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Do Not Pass on PaaS

The partnership between VMware and SalesForce changes the PaaS platform landscape

During my Cloud Computing Bootcamp presentations a lot of discussion was around picking the right vendors to develop solutions on the cloud.  Several vendors in this space have skills in certain areas but are not strong in all areas to make available an end to end solution.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) requires a robust tool-set that has to go through a stringent selection process before someone picks it as their platform to build strong solutions on.  The folks selecting it usually know the risks associated with picking a wrong platform. That is why I picked the title of this blog post "Do not pass on PaaS" - make sure you pause and get a good understanding on what you are going to have in your bag of tools to face this new IT landscape.

The announcement today of VMForce is a good indicator of things to come.  VMware brings rich skills in virtualization and a strong development platform with the acquisition of SpringSource.  On the other hand, SalesForce brings a wealth of experience in running a great Software as a Service CRM application.  However, SalesForce was stuck with a programming environment, APEX, that developers were not the most eager to embrace due to its proprietary roots.

With the capability of these two companies brought together, everyone should have a strong motivation to see if this this product set measures up to their requirements.  It brings a popular language, an advanced framework, the best virtualization and skills to host such a platform together under one umbrella.  At the same time, the collaborative aspects of Chatter that SalesForce brings to the table may make the decision fairly easy.  I should not forget several other capabilities like reporting, identity management, etc can removes the complexity compared to other platforms. The only point of caution to consider is how well these two vendors work together although VMware is tightly coupled and proven with other vendors.

This announcement should be a wake-up call to other middleware vendors to take heed.  Even though there are some vendors who own hardware and software, the lack of integrated offerings can cause folks to avoid them due to added complexity.  Strong partnership of leading vendors can make the difference in this new IT landscape.

Only time will tell if this announcement will be wildly successful.  What are your thoughts?

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

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