VMware is this morning announcing the general release of Micro CloudFoundry, a downloadable and installable PaaS that can be run on any PC or Mac. Micro CloudFoundry is essentially a local emulation of the cloud based CloudFoundry product – it allows developers to create and test software on their own local machine and to then deploy that to CloudFoundry running in the cloud. I spent some time talking with Dave McJannet, Director of Product Marketing at VMware about the news.
Because Micro Cloud Foundry runs in a local virtual machine, it’s easy for developers to create and experiment with applications on their own computers, a model consistent with traditional development processes, but which current PaaS approaches ignore. The other great thing about Micro is that, because applications created on it can be deployed directly cloud instances of CloudFoundry, it enables real application portability across a range of cloud environments.
In many ways Micro separates development from devops. Developers can develop their applications, and then devops steps in for deployment – the great thing about this approach though is that both developers and ops operations occur on a consistent platform so there’s no requirement for fine tuning – it’s as simple as deploying the app from the dev VM up to the production or testing environment. Micro reminds me of all that is good about Mircosoft’s software + services strategy – doing what is appropriate to be done locally on a local machine, but then moving the workload to the cloud when the time is right (OK, it kind of stretches the analogy but you get my drift).
In terms of support, the first general release of micro will support the following frameworks;
- Spring for Java
- Ruby on Rails and Sinatra
- Grails and other JVM-based frameworks including Scala Lift
- MongoDB, MySQL, and Redis application services
RabbitMQ, the recently released messaging service for CloudFoundry will be supported in a future release. Essentially Micro is a reaction to what VMware believes is the normal way of working for developers, that is a preference for being able to code whenever and wherever, while still desiring the flexibility of scalable and automated deployment to he cloud.
Micro has been in beta testing for a month or so, and it’s been on the cards since back when CloudFoundry launched in April. Only fur months since launch, CloudFoundry is really gaining traction. The number of beta users has more than doubled and the number of applications has more than tripling since the offering was unveiled. CloudFoundry.org has reportedly received hundreds of material contributions from the open source community, including additional frameworks and languages such as Erlang, JRuby, PHP and Python as well as data services such as Neo4J.
With PaaS gaining widespread prominence as the future of the cloud, Micro CloudFoundry is a great innovation.