When Engine Yard announced awhile back a strategic investment from Oracle – it kind of felt like a Hail Mary pass. Engine Yard, which a solid and reliable platform, has lost much of its shine as its competitors get big ticket acquisitions (Heroku) or build vibrant ecosystems (Cloud Foundry). The Oracle investment looked like an initial step towards an acquisition by big red.

That looks even more likely with the news this week that Engine Yard is rolling out support for Java (because, you know, large enterprises actually use Java rather a lot)  and that it is working on supporting Oracle as one of the infrastructure layers that it can run on. Oracle joins AWS, Teremark and Windows Azure as the platforms Engine Yard can run on. Alongside Java, Engine Yard already supports PHP, Ruby and Node.js


A year ago, the fact that a popular PaaS was offering customers a choice of infrastructure vendors would have been big news. At the time the PaaS landscape was dominated by Heroku who has a single focus on AWS deployment. Many developers prefer not to be tied to one provider (and its worrying alleged single point of failure) and the idea of choice at the infrastructure layer was appealing.

Fast forward to today however and Cloud Foundry has built itself a vibrant ecosystem and gives users plenty of flexibility around infrastructure – public of many flavors or private – the choice is theirs. In this context the Engine Yard news isn’t so much of a big deal.

The real opportunity here is for Oracle to push a coherent full stack offering, and that is the line that the Engine Yard management is I’m sure pushing with Oracle execs. It’s a logical strategy and one which other vendors should follow (pretty much anyone dealing in the infrastructure space should have a PaaS or PaaS-like offerings to offer alongside raw infra).

My prediciton is that oracle will acquire Engine Yard for a modest sum, roll the product into its own cloud offering and deliver it across public and private infrastructure – watch this space.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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