the Cloud Foundry summit in San Francisco, Canopy, a joint venture of EMC, VMware and French IT solution provider Atos, announced a new platform-as-a-service offering built from the open source Cloud Foundry platform, which aims to meet the needs of enterprises and improve productivity for developers.
Canopy, which is based in London, has begun searching for North American channel partners to sell Cloud Fabric, its new PaaS offering, Faiz Parkar, global director of product marketing for Canopy’s PaaS business unit, told CRN.
Canopy Cloud Fabric offers as a managed cloud service the enterprise-grade Pivotal distribution of Cloud Foundry, Parkar told CRN. Pivotal is a spin-off of two of Canopy’s parent companies: EMC and VMware.
Much of the excitement about Cloud Foundry, and PaaS in general, is coming from software developers who want to spend their time building applications for the cloud, not managing cloud infrastructure.
“It gives developers not only freedom to choose different types of infrastructure for deployment, but to focus more on what they do better, which is writing code that delivers innovative new experiences to the customer,” Parkar told CRN.
Developers can “abstract away from the underlying infrastructure” and the headaches of installing, configuring and maintaining that infrastructure, he said.
Cloud Foundry is infrastructure-agnostic, allowing developers freedom to build applications for any hardware or cloud provider and focus on consuming the functionality of the Cloud Foundry environment without worrying about the operational aspects.
Many Canopy clients are multinational enterprises that are finding that as they go digital, they have to get better at developing new tools, software and processes, Parkar said.
“PaaS is really the underpinning foundation that delivers that capability to organizations to develop software faster and accelerate time to market,” Parkar said.
The Canopy PaaS adds value on top of the Pivotal Cloud Foundry distribution. Among those value-added propositions are a number of tenancy options, from shared services to virtual private instances, to fully dedicated hardware.
The service also offers different data location options in North America, Europe and Asia. For customers who choose dedicated private tenancy, their systems can be deployed at Canopy data centers, in their own data centers, or hosted by other cloud providers.
Canopy also announced at the San Francisco summit that the company is joining the Cloud Foundry Foundation responsible for guiding how the open PaaS evolves to meet the needs of its users.
Cloud Fabric is still in the early adopter stage, and Canopy is looking to develop a network of partners in the U.S. and around the world, Parkar said.
Canopy will allow partners who find customers for the PaaS cloud to familiarize themselves with the technology in an early-adopter program at no cost, Parkar told CRN.
For solution providers now focused on offering IaaS, “it gives them opportunity to up-level their conversation, from an infrastructure level to a software and application development level,” Parkar said.
Those solution providers can develop and deploy applications onto their own IaaS clouds, offering the Cloud Foundry platform as a higher-level service that will drive consumption of their infrastructure offering, Parkar told CRN.
As the IaaS provider market increasingly consolidates over the next few years, Canopy believes solution providers will need to move up the stack to stay relevant in the market.
PaaS is “really the opportunity for them to engage customers with an offer that’s more highly differentiated and delivers higher value to the organization,” Parkar told CRN.