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Hey #Dell! Welcome to the #CloudFoundry Party! #PaaS the Open Source, Please!
by Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller, December 17, 2012

The Twitter-sphere blew up this morning, as TechCrunch’s Alex Williams reported Dell’s decision to use “Fast PaaS,” a Cloud Foundry-derived Platform as a Service offering on top of their OpenStack cloud. Dell’s announcement last week at Dell World opens the ecosystem to a whole new community of developers and enterprises.

First Stackato, then HP, now Dell: Who's Next?

The beauty of the open source model is that the code is available for anyone to tweak, extend, fork, and retrofit to meet customers’ needs. This is a two-way process, and users also contribute changes to the core open source project, constantly making the ecosystem stronger and even more ubiquitous.

Like ActiveState’s Stackato and HPCloud’s Application PaaS, Dell’s “Fast PaaS” is built on Cloud Foundry, the open-source PaaS initially developed by VMware and now operating under an Apache license. Now that cloud providers have realized that delivering an empty container is simply not enough, 2013 bodes to be a very big year for PaaS.

As more vendors gravitate towards the Cloud Foundry ecosystem, developers, from hackers to F500 enterprises, all win when they achieve consistency across all deployment environments, regardless of where they deploy applications: public, private, hybrid clouds, built on openstack, cloudstack, AWS, vSphere, KVM, XenServer, or desktop microclouds.

The OpenStack PaaS Connection

With both HP and Dell building on top of OpenStack and layering on a Cloud Foundry-derived PaaS, it will be interesting to watch if the next Grizzly release of OpenStack incorporates any PaaS-related enhancement.

I am expecting that OpenStack commercial distributions will include a PaaS enablement strategy in the coming months. The OpenStack community may consider adding an OpenStack-specific fork of Cloud Foundry to ensure a ready-to-run PaaS layer for every cloud deployment.

Why Wait?

Cloud providers that are considering to move up the stack and offer more than just an empty container can make their move today, and talk to ActiveState about OEM/White Labelling Stackato.

Likewise, developers who want to ensure that their applications run smoothly anywhere can download a Stackato MicroCloud and start developing in an environment proven to work on any cloud.

Enterprises are often concerned about how they will retain control of their private cloud while also ensuring compatibility with the cloud universe. With the deployment of a private PaaS, ActiveState meets these needs now.

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Diane Mueller is a Cloud Evangelist at ActiveState. She has been designing & implementing financial applications at Fortune 500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane has been actively involved in development efforts of XBRL Open Standard (http://www.xbrl.org) since 1999.