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Christopher Keene

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Darwin's Cloud

RedHat conducted a survey of over 1,200 VMworld attendees on their cloud plans. Here is the question that I found most interesting:

What primary development framework are you planning to use in the cloud?
  • Java EE 32%
  • .NET 29%
  • PHP 14%
  • Python 6%
  • Spring 6%
  • Ruby/Rails 5%
If you take this at face value, the ideal PaaS for the enterprise would support Java EE, .NET and PHP. So far, this is well beyond the capabilities of the existing PaaS vendors.

In particular, there is no PaaS vendor bridging the Java/.NET divide. This raises a natural question: what is the fastest way to evolve cloud platforms?

There are two approaches to filling in these PaaS framework holes:
  • Do it yourself: Heroku just added Java support to their cloud. Because PaaS offerings from Amazon and Heroku are proprietary, they are pretty much stuck with the go it alone approach.
  • Create an ecosystem: Cloud Foundry just added PhP and Python support through partners. A huge advantage for open source clouds is that they can leverage the work of their communities to move farther and faster than closed-source competitors.
Open source clouds should be able to sustain a faster rate of revolution, provided that they can continue to build vibrant communities that contribute back to the core project.

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More Stories By Christopher Keene

Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). He was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

After leaving Persistence Software in 2005, Chris spent a year in France as chairman of Reportive Software, a Paris-based maker of business-intelligence tools, and as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.