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Summary:

Heroku had built its Ruby-specific Platform-as-a-Service on top of the Amazon Web Services infrastructure. It has been a shining example of Amazon’s cloud success. But what happens to the platform, now that Amazon rival, Salesforce is buying the company.

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When I first saw the press release about the $212 million acquisition of Heroku by Salesforce.com, the first thing I wondered was what will happen to Heroku’s infrastructure.  Heroku had built its Ruby-specific Platform-as-a-Service on top of the Amazon Web Services infrastructure. It has been a shining example of Amazon’s cloud success.

Would Salesforce, Heroku’s new owner keep the arrangement or will it try to make it switch to the internal cloud? After all, from the looks of it, Salesforce is in competition with Amazon. It has known to happen — when Rackspace bought Jungledisk, it kept AWS but expanded the storage service on its own platform. As I looked for answers, the official Heroku blog noted:

Our relationship with Amazon Web Services will remain unchanged. We are huge fans of Amazon’s EC2 and the fast growing ecosystem of cloud services within it, and have no plans to leave. We are likely to add additional infrastructure providers over time to support a variety of customer use cases, and as above, we will follow the same path and decision making process we always have.

The “additional infrastructure providers” I emphasized above is something that seems like a shorthand for using Salesforce’s internal cloud. Heroku CEO Byron Sebastian assured me in an email that isn’t the case:

“We will stay on Amazon, which we love, and as we’ve always planned over time, we will run on additional clouds. We have been constantly expanding on [A]mazon and expect that to continue.”

It would be interesting to see if Heroku can actually build a system that spans different clouds, especially since both Amazon and Salesforce are proprietary clouds. Furthermore, since the open cloud stack is still a work in progress, Heroku’s future ability to bridge clouds is going to be worth watching.

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  1. [...] the uninitiated, Heroku is PaaS offering that runs atop Amazon EC2and is designed for web applications written in Ruby. It provides a highly abstracted environment [...]

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