Report: HP Kicking Tires On VMware's Cloud Foundry PaaS


Hewlett-Packard is "fully committed" to VMware's Cloud Foundry and is running the platform-as-a-service on the HP Cloud Services private beta it rolled out in September, according to a Friday report from Wired Enterprise.

HP's use of Cloud Foundry, which VMware unveiled in April and is itself still in beta, could help spur adoption of the platform, several of the virtualization kingpin's channel partners told CRN.

"This adds a lot of credibility to Cloud Foundry," said Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center virtualization practices at INX, a Dallas, Texas-based VAR that was acquired by Presidio Network Solutions earlier this month.

Mike Strohl, president of Entisys, a Concord, Calif.-based solution provider, expects Cloud Foundry to be a key pillar of the company's cloud strategy for the next several years.

"We've been getting a lot of questions from customers about [Cloud Foundry], and we're talking about it internally, too," said Strohl. "There are a lot of cloud customers that have VMware in their enterprises, and it's a natural progression for them to extend into the cloud using this type of solution."

HP couldn't be reached for comment on its involvement with Cloud Foundry. Needless to say, VMware is pretty happy about having a $126 billion company kicking the tires on the platform.

"VMware is excited to see HP embrace Cloud Foundry as the open PaaS of the cloud and we look forward to working with HP and the rest of the Cloud Foundry ecosystem to continue to grow and improve the project," Jerry Chen, vice president of cloud and application services at VMware, said in an e-mail.

Cloud Foundry is a significant product for VMware because it gives developers a way to rewrite apps in Java so that they'll run well on private clouds. It also supports emerging development frameworks and languages, including Ruby, Node.js and Spring, the last of which VMware picked up in its August 2009 acquisition of SpringSource.

Cloud Foundry was also built with help from Mark Lucovsky, technical director at VMware, and Derek Collison, chief architect of VMware's Cloud Services division, both of whom VMware recruited from Google.

HP was one of Microsoft's first partners for the Windows Azure Appliance, which was hailed at its July 2010 unveiling as an offering that combines the security and control advantages of private clouds with the scalability benefits of the public cloud. This was part of HP and Microsoft's plan, unveiled in January 2010, to jointly invest $250 million in cloud computing over a three year period.

Brad Maltz, CTO at ICI, a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider, sees HP's usage of Cloud Foundry as a sign that it's not planning to follow a single vendor approach. He believes this could help HP garner the attention of VMware Cloud Foundry developers.

"For any major cloud provider to be truly successful, they will need to adopt standards that are open source and widely utilized," Maltz said.

The idea behind Cloud Foundry is let developers build applications in a new way, VMware CTO Steve Herrod said in September. "There's a renaissance in terms of how you build apps that's going on right now. You need a framework for different sorts of front end and back end developers," Herrod said at the time.

VMware is running a beta of the Cloud Foundry PaaS offering at www.CloudFoundry.com, and it's also overseeing www.CloudFoundry.org, an open-source project under the Apache 2 license.