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VMware Wants CloudFoundry to be the Linux of the Cloud

Open Source Platform-as-a-Service effort celebrates its first anniversary as VMware opens it up wider for community contributions.

A year ago, VMware officially launched its open source CloudFoundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) project. Today VMware officially announced how they are opening up the platform even further in an effort to dominate the open source PaaS landscape.

"We see CloudFoundry as being the Linux of the cloud," VMware CTO Steve Herrod said during a press conference today.

Herrod explained that Linux is a great operating system that provides a degree of application portability across multiple types of hardware architectures. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is the new hardware platform in Herrod's view with multiple approaches. The idea behind the CloudFoundry PaaS is to enable a portability or abstraction layer that allows developers to leverage the power of IaaS, without worrying about the underlying differences across different IaaS platforms.

"You need to be open source to be able to port across different cloud infrastructures," Herrod said. "That's what CloudFoundry is about; it's an open source approach for providing portability for applications across clouds."

Herrod stressed that CloudFoundry has been fully open source since day one, with code available at Cloudfoundry. While CloudFoundry has been an open source project since the beginning, the way in which the community was able to submit code contributions hasn't been as streamlined as it could have been. To that end, VMware has refactored the process by which CloudFoundry is built.

Mark Lucovsky, VP engineering at VMware, explained that code from the Github project now moves to the production CloudFoundry website twice a week. There is now an open source Gerrit code review system in place. Gerrit integrates with the Git version control system used by Github , and allows for collaborative code review. The Gerrit system is connected to an open source Jenkins Continuous Integration server that tests the code. So any time a submission is made, reviewers can comment on the code and then someone who has commit rights can give the code a thumbs up for inclusion in the project.

"What it lets us do is work much more efficiently with the community so we can engage the community more like peers and more like an extension of our engineering team," Lucovsky said.

VMware is also improving the way that CloudFoundry can be leveraged for large scale deployments with the BOSH open source tool chain. BOSH is a tool for release engineering, deployment and lifecycle management of large scale distributed systems. Lucovsky noted that the challenge of deploying a large scale CloudFoundry deployment is no trivial task.

"You can't run a system like this and have just a little man running around SSHing to various machines and deploying software, you really need a tool chain for that," Lucovsky said. "BOSH is not a product, it's a project, it's a tool for serious engineers and devops guys that know what they're doing and understand the responsibility that's involved in running a large-scale cluster."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.




Tags: Linux, cloud computing, VMware


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