Just two months after announcing its initial funding and a month after hurriedly closing a deal to acquire competitor Stax Networks (in response to Red Hat buying Makara and Salesforce.com buying Heroku), CloudBees’ RUN@cloud Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is available for public use. CloudBees, which is headquartered in Lewes, Del., should be commended for such fast turnaround on its mission to integrate its technology with the existing Stax Networks platform and make the offering available while some other Java-focused PaaS options are still in development.
As I detailed shortly after CloudBees announced its presence in November 2010 with $4 million in funding, there are plenty of PaaS offerings now supporting Java, although very few support Java only. By buying Stax Networks, CloudBees reduced that number by one. Presently, RUN@cloud is the only Java-only PaaS ready for public consumption — CumuLogic’s software will enter its beta period in a few weeks, and we haven’t heard much about VMforce since Salesforce.com and VMware announced it to much pomp and circumstance last April. Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Beanstalk also deserves mention, although it intentionally offers more administrative control than do most PaaS offerings, which use abstraction as a selling point.
Here’s a refresher on CloudBees and why it thinks it’s prepared to be a leading voice in the cloud computing community: The company has strong JBoss ties, with former JBoss CTO Sacha Labourey serving as CEO; JBoss founder Marc Fleury and JBoss EVP Bob Bickel are investors, and Bickel is a CloudBees adviser. RUN@cloud is infrastructure-agnostic software, which means it can run pretty much wherever customers prefer to run it, including on an internal cloud, and Labourey told me in December that it will expand its Java support in the near term before expanding into supporting multiple languages. CloudBees also offers a development platform called DEV@cloud, which is based on the Jenkins (formerly “Hudson”) continuous integration tool.
The race is on to see which PaaS offering(s) will win the hearts and minds of Java developers. Each is a little different and each has its unique value proposition, and it’s entirely possible, actually, that there will be plenty of Java development business to go around. But the first step is to make the product available and start luring developers, and, among Java-only platforms, CloudBees is certainly a frontrunner in that regard.
Image courtesy of Flickr user trawin.
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