VMWare has been providing the IT world with virtualization solutions for several years, but it is not surprising that the company has now branched out into cloud computing. Through this natural progression, VMWare developed Cloud Foundry, a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) that puts it in direct competition with Microsoft Windows Azure, Red Hat OpenShift, and other such PaaS solutions.
One unique feature that distinguishes Cloud Foundry from VMWare’s other products is that it is open source, released under an Apache License 2.0. This gives developers and system administrations the maximum amount of flexibility to develop on a cloud platform.
VMWare is currently offering three products: CloudFoundry.com, a service that gives you immediate access to the cloud platform, CloudFoundry.org, a community site where you can download the open source software for your own deployment, and Micro CloudFoundry, a stand-alone version for your PC or MAC that allows you to locally configure your platform and then later export those settings to a working system.
Red Hat is the leading provider of Linux server solutions, namely Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The overwhelming majority of web hosting providers offer RHEL servers or servers that run CentOS, a RHEL derivative.
Red Hat’s OpenShift platform as a service provides a development platform that supports a wide range of languages and tools, such as Perl, Java, PHP, Ruby, and Python. OpenShift offers three deployment services: Express, Flex, and Power. With each, it is easy to deploy your own applications to the cloud. Red Hat OpenShift has not yet been released to the open source community, but Red Hat plans to do so.
PaaS takes the cloud to its next evolutionary step, moving beyond the restrictions on customization of SaaS (software as a service) into an open development environment where users can create their own worlds in the cloud.