Virtualization and cloud infrastructure specialist VMware (NYSE: VMW) threw a party this month to mark the one-year anniversary of its Cloud Foundry open platform as a service (PaaS) effort. And to show that the little one is plucky and chipper, VMware had on hand for the celebration some new partners and announced a new open source management system, as well as new tools for operating large-scale services. And for supporters of VMware, that’s better than cake and ice cream.

More seriously, VMware is the other cloud ecosystem (Amazon being the first) that everyone watching cloud computing should keep their collective eye on. In a recent VMware blog, Matthew Lodge, senior director of Cloud Services at VMware, noted there are now more than 100 certified vCloud public clouds, more than the combined (and unnamed) competition. With vCloud available in 24 countries, Lodge wrote, it has become the world’s largest community of compatible public clouds.

VMware launched Cloud Foundry in April 2011, touting at the time that it leapfrogs PaaS offerings that force developers into using a specific or non-standard framework, potentially running from a single vendor-operated cloud, and that meant Windows Azure. Last August, VMware released a micro version of the PaaS, able to run locally on a developer's Mac or PC. And in January 2012, the company announced that Cloud Foundry is fully agnostic, no longer locking in users to an underlying infrastructure.

What VMware may have accomplished — see the BOSH discussion below — is lock itself into the open source identity.

"Since the launch of Cloud Foundry as the first open PaaS one year ago, we've seen incredible developer excitement for a better way to build and deploy cloud applications as well as tremendous industry investment in and around Cloud Foundry," said Steve Herrod, VMware CTO and senior vice president of R&D, in a prepared statement. "By offering a simplified approach that embraces the diversity and speed of modern application development, Cloud Foundry removes complexity at almost every stage of the development process and enables developers to take advantage of innovation that is occurring across the industry."

Here is the main news from the CloudFoundry birthday party:


  • New Partners: VMware continues to build its ecosystem. Companies that announced investments in Cloud Foundry include Cloud9, Collabnet, ServiceMesh, SOASTA, and X.commerce (owned by eBay).

  • CloudFoundry.org: this new site will house the new source code management system for Cloud Foundry, which will simplify community code contributions, improve code quality and offer more visibility into code changes.

  • Cloud Foundry BOSH: VMware launched Bosh as an open source tool chain for release engineering, deployment and lifecycle management of reliable, large-scale distributed services. BOSH was tested while operating CloudFoundry.com, is available under Apache license and includes support from VMware and Amazon. Readers can click here to access the source code.


BOSH is about infrastructure and revenue streams, according to Krishnan Subramanian in a Cloud Ave. post. Here’s his point (and judge for yourself): VMware needs to make money in the cloud infrastructure space as well as guard its market share. But having raised the open source flag in the form of the Cloud Foundry PaaS, it can’t afford to go back on that promise. Hence, BOSH is an open source connector to the VMware infrastructure that its sales teams can market more effectively, since existing customers can continue to rely on the VMware infrastructure they trust while employing the open source Paas.

Of course, VMware hasn’t told us this, but to me it’s a plausible way to make money given its open source “constraints.”

Channel partners can click here for information on the VMware partner program.