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Summary:

Salesforce.com and VMware have teamed up to offer an enterprise Java cloud called VMforce. The offering, which combines Salesforce.com’s infrastructure with VMware’s software is an indication of a larger trend for infrastructure and platform-as-a-service providers to sell the application, rather than the platform.

Salesforce.com and VMware have teamed up to offer an enterprise Java cloud called VMforce. The offering, which ties the existing Salesforce.com infrastructure to VMware’s SpringSource-based Java platform, is an indication of a larger trend for infrastructure and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) providers to sell not just a platform, but the app. It’s the difference between selling the services of a general contractor or selling someone a house.

As my colleague Derrick Harris wrote in a GigaOM Pro article this weekend (sub req’d):

The combination of cloud services designed for and hosted on cloud platforms seems like a surefire strategy to secure PaaS (or even IaaS) adoption…By creating targeted applications designed specifically for use on their platforms, cloud providers can increase the likelihood of bringing customers into the fold (and can increase their profit margins, as well) by letting applications help sell the platform instead of relying on the platform itself. According to some surveys, at least, businesses presently find SaaS significantly more palatable than straight-up cloud computing.

It’s also a highly anticipated move ever since VMware purchased SpringSource last summer and said it would create platform as a service for enterprises. Essentially, what this announcement means is that enterprise customers can use their existing Java experts to build application on the Salesforce.com infrastructure and link it to Force.com and Salesforce.com databases and services.

Under the hood, Salesforce.com is running VMware’s software in its own data centers for the VMforce cloud. It’s the first PaaS offering for VMware, which is continuing its march up the cloud stack, and also shows how influential Salesforce.com can be when it comes to influencing enterprise customers. When asked if VMware would host its Java cloud with any other provider, Mitch Ferguson, senior director of Alliances at VMware, said the company was currently focused on this product.

The VMforce offering will be available in developer preview at some undisclosed time this year, and pricing will be announced at that time. Maybe VMware President and CEO Paul Maritz will announce it when he speaks at our Structure 10 conference in June.

By Stacey Higginbotham

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  1. [...] Gigaom reports that the offering, which ties the existing Salesforce.com infrastructure to VMware’s SpringSource-based Java platform, is an indication of a larger trend for infrastructure and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) providers to sell not just a platform, but the app. It’s the difference between selling the services of a general contractor or selling someone a house. [...]

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  2. [...] VMware and Salesforce.com Create the VMforce Love Child (gigaom.com) [...]

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  3. [...] By Derrick Harris May. 2, 2010, 7:00am PDT No Comments      0 Much has already been written about this week’s VMforce announcement, but my biggest question still hasn’t been answered: [...]

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  4. [...] reluctant enterprises with an easy on-ramp to multitenant, on-demand computing, without them ever needing to care they were buying access to cloud computing rather than a platform for home-grown apps (GigaOM Pro sub [...]

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  5. [...] reluctant enterprises with an easy on-ramp to multitenant, on-demand computing, without them ever needing to care they were buying access to cloud computing rather than a platform for home-grown apps (GigaOM Pro sub [...]

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  6. [...] He did say that Heroku, while built to run efficiently on top of Amzon’s EC2 service, would eventually also be hosted on other clouds. That would be a way to differentiate Heroku from competitors that are closely tied to the infrastructure of one company, such as Microsoft’s Azure. His multi-infrastructure effort might be validated by VMware’s recent decision to host a SpringSource Java platform on the Salesforce.com infrastructure creating VMforce. [...]

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  7. [...] cloud from those of Rackspace and Verizon and from platforms such as Microsoft’s Azure or VMforce. Cheaper storage with a lower service level is one such way, and its spot pricing instances are [...]

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  8. [...] from providing a hypervisor to offering higher-value services. Earlier this year it released its VMforce platform as a service built on Salesforce.com’s infrastructure using SpringSource’s Java-based framework. [...]

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  9. [...] might have heard about recent agreements between VMware and SalesForce.com and Google that allow Java apps to run on Force.com and Google App Engine. Those are new Java-based [...]

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  10. [...] following in the Java developer community. Partnerships with Google around App Engine and Salesforce.com around VMforce quickly followed — putting VMware in the Java PaaS game. VMware has seen the future clearly [...]

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